• Technology Enhances Education and Learning

    Children with communication and movement disorders often have difficulty in their learning environment. Early exploratory learning, reading and writing are often affected, resulting in delays that limit longer-term educational outcomes.

    When used appropriately and regularly, technology can provide a means for communication with parents, peers and teachers and for active participation in essential early learning and educational activities.

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    A Perlman speech therapist helps a preschooler with cerebral palsy use her dynamic display communication device to talk to a friend.

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    A teenager with cerebral palsy who is a sports enthusiast shares news about his favorite team with his friends and therapists at the Perlman Center. He attends a teen writer’s group that gives him the opportunity to use his technology to improve his writing and social communication skills.

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    A proud child shows off her ability to express herself using her communication device.

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    Multisensory learning helps a child as he touches a worm and matches it to a picture on a Tech Talk communication device.

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    Parent involvement is an integral part of the Perlman Center philosophy for treating children with multiple disabilities. This hesitant toddler is supported by her mother as she engages in an art activity during the Early Intervention Program at the center.

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    Welcome to “Hat Day” in the teen writer’s group. These teens make connections at the Perlman Center that last a lifetime. Both teens use speech generating devices to participate academically and to build friendships.

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    These children from the Perlman Center’s therapeutic program are anticipating the new experience of visiting an accessible tree house in the Mount Airy Forest. Rolling up the ramp in their wheelchairs, with their communication devices ready, they are excited to explore and talk about nature.

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    Cheryl, a speech language pathologist at the Perlman Center, engages a toddler with a motivating puppet and encourages her to make choices for songs on her communication device.

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    Software that matches words with picture symbol support aids a preschool child with the writing process. As the treatment plan progresses, she becomes more independent as seen by her direction of the mouse.

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    The computer provides a highly motivating activity for fine motor and communication skills, both of which prepare a child for reading and writing.

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    Retelling her story to a therapist, a preschooler with CP enthusiastically shows off her favorite part. At the Perlman Center, specialized software is often used to support learning and communication.

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    Circle time in the therapeutic programs is an interactive group with many opportunities for Perlman therapists and teachers to help children make choices, express themselves and use their communication devices. This 3-year-old boy with cerebral palsy is eager to choose the next activity.

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    During a community outing to an accessible tree house in Mount Airy Forest, children from the Perlman Center’s therapeutic programs use communication devices to answer questions about their theme-related book.

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    Participating in a summer technology enrichment program at the Perlman Center, a school-age girl with cerebral palsy is writing about her tree house experience at Mount Airy Forest. Her speech therapist helps her learn to navigate new vocabulary on her augmentative communication device.

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    A Perlman Center speech therapist helps a preschooler with cerebral palsy make choices as she prepares to go on a scavenger hunt at an accessible tree house in Mount Airy Forest. She is using picture symbols to communicate what she wants to look for first.

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    Using picture symbols is an effective way to have kids who are nonverbal communicate their thoughts. A preschooler gets ready to go on a nature scavenger hunt in Mount Airy Forest and will use the pictures to identify what he finds.

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    During a language group at the Perlman Center, a child chooses an activity using picture symbols.

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    Summer therapeutic programs at the Perlman Center provide children with opportunities for experience-based learning. These preschoolers are using communication devices to talk about their time at the tree house.

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    With the use of a communication device, preschoolers talk about what they might find while in Mount Airy Forest.

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    After completing her scavenger hunt, a preschooler with cerebral palsy matches the items she found to the picture symbol board.

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    A preschooler with Rhett syndrome uses eye gaze as a way to choose an activity she wants to do with her friends at the Perlman Center. Eye gaze to a communication board is one low-tech access method effective for many children with physical disabilities.

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    The teen writer’s group at the Perlman Center helps kids with cerebral palsy and other chronic physical conditions use their technology to write.  A teen uses direct access with his augmentative communication device.

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    At the Perlman Center, occupational therapy is integrated into an outdoor experience for children. 

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    With the support of his teacher and therapists, a teenager uses a combination of low- and high- technology strategies to write a story. He is selecting vocabulary from a modified word wall.