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Software : CompuThera
Seven Steps to Reading
Educational software for language learning for children with Autism and visual learners.
CompuThera follows the "verbal behavior" flavor of ABA and Discrete Trial Training. It allows therapists, teachers, and parents of children with autism and other developmental challenges to generate and report verbal behavior data as part of a step by step program to teach language skills and reading.
Categories of vocabulary
CompuThera comes with ten categories of vocabulary preloaded with a total of about 600 words:
Labels and nouns: animals, utensils, clothes, vehicles, furnitures ...
People: Expandable set of pictures and sound files for occupations, to which you can add your own set of family members, peers, teachers and friends.
Letters: A through Z, upper and lower cases.
Numbers: Numeral digits 1 through 50, and their associated sound files.
Colors: Primary and secondary colors.
Shapes: Two sets of shapes with different backgrounds.
Body parts: Parts of the body and their location in the context of the face or the whole body.
Actions verbs: Over 60 action verbs (with picture and sound file) to which you can add your own.
Extra: Expandable list of prepositions, adverbs, adjectives ...
|Words in Context: Words within the context of a scene or a story to foster generalization of receptive vocabulary.
These categories can be added upon with new words in order to create an individualized curriculum and grow with the child's learning.
CompuThera uses the Discrete Trials methodology with seven steps to reading
Matching: teaches hand-eye coordination, the handling of the computer mouse through a simple game of matching identical pictures and begins to expose the student with the written and spoken representation of words.
Receptive skills: teaches receptive labeling of objects, people, animals, actions or other concepts.
Verbal Imitation: uses natural ability to echo spoken language to teach the proper sound associated with words.
Expressive skills: teaches expressive labeling of objects, action verbs or concepts.
Spelling skills: teaches the student to parse words into their individual letter components.
Sight reading: teaches reading by sight of familiar words already mastered receptively and expressively.
Sentences reading: brings the student into reading sentences made of words mastered at all previous levels.
CompuThera includes ten short interactive read-along stories read by the computer, as words and target areas are highlighted in synchrony with the reading of the word. These stories contribute in fostering the generalization of acquired reading skills and emerging literacy.
Automated Curriculum Adjustment
A distinguishing feature of CompuThera is the automatic adjustment of the curriculum based on the student's learning.
|Upon mastery of a particular skill, the curriculum automatically advances itself so as to present the student with more advanced material. For example: once verbal imitation becomes mastered for a particular word, this word will migrate to the vocabulary pool used for expressive labeling.
This product can be used in the context of a home therapy program or in school and is a perfect complement for any type of ABA program. The child does not need to be verbal in order to start using this software. In fact there has been instances where a child was much more responsive to drills on computer than interaction with a therapist, and by repetitively being exposed to verbal imitation drills from CompuThera had his verbal skills sped up dramatically. As the steps in this program are mastered, it will follow the child development up to reading simple sentences made of words that he has mastered receptively and expressively in the previous steps. This program can also be used to create flash cards(*). Each card shows a high quality picture, representing any item in one of the eight main categories of vocabulary, captioned with its description. The cards can be used in receptive labeling, expressive labeling, verbal imitation, spelling or sight reading.
Minimum Computer Requirements
"My son is Autistic, and has a very difficult time with reading. CompuThera has been his only real help. He doesn't seem to learn words easily at all without a picture to go with the word. He knows his letters, and his letter sounds, but putting them together seems almost impossible to him, so learning sight words has been our only way so far."
The father of a child with autism, Israel
"I wanted to let you know that CompuThera has really helped my daughter these past few months and she enjoys using it. It has also helped her broaden her abilities for other subjects and has lengthened her attention span. I am extremely happy with the product and look forward to any new products you may have."
Kerrie Siroki, mother, homeschooling a child with autism
"The CompuThera stories are part of my grandson's reward system - more popular than chocolate. I hope that you're going to carry on producing more of this type of programme. We have found the CompuThera so helpful ... It stands out so much above others that I feel that we don't have enough."
Margaret Hobson, grandmother of a child with autism
"Thanks so much for your product! My son with autism loves all of the activities on the CD ROM. It has been very helpful. I appreciate it! My daughter also enjoys it. They run to the computer to play it each morning. It is really great! Thanks again!!"
Rebecca Wagnon, mother of a boy with autism, Texas