Autism Software by SEN Assist, makers of Special Educational Needs Software. Educational software, schools, learning difficulties, learning difficulty, reading, literacy, inclusion, differentiation, games, speech therapy.
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Software that motivates and educates children

"SEN Assist is based on practical classroom experience. Children were so motivated by ICT. I wanted to find a way to use this interest to motivate and include all children no matter what their ability, language or learning style."

Adele Devine, SEN teacher and Director of SEN Assist



Including EVERY pupil


SEN Assist is designed for use on interactive whiteboards, plasma screens, touch screens. The software is also switch accessible.

Often software has buttons that are too high for the interactive whiteboard or rely on children being able to click and drag, which can be frustrating.

All SEN Assist buttons are at the bottom of the screen and are click and click rather than click and drag.
Whiteboard software



Motivating the individual child

The first thing we want to know when teaching is what motivates the individual. If they are into trains or tractors or dinosaurs we can use this to engage them in learning. Often children will tell us what motivates them, but sometimes language can be a barrier.

There are 48 individual characters to print, laminate and use for tasks, work systems, pegs, schedules etc.
If a child likes dinosaurs they can choose to have a T Rex on screen the whole time roaring when they succeed.

It’s amazing how effective this can be.

Motivational software
48 individual characters to print, laminate and use for tasks, work systems, pegs, schedules etc.



National Curriculum

SEN Assist was created by teachers to directly link with the National Curriculum.
The Fairy stories form part of the Key stage 1 syllabus in England.
The animated writing with associated symbols are ideal for including visual learners and showing that the text has meaning. Language is taken from the first 100 high frequency words. The clear layout allows for the inclusion of all children and can be particularly helpful for children learning English as a foreign language.
The activities are cleverly linked to the reading P scales meaning teachers can assess reading levels for children working below the National Curriculum Level 1.

Writing with Symbols
Animated writing with associated symbols

Inclusion

SEN Assist was designed to include ALL children in the Literacy hour. The switch accessible software means a child can navigate the story with a switch or space bar. They can even get a certificate for being able to press the switch six times independently (for many children this can be a huge achievement).

Switch software
The software is also switch accessible with each CD containing Switch story and activities.

ICT P(ii)

"They perform actions, often by trial and improvement, and they remember learned responses over short periods of time, for example, pressing a switch repeatedly to turn on a light or sound source."
(National Curriculum P Scales)



Speech Therapy

Activities are based on language activities used by speech therapists including pronouns, prepositions, sequencing and comprehension.
Developing communication is a priority throughout the programs. Even the praise is varied to extend the vocabulary.

The resources are based on PECs allowing children to comment and answer questions learning the correct sentence structures. The resources allow a teacher to stretch children who may be more able, but not have the language skills to show this. Using a sentence strip will not only keep a child on task, but allow them to demonstrate what they know. Correct sentence structure can be modelled and processing time can be allowed.

The simple act of putting a hand up to answer a question can be extremely difficult to teach and frustrating to the child. Using a sentence strip a teacher can quickly assess a child’s understanding and raise the child’s self esteem.


The software activities are based on language activities used by speech therapists. The resources are based on PECs

Differentiation

Using the levels at the top of the screen a teacher can easily differentiate questioning as appropriate for the individual child. For example they can quickly skip from level 1 matching character pictures to matching all the words in a sentence at level 4.

This raises the self esteem of the less able and keeps the more able stretched.
The resources are also designed to be quickly adjusted to meet the needs of the individual.



TEACCH - Treatment and education of autistic and related communication handicapped children

The emphasis on individualization means that TEACCH does not distinguish between people with very high skill levels and those with learning disabilities. Strategies used are designed to address the difficulties faced by all people with autism, and be adaptable to whatever style and degree of support is required.

TEACCH methodology is rooted in behavior therapy, more recently combining cognitive elements, guided by theories suggesting that behavior typical of people with autism results from underlying problems in perception and understanding.

The strategies put forward by TEACCH do not work on the behavior directly, but on its underlying reasons, such as lack of understanding of what the person is expected to do or what will happen to them next, and sensory under- or over-stimulation. By addressing communication deficits, the person will be supported to express their needs and feelings by means other than challenging behavior.

Working from the premise that people with autism are predominantly visual learners, intervention strategies are based around physical and visual structure, schedules, work systems and task organisation. Individualised systems aim to address difficulties with communication, organisation, generalisation, concepts, sensory processing, change and relating to others. Whereas some interventions focus on addressing areas of weakness, the TEACCH approach works with existing strengths and emerging skill areas and employs alternative and augmentative communication techniques in a supportive environment.

SEN assist software has a very clear visual structure with a start and finish.
The child will learn to complete the 6 activities independently on the computer and the work system at the side will show how many tasks they have left to complete. Activities are designed to be quick to avoid frustration.



The work system at the side will show how many tasks they have left to complete.


Using

Using SEN Assist children can learn to use the computer as a tool rather than just a leisure activity.


The characters can be used for workstation work systems and the resources make motivating subject linked tasks.


" The SEN Assist software has offered a way of accessing young people who have found traditional interventions un-stimulating. It has allowed the teachers working in our lower ability, largely non-verbal classes to teach literacy and independence skills in a fun and motivating way.

Some pupils have been accessing SEN Assist on a daily basis as a version of TEACCH, completing tasks independently for the first time in their academic careers."


Phil Leach (Head of ICT & Primary, Freemantles, Surrey)



Planning

See this sample Three Bears termly plan to see how easy it is to plan for mixed abilities using the SEN Assist software.

Print the Half Termly Plan
(click the image to view a sample Half term plan)


The hidden buttons in the ASSIST logo mean a teacher can quickly navigate to a chosen topic and differentiate questioning to suit.

The software and resources also make planning for individual sessions with classroom assistants easier to plan for and assess.

Saving time

SEN Assist was designed to save time in as many ways possible. Even the resources have a layout that is quick to cut out and laminate.

Print and laminate Resources
All resources were designed to cut out and laminate, the only limit is your imagination.

Rewards

Each time a child completes an activity their individual on screen character will celebrate for them. This is enough motivation and keeps the children on task.

At the end of the program there are individual certificates. These can be used for records of achievement, displays or to send home.
Reward Certificates
At the end of the program there are individual certificates showing the story title, child’s name, character and level.