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Using ICT

Being able to use computers, phones and other gadgets for learning, leisure and keeping in contact with friends and family is very important for children and young people with physical and medical difficulties. These technologies can be used effectively in a number of ways to support children and young people with physical medical difficulties. Benefits may be:

  • Supporting and enabling both written and spoken communication
  • Developing literacy skills including spelling, sentence structure etc.
  • Promoting safe independence
  • Promoting independent learning
  • Developing auditory memory
  • Stimulating talk and developing conversation skills.
  • Learning and using new vocabulary
  • Developing speech clarity
  • Exploring social skills
  • Ensuring their safety and well-being. Use of seizure trackers, medication reminders etc.

 

A note about e-safety:

Some groups of children and young people are potentially more vulnerable and more at risk than others when using ICT. This can and does include children and young people with physical medical difficulties.

They can be guided to use the internet in educational, creative, empowering and fun ways, just like their peers. However, it is important to be particularly aware of vulnerability to e-safety risks.

For example:

  • Children and young people may make literal interpretations of content, which will affect how they respond.
  • Some children and young people may not understand much of the terminology due to language and communication delays.
  • Some children and young people do not understand the concept of friendship, and therefore trust everyone implicitly. They do not know how to make judgments about what is safe information to share. This can lead to confusion about why you should not trust others on the internet.
  • Growing concern around cyber bullying: Children and young people with physical medical difficulties may be more vulnerable to being bullied through the internet, and / or not recognise that they are being bullied.
  • In addition, some children and young people may not appreciate how their own online behaviour may be seen by someone else as bullying.

These remain challenging and complex issues. It is important that your school develops a clear policy and implements strategies for safe internet use as part of individual children and young people's learning plan.

 

Useful Links:

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

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