Assistive Technology for Students With Behavior Disorders

Electronic pagers can be helpful to students with behavioral disorders.

Assistive technology allows students with physical handicaps, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders to participate successfully within the regular education classroom. While educators commonly use assistive technology for those with learning disabilities and physical handicaps, they are less likely to consider assistive technology for those with behavioral disorders. However, assistive technology can be beneficial for students with behavioral disorders.

1 Behavioral Disorders

Assistive technology can be used to help with disorders characterized by behavioral problems. Such disorders may include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, oppositional defiance disorder and emotional disturbance.

2 Behavioral Support

Students with behavioral disorders may benefit from different types of assistive technology. Pagers may be used to send messages that remind students about behavior expectations as well as positive reinforcement messages. Also, a device called WatchMinder reminds students about behaviors so that they can self-monitor their behavior throughout the day. Watchminder is worn like a wrist watch, but it has many special functions that help students with behavioral disorders throughout the day.

3 Organizational Aids

Some options might include devices such as pagers that send messages about important events. Also, handheld computers or palm pilots with calendars may be helpful as well.

4 Other Devices

Children who are easily distracted may benefit from the use of ear plugs or ear muffs. Often children with behavioral disorders often have difficulty with getting their thoughts on paper. Word processing programs with voice recognition software will be beneficial for these children. Also, various devices that help with academic skills help students to not become overly frustrated, which may in turn lead to misbehavior.

5 Benefits

Assistive technology allows students with behavioral problems to function successfully in the classroom. To ensure that a child's needs are being met, a Functional Evaluation for Assistive Technology can be conducted to determine what types of assistive technology might benefit the student.

Based in Laurel, Miss., Melody Morgan Hughes covers topics related to education, money and health. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English education from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Education from William Carey University and a Master of Education from Nova Southeastern University.