Introduction: Customized Electronic Response Tutorial for Autistic, Pre-School, Cognitively Challenged, & Non-verbal Children

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The Customized Electronic Response Tutorial will allow parents, care-takers, and instructors to customize drills and response sheets to meet the specific needs of a child. When the child selects the 'correct' response from 2 to many options, either a sound or visible light(s) are produced providing additional reinforcement and subsequent motivation.

Most children respond to visual and auditory cues. While the design is created for the individual child and therefore will vary with need, the electronic response tutorial presented here provides a rich assortment of blinking & colored lights, an intermittent and static buzzer, a siren, and a memo voice recorder.

While it is possible to create different tutorial response sheets, it is equally possible to design the components that are activated by the child. While this may seem to be an ambitious project, I know absolutely nothing about electronics. If I can create this project to assist our children in learning, I know that, without a doubt, you can. Come with me and I will walk you through it.

Step 1: Begin Your 'Book' With a Design Plan

Customize your Response Tutorial (RT) based on your child's unique learning style and preferences.

1] What content will you target?
2] How many different electronic stimuli will best reward & motivate your child?
3] Do you want auditory, of visual stimuli or both?

Step 2: Make a List of Tools & Supplies: House Hunting Expedition & Shopping

1] Decide what tools and supplies that you will need.
2] Search for what you have around that you can use.
3] Consider taking apart simple electronic household items, electronic toys or even old shoes that light up.
4] If you need to buy tools, try Sears. They have a great selection of Craftsman tools that are well crafted and durable.

Step 3: Make a Base for Your Tutorial E Book and a System to Hold Your E Components

1] Obtain materials to make a base to hold your electronic components.
2] I used a cardboard box and found some Styrofoam packaging material in the garage along with my Craftsman freestanding lights, compressor, and some tools.
3] Note: Any container that would be about the size of the pages of your tutorial will do. Also, any type of foam would work. This is without a doubt, a low tech solution.
4] Cut your foam or other electronic attachment material to fit within your container.
5] Alter your container as necessary to accommodate your electronic components.
6] I used a box cutter for both the cardboard box and Styrofoam.
7] Obtain some type of cover material so that your electronics are not accessible to the child, while maintaining access so that they can be removed and batteries changed, etc.

Step 4: Create Your Simple Electronic Circuits With a Mechanical Switch & Embed Within the Foam

1] Obtian the power source specific to each electronic component that you want to use. (1.5-12 Volt batteries)
2] For those E components that have a red (+) & black (-) wire attached, cut one of the wires (red or black) and insert the proper voltage battery (see package or battery holder) to both of the cut ends.
NOTE: If it is the black wire, connect the section of wire closest to the E unit with the(-)pole of the battery. The connect the (+) pole to the cut portion of the black wire. If the wire that you cut is the red one, then connect the (+) part of the battery to the end of the cut red wire closest to the E component, and the cut portion of the red wire to the (-) end of the battery.

3] Create a mechanical switch by securing the open ends of both the red & black wires within a half inch of each other but not touching.

4] Test the switch by placing a 1 1/2 square inch piece of aluminum foil over the ends of the two wires at the same time. If the E component lights up or beeps, etc., you have completed your circuit. This will be the method by which most of your circuits are completed. Note images.

Step 5: Create a Protective Cover for Your Electronic Box With Switch, Light, & Sound Access

1] Locate suitable material for a protective cover for your electronic box. I chose an old plastic folder.
2] Cut out regions where circuit connections will be made.
3] Cut out regions where lights need to be seen.
4] Cut out small areas to allow for speakers
5] Attach cover to box so that it can be removed if necessary.

Step 6: Complete the Electronics Box and Attach to Your Binder

1] Paint the container box and decorate.
2] Attach the box to the inside back flap of a 2 1/2" 3-ring binder

Step 7: Create Your Response Pages

1] Create a map of the locations of your electroninc synapses and places in which you will have lights that you want to display.
2] Use this map as a template to organize and created your pages so that correct responses can be actualized by taping foil to the back side of the plastic inserts.
3] You will also want to cut out areas if you wish lights to be a part of that pages response venue.
4] Check out the images that follow and some of the pages that you can create.
5] You are only limited by your own imagination and that of your child.
6] You can use power point to create pages, or cut and past your own images and photographs from various sources.
7] Aim for mastery with your trials and drills. Offer one alternative at a time and only add more until mastery is assured.
Craftsman Workshop of the Future Contest

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Craftsman Workshop of the Future Contest