The Family in Residence project is an attempt to bring a real community prtnership into the Patrick Wild Centre. We are working with the McDonald family (Gillian & Craig, and their twin sons, Matthew & Stuart) over a twelve month period, getting their input as a family affected by Fragile X syndrome, into everything we do.
My personal special interest is in the potential of technology as a support tool for people with autism, intellectualy disability, and fragile X syndrome. This website hosts a lot of information about getting the most out of technology in supporting children and adults who need a bit of extra help from time to time. This information is grounded in research evidence wherever possible, but also accummulated experience derived from my own knowledge and many conversations with practitioners, parents and autistic people. However it is rare that I have the opportunity to directly evaluate new technologies alongside younger people or those with a learning difficulty. This makes it challenging for me to identify, for example, how accessible an app really is or whether it is fun for a young person to use.
In my last visit to the McDonald’s home, I took the opportunity to sit down with Matthew and Stuart and explore both their favourite uses of technology and give them some of my favourite apps to try out and comment on. This blog is in the form of a podcast, embellished with audio clips recorded during that visit which illustrate some of the main points made by the boys. It was really pleasing to me to find that many of my instincts about how technology might be used to best effect were also reflected by the boys’ own experiences and attitudes. It was also great to see first hand how accessible or fun they found a number of different apps which I have recommended.