Teaching Braille Remotely to a Student with Autism

I wanted to share a success story with remote learning. Last year I had a 3rd grader with no functional vision that I was trying to teach Braille to. He also has autism. Every time I feel like he was making progress he would start refusing. He constantly kept me on my toes to alter the way I teach him. He is very auditory so I tried using the smart Brailler and the braille buzz as reinforcement, but he would stim off the sounds. I would still use the devices but had to keep control with him hopping on my hands. 

Right before shelter in place he had started to braille the letter D with my help. When shelter in place happened I provided him with a regular Braille writer. He would ask for the smart Brailler but I told him it wasn’t available for him to use at home. I was able to use the braille buzz at my house to reinforce when he would braille the correct keys during our zoom sessions. Last summer he began Brailling the D on his own (first letter of his name). Using keyboard mode on the braille buzz helped him learn the position of his fingers for the letters and then he would be able to Braille the letters. Today he brailled his first name (6 letters including 1 contraction) independently with no mistakes 3 times in a row. His mom and I were so proud of him. And he kept telling me “I’m so proud of you Mrs. Cindi“. 

His mom has been a great support too. At the beginning of shelter in place she couldn’t wait for him to be able to go back to school but now that he has adjusted, she is seeing how good he is doing and she is learning Braille right along with him.

Editor's Note: Originally posted on the Teachers of the Blind and Visually Impaired/O&M Specialists Facebook page by Cindi. Reposted on Paths to Technology with Cindi's permission.

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