Family Friendly Tech and Advocacy: Tech Psychologist's Guide by Dr. Jeanne Beckman

Family Friendly Tech and Advocacy: Tech Psychologist's Guide   by Dr. Jeanne Beckman
Finally, a book to help families find the right technology to accommodate reading disorders (dyslexia) and other disabilties! ISBN 978-1-60264-089-4

How to purchase my book

To purchase through Virtual Bookworm (my publisher) you can click Virtual Bookworm Publisher: Tech Psychologist's Guide or
Amazon no longer allows Illinois professionals to get credit for referrals to Amazon due to a sales tax dispute. I will be referring to Powell's in the near future.

What is that TinyURL notation that you see in my blog? For those who use a screen reader, the link that is hidden behind words like Tech Psychologist Guide remains hidden. However, screen readers can read aloud the website address, or URL, if it was produced by Also, sometimes these addresses are so long that they wrap around several lines or overlap into colored areas of a website that obscure the actual address. Intrigued? You can create your own tinyurl's at

Friday, October 19, 2007

An open letter to the families of those with autism

Families of the disabled everywhere breathed a sigh of relief when of 18 year old hiker Jacob Allen was found alive. (see You see, Jacob is a young man with autism who is nonverbal and reportedly has difficulties demonstrating an understanding of complex concepts.

Many outsiders do not understand what it is like to meet the complicated needs of those with severe disabilities while also having regular family experiences like hiking. Everything can be going along fine one minute, then the next minute, panic hits when you realize that your son or daughter has disappeared. In other situations, families may realize that their schools failed to tell them that there was technology which might help nonverbal individuals communicate, might help cognitively challenged to read mainstream books and emails, and service animals that might help them to remain safe.

AAC is the term for the communication devices that can include voice output such as that used by physicist Stephen Hawking. You do not have to be a famous physicist to benefit from these devices, as there are many who have autism who have benefited from them. Here is a video of a young boy with autism who uses a Dynavox communicator:

For those who are flight risks and/or exhibit problem behaviors, individuals can use service animals, what I call "warm and fuzzy technology" that can provide tethering, as well as prompting for the individual to begin or stop a behavior. Since dogs are people magnets, they can also provide opportunities for social interactions that might otherwise be limited or nonexistent. Here is a video of a mom with a boy with autism and is nonverbal:

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