In my goal of letting you know about some of the things I've created over the years and not really publicized, this email is not about the iPad. Really! It's about making any switch-adapted *electronic* device into a cause/effect tool. Years ago, I chose "severe/profound" as my area of specialty. This usually starts at a cause/effect level with a switch that makes something happen (like music), for a period of time, then stops. The switch resumes the activity. That is, a switch is plugged into a switch-adapted toy, tape player, or something else "electrically" operated. Notice that this is *not* the same as an "electronic" device. An electronic device would be a boombox, cd player, TV, radio, etc. All of these devices cannot be directly operated in a cause/effect manner by a switch, or even a switch "timer." This is because we are not simply turning the device off after a certain time then back on again. Don't believe me? Try it with your TV. Leave it on. Unplug it from the wall. Plug it back in. Does it come back on? I don't think so. Same for your other "electronic" devices, even if they are 'switch-adapted'. That's because a traditional switch timer 'holds down' a button, electrically, for the time duration. Electronic devices don't operate that way. Don't believe me? Try it with your regular cd player or radio. Press/hold the power button or play button and see if the reinforcement happens for the time you hold down that button and then stops when you let go of the button. Nope. And switch-adapted just means that one or more of the built-in buttons can be operated by switch. It doesn't make the device into a cause/effect tool, with timing. So I created my *Digital* Switch Timer specifically for switch-adapted electronic devices. These include all of *my* switch-adapted gadgets at... http://rjcooper.com/switch-adapted-gadgets ...as well as similar devices from other companies (although there's only one other company doing anything like this that I know. Here is the link to my Digital Switch Timer. Read the whole page, please; it will only take about 3 minutes. http://rjcooper.com/digital-switch-timer Your switch plugs into the DST, which plugs into your switch-adapted electronics. Press the switch (any switch) and you get N seconds of TV (or music, or...), then it turns off the device (*electronically*, not by disconnecting the power). Or it might Pause the music. This is the only way to turn your electronic device into a cause/effect tool via switch. That's it this time! RJ
During my three years of electrical engineering (w/digital emphasis) at the University of Utah, I started working with disabled students at local schools in and around Salt Lake City. I realized that not many R & D people were working with materials for persons with severe disabilities. I began researching, and eventually developing materials that responded to requests of special education. teachers, speech/language pathologists, and professionals that I began networking with around the world.
I moved to CA in 1986 and finished my B.A. in Developmental Psychology, while continuing my research, this time at RH Dana Exceptional Needs Facility in Dana Point. At the same time, I began writing my column for Closing The Gap. I started, and continue, to make materials requested by others, many that know more about needs than myself. I research and develop these materials in settings, with people, for professionals and parents that have shown a belief in my work.
Currently I am enrolled in the Masters of Autism program at ASU, trying to respond to your requests and keeping pace with ever-developing technology have proven to be my greatest challenges.