One of the coolest things about being in special education is all of the interesting tools we can find and create for our students. Today I’m going to talk about my top 5 adaptive school tools for special education. Even better, I’m going to talk about my absolute favorite tools.
Adaptive grips help students grasp things they may otherwise not be able to. My favorites are the Eazyhold brand. They come in different sizes and can be used with anything from a spoon to a cup. I often use this for everything from markers and crayons to holding a spoon for lunch time. They are amazing and make many everyday items accessible to students with fine motor needs.
Table Top Scissors
Table top scissors have been a game changer for my students! They are easy to use and make cutting accessible to all of my students. I velcro my set of scissors to the table, so it’s more stable, and then my students can cut whatever we need too using just one hand and a pushing motion.
Switches: Wired and Unwired
You may have noticed, but I love using switches with my students. Wired switches are amazing for allowing access to switch adaptive activities like toys, a pourer, and anything you can plug into a powerlink! Recordable switches like the BigMack give students a voice, and bluetooth switches like the blue2 switch allow access to technology. Recordable switches can seem cost prohibitive, but I want to share this inexpensive and sturdy alternative I’ve found with you. The Learning Resources Talking Buzzers are a fantastic low cost solution. I find these are the absolute best to take out into the community.
The switch below is a good alternative for a wired switch. I have one of these and it works really well. It’s essentially a learning resources buzzer fitted with a battery interruptor. I love that this switch is much cheaper than an Ablenet switch and has the same functionality. It’s really neat!
You can learn more about using Switches in the classroom in this blog post.
Dycem is a grippy blue material that is great for creating a no slip surface. I put activities, bowls, plates, cups, and bottoms on squares of dycem to reduce slipping and movement. It works so well with the wooden rifton chairs. Dycem is one of my most favorite adaptive school tools because it has so many different applications. It’s incredibly versatile!
I love foam tubing! It allows me to build up items for my students. Some of my students could grip an item better if the handle was wider or longer. The foam tubing allows me to do that with just about anything. It’s great for pencils, markers, spoons, forks, paintbrushes and even switches! I use it all the time on joystick switches. Sometimes the handle just needs to be thicker or longer and I can easily do that with the foam tubing. I personally really love the Vive brand. It’s durable and comes in different sizes. I’ve washed it many times in the dishwasher and it holds up well.
These tools are my favorite tools because they are very relevant to my classroom and students’ needs and in the end that’s what is most important.
Make sure to check out these different classroom set-ups for the beginning of the year. I talk about how I use several of these things in my classroom.