What is using Technology to assist organisation?
The technology available to us changes almost daily but allow us to:
- Recording things to do
What can be done to improve organisation with technology?
- Get familiar: Embrace the use of technology.
- Small steps: Break large tasks into smaller ones wherever possible, even if it seems silly (not only does this support skill development, but also reduces anxiety).
- Self help: Establish self instruction strategies including self questioning.
- Up skill on the use of technology.
- Visual cues to support organisation.
- Highlight challenges: If a child is aware that they are poorly organised or lack appropriate memory to complete tasks, then they are more likely to try and implement strategies.
What activities that can help improve organisation with technology?
- Sticky notes: This is a program that can be used on your PCs and allows you to write small notes or reminders to remain on your computer desktop (exactly like a physical yellow post-it but electronic).
- Sync calendars and devices: Having calendars and reminder lists up to date on all electronic devices is important to ensure nothing is over looked. Depending on what devices you have, this is generally an easy process and is most commonly done using icloud. This means that a change made on a ‘to do list’ on your phone, will automatically be updated on your ipad.
- Alarms, phone reminders or PC alerts: Depending on what device you use at different times throughout the day, you can set up alarms or reminders to come on at various times throughout the day. For example, you can look at a child’s class timetable and know they will be in an English class before recess, so you can set a pop up reminder on their computer to remind them to go to their music lesson after recess or remind them what books to get next. This can be done using their calendar on their computer.
- ‘To Do’ lists are a helpful way of keeping track of what needs to be done. They can also be set up so they are in the order that they need to be done. There are many apps for smartphones, and tablets that can sync together, so you always know what needs to be done.
- Diary: Assist a child to get in the habit of recording important information and dates in their school diary to be presented to a parent or guardian each night.
- Count down: There are many apps that allow you to inform yourself of the upcoming events that are in your schedule. This way you can plan to achieve intermediate steps and schedule it in your diary or electronic planner. For example, a child might have an assignment due in 20 days, which can be broken up into multiple components and with assistance you and the child can plan what small parts need to be done before then.
- ‘iprocrastinate’ is a task management application that syncs wirelessly with iProcrastinate on your iPhone, or over the internet via Dropbox. This app allows you to break complex tasks down into steps for step-by-step tracking of your task’s progress. This app also enable a student to relate files on their hard drive to specific tasks, making it helpful when keeping track of multiple documents for a class report or project.
Why should I seek therapy if I notice organisation difficulties?
Therapeutic intervention to help a child with organisational difficulties is important to:
- Enable a child to be successful in demonstrating their true academic ability.
- It is a key ability required for a successful school transition.
- Help develop and model executive functioning skills that are required for many higher level activities.
If left untreated what can difficulties with organisation lead to?
- A child being unable to reach their full academic potential. In many cases organisation is the key to success. If a child fails an assignment because they were not organised enough to get it done and hand it in on time, they are not giving themselves the best chance to achieve.
- Challenges with daily activities. As organisation is a skill that to some degree needs to be explicitly taught and modelled, it is important that a child has access to strategies such as the use of visuals to allow them to be successful in daily activities.
- Avoidance and poor behaviour. Children with organisation difficulties are often very aware of their challenges and quickly learn to subtly (or not) avoid them. This only reinforces any skill delays that are emerging from lack of practice.
- Poor self esteem and self perception as a child finds it difficult to differentiate between being bright and having difficulties with organisation.
What type of therapy is recommended to help teach organisation using technology?
If your child has difficulties with organisation, it is recommended they consult an Occupational Therapist.
If there are multiple areas of concern (i.e. beyond just visual organisation) both Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy may well be recommended to address the functional areas of concern. This is the benefit of choosing Kid Sense which provides both Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy.