Category Archives: Autism

Green Chimneys: Where Animals Teach Children

“Eight-year-old Xander DeLeon could not have been more surprised…There were camels, a gigantic wingless emu, peacocks, miniature horses and donkeys as well as every conceivable breed of farm animal housed in the barns, cages and outdoor enclosures that dotted the campus of what might be his new school.” R.  Schiffman, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Xander right, and Catherine feed one of the farm’s pigs. Credti- D. Rios, NYT

Excerpt: Where Camels, Goats and Pigs Do the Teaching, By Richard Schiffman, The New York Times

“For his mother, Leslie DeLeon, that first visit to Green Chimneys, a school for special-needs children located on a former dairy farm outside in Putnam County, N.Y., seemed the answer to her prayers. He was like, ‘Oh, I can watch the chickens lay their eggs and sit on them,’ she recalled. ‘I was crying, because I knew that I had finally found the right place for my son.’

Before coming to Green Chimneys, Xander, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia, felt overwhelmed at school. He would throw tantrums and often simply walk out of class at the Manhattan charter school that he attended. By 10 a.m. most mornings, the school would call Ms. DeLeon, a public-school teacher in Washington Heights, to ask her to pick up her son.

Now at Green Chimneys, Xander is getting A’s and B’s. ‘The school staff tell him that he won’t be able to work on the farm if he doesn’t continue to do well in school,’ Ms. DeLeon said. The prospect of being separated from his beloved goats has motivated Xander in ways his traditional school never could.

The Green Chimneys School for Little Folk was opened in 1948 by an animal-loving educator and philanthropist named Samuel B. Ross Jr. He pioneered the idea that emotionally challenged children could gain confidence and become socially adept by caring for animals…Yet psychologists have been slow to translate these insights into effective strategies for helping people in a therapeutic setting… ‘When you have traditional training as a psychologist, you never think about doing anything outside of the office,’ Dr. Klee [director of clinical and medical services at Green Chimneys] said.

For a fearful child, Dr. Klee has found that interacting with an animal can be a first step to relating successfully with others. Perhaps surprisingly, this kind of interaction works even with the least outdoorsy city kids. Most come from New York suburbs, and around 10 percent are from the city itself.

From left, camels Phoenix and Sage. Credit D. Rios for The New York Times

Public schools seem to be at their capacity in their ability to help children with special needs. Demand for programs like Green Chimneys has never been greater, she said, especially in New York City, when limits on reimbursing privately run schools for such services was lifted by the de Blasio administration in 2014.

With a staff-to-student ratio of 4 to 1 on the main campus and a level of individualized care that few schools can offer, Green Chimneys has become a beacon for children who are unable to function in a traditional school environment.

Every year there are about 1,000 referrals to Green Chimneys; last year, only 95 new students were admitted. It is also expensive. Tuition is $50,000 a year for day students, and considerably more for those who board. The school is partly funded by the New York State Education Department, which has licensed it to serve students from kindergarten through high school.

Once they are admitted, most students are eligible for the ‘Learn and Earn’ program, where they are assigned chores on the farm, working with the animals or tending garden plots in exchange for a small stipend.

Xander’s job is to feed the goats and clean their pens. ‘This is Snowflake, my favorite’ he said pointing to a cream-colored Saanen goat that had come to the gate to greet him. Not every child flourishes at the school. Those with severe learning disabilities and behavioral problems may struggle, and the average stay (two and a half years) is not always long enough to affect permanent changes in children.”

 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. DeLeon could not have been more surprised if he had walked up the gangplank into Noah’s ark.
  2. There were camels in pasture, a gigantic wingless emu, and shrieking peacocks on the dirt paths.
  3. Green Chimneys, a school for special-needs children.
  4. Xander has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia.
  5. He would throw tantrums and often simply walk out of class.
  6. Samuel B. Ross Jr. is a philanthropist who loves animals.
  7. Dr. Klee himself was skeptical that animals could be a part of therapy.
  8. Some students initially resisted the school.
  9. Many schools offer some kind of therapeutic program incorporating animals.
  10. Green Chimneys remains in the vanguard.

ELLteaching 2.0 vocabulary chart

 

Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.

Dr. Morris and his/him team has/have been conducting research in/at Green Chimneys as part of/on an/a ongoing study into animal therapy. The researchers has/have installed cameras in/on the classrooms that record classes on/in a daily basis. They analyze the children’s/childrens behavior before and after they have been in/on the farm.

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following sentences taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.

Animal-assisted ___ is no longer___to Green Chimneys. Several ___in New York state, like the Orchard School, run by the nonprofit ___in Yonkers, and The Charlton School for___ in Burnt Hills, near ___ offer some kind of ___program incorporating animals.

WORD LIST: therapeutic, Schenectady, girls, Andrus, schools, unique, therapy,

Post Reading Activities

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. With your  group members list at least four  ways in which the Green Chimneys school helps children with special needs.
  2. Can you think of additonal ways the school could help special needs children?
  3. Have you ever visited a school like Green Chimney?  If yes, please describe your  experience.

 

Additional Activites

If possible have groups visit schools or areas where animals are available to the public.

Students can create  pictures, or collages, to show their understanding of  how schools such as Green Chimney operate.

 

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.

ANSWER KEY

Robots Are Helping Autistic Children in Ways Humans Can Not

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 68 American children has an autism spectrum disorder. Autism varies case by case…recent research has found that autistic children are more comfortable interacting with robots than humans, in part because robots are more predictable and can be controlled. Experts also say teaching social skills to children with autism requires frequent repetition. Last time I checked, robots are great at repetition.” S. Crowe, Robotictrends

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Robots4Autism

 

Excerpt: 5 Promising Robots for Kids with Autism, By Steve Crowe, Robotictrends

“Children with autism have trouble understanding and engaging other people’s emotions, and with socially assistive robots, the child may be more readily engaged without being overwhelmed’ said Laurie Dickstein-Fischer, an assistant professor at Massachusetts’ Salem State University’s School of Education. And since toys are often more approachable than people for children with autism, we’re starting to see an influx of social robots that can be great tools to help autism therapy.”

Promising Robots for Kids with Autism:

Nao

Nao, the two-foot-tall humanoid robot from Aldebaran Robotics, can do a lot more than dance and look cute. The French company discovered Nao’s success in the classroom, resulting in the launch of ASK (Autism Solutions for Kids) Nao program.

Milo

Milo, a two-foot-tall humanoid robot, has proven to be very effective at reaching children with autism who have difficulty interacting with humans…Milo speaks 20% slower than an average human and has a limited range of facial expressions and is less likely to express emotions that get in the way of autistic children learning. Milo can repeat lessons over and over again without getting frustrated, saying things exactly the same way each time.

Leka

Leka has been co-developed with parents, therapists and caregivers to make therapy more accessible to children with autism, Down’s syndrome, or multiple disabilities. Leka’s goal is to help these children become more independent and improve their motor and social skills.

Darwin-OP2

The Darwin-OP2 is a humanoid robot created by Chung Hyuk Park, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at George Washington University. Darwin-OP2 can interact with autistic children by playing soccer, dancing, and performing other activities. For example, Darwin-OP2 can say in a monotone voice that he is excited to “be friends and play soccer” with you as he kicks a little red ball.

Buddy

Blue Frog Robotics, creator of Buddy the personal robot, is working with Auticiel to integrate apps that will help children with autism and other special needs learn to communicate, interact with others, and be more autonomous.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  social robots. Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.

G. Cluster Brainstorming-workshopexercises

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart By Ellteaching 2.0 for assistance.

  1. We’re starting to see an influx of social robots.
  2. Leka the social robot was launched on Indiegogo.
  3. We must make therapy more accessible to children with autism.
  4. Nao’s tasks are semi-autonomous.
  5. Teachers can select and personalize tasks.
  6. Robots  are less intimidating than human playmates.
  7. Children with autism and other special needs learn to interact with others.
  8. Based on a child’s abilities, users can customize the level of difficulty.
  9. Buddy displays a video on his face showing how to wash hands step-by-step.
  10. Buddy dances and congratulates the child.

Reading Comprehension: Sentence Match

Directions: Students  are to complete the sentences from the article by selecting the correct words or phrases.

  1. Children with autism ___
  2. Toys are often more ___
  3. The robot’s goal is to help these children___
  4. We rounded up robots looking to have a___
  5. A French company discovered Nao’s success___
  6. When autistic children are engaged and comfortable,___

PHRASES:

A.  improve their motor skills.   

B. much bigger impact on autism therapy.

C.  in the classroom.   

D. have trouble understanding and engaging. 

E. they’re better able to learn. 

F.  approachable than people.

 Grammar Focus: Word Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.

The Darwin-OP2 is in the early/easy stages of development/develop, but Yetta Myrick, the mother of a 12-year-old son diagnosed/ diagnoses  with autism, says the possibilities are interesting/intriguing. She says her son, who hasn’t met Darwin-OP2, would like the robot/robber because he is less confusing/confused and intimidating than human playmates.

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups and have them  discuss the following statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following  topics.

  1. The article states, Robots are helping autistic children in ways humans can’t.” With your group create a list of the things robots can do to help these children.
  2. Out of the robots mentioned in this article, which do you think is the most helpful? Why? Which do you think is the least helpful? Why?
  3. With your group create a robot that you think would be helpful to children with special needs. Draw pictures of what your think the robot should look like.

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Autism, Technology

Sensitive Clothing for Autistic Kids

“Wearing a Sensewear jacket isn’t like wearing an ordinary jacket. It doesn’t just keep you warm; it can kind of hug you, thanks to its inflatable lining. When you throw on a Sensewear scarf, it does more than wrap around your neck. It can also emit soothing aromas that bring back pleasant memories. In general, Sensewear isn’t ordinary apparel. It’s a wild-looking line of prototype clothing designed as an example of how apparel could help treat people with sensory perception disorders… common among people with autism.” M. Rhodes, Wired.com

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

The smart squeeze jacket is a type of garment created for individuals with autism.. .it provides a sort of deep pressure therapy to create a sensory calming effect. Photo- SmartSqueeze-Uncreative.com

The smart squeeze jacket is a type of garment created for individuals with autism.. .it provides a sort of deep pressure therapy to create a sensory calming effect. Photo- SmartSqueeze-Uncreative.com

Excerpt: This Odd-looking clothing is designed to help Autistic Kids. Margaret Rhodes, Wired.com

“You won’t exactly find it in Uniqlo anytime soon. It’s a wild-looking line of prototype clothing designed as an example of how apparel could help treat people with sensory perception disorders. Emanuela Corti and Ivan Parati, Dubai-based designers who make up the Caravan design collective, imagine the collection of jackets, shirts, and scarves as sort of garment-therapist prototypes for people who undergo sensory occupational therapy.Their central nervous systems struggle to receive and organize sensory stimuli correctly, leaving them either overly sensitive to stimuli, or not quite sensitive enough.

Some autistic children wander, unbeknownst to their parents or even themselves, but new GPS wearables can help ease the worries of lost kids.

Some autistic children wander, unbeknownst to their parents or even themselves, but new GPS wearables can help ease the worries of lost kids.

The Sensewear line imagines clothes as a toolkit for handling those uncomfortable sensory moments. Because they’re modular the way all clothes are, they easily adapt to different situations. Most importantly, they let patients learn to self-soothe, which empowers them and could take pressure off therapists.

Another clothing line, Independence Day Clothing was started by former CNN correspondent, Lauren Thierry, whose teenage son, Liam, has autism.

Another clothing line, Independence Day Clothing was started by former CNN correspondent, Lauren Thierry, whose teenage son, Liam, has autism.

They look outlandish and impractical, but integrated into each one is an idea for dealing with a different kind of sensory interaction. The jacket, for instance, has an inflatable lining and a hand pump, so the wearer can mechanically induce a pressurized, hugging feeling similar to an infant being swaddled. 

To keep clothing from feeling constricting, the joints all have a perforated design for plenty of flexible movement. CARAVAN DESIGN

To keep clothing from feeling constricting, the joints all have a perforated design for plenty of flexible movement. CARAVAN DESIGN

The last piece is a pullover with a stretchy hood, for people with sensitivity to noise. You can burrow inside it and create your own custom acoustic chamber. Because they are, ultimately, just clothes (and will soon likely be less bizarre-looking than Sensewear’s creations) they can do a lot of good and little harm.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.

Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions:  Ask students to examine the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Ask students to write a paragraph describing what they think this article will discuss. Students can use a Pre-reading organizer for assistance.

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Sensewear is a  wild-looking line of prototype clothing.
  2. This apparel could help treat people with sensory disorders.
  3. The central nervous system struggles to receive and organize sensory stimuli correctly.
  4. This manifests in many ways.
  5. They let patients learn to self-soothe, which empowers them.
  6. The prototype line won the prestigious Lexus Design Award.
  7. They look outlandish and impractical.
  8. The special jacket has an inflatable lining.
  9. The wearer can burrow inside it.
  10. All these clothes are meant to be incredibly versatile.
Color Vocabualry Map by Enchanted Learning

Color Vocabualry Map by Enchanted Learning

Reading Comprehension Word -Recognition

Directions: Students are to circle or underline the correct word or phrases from the article. This exercise reinforces students’ attention on words that have been introduced in the reading. Have them skim the article to check their responses. Students should also find the meanings for all unknown words.

All these clothes/clues are meant/mean to be incredibly verse/versatile. Corti and Parati—who were future/furniture and product/packet designers before working on Sensewear—worked with research/researchers at the Dubai Autism Center, who told them that sensory/senses reactions vary/vie with every person in therapy. Every kind/kid reacts in a different way to the therapist, so they have to try everything with them.

Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. It’s a wild-looking line of prototype clothing.
    2. It help to treat people with sensory perception disorders.
    3. The collection consists of jackets, shirts, and scarves.

II

  1. The Sensewear line imagines clothes as a toolkit.
    2. Most importantly, they let patients learn to self-soothe.
    3. There are two scarf: an aromatic model and another that’s meant to provide pressure.

III

  1. The last piece are a pullover.
    2. Every kid reacts in a different way.
    3. People with autism have unique hacks for handling sensory issues.

III. Post Reading Tasks

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

1. The following two statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each statement in your own words, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

“Sensory processing disorders are common among people with autism. Their central nervous systems struggle to receive and organize sensory stimuli correctly, leaving them either overly sensitive to stimuli, or not quite sensitive enough. This manifests in many ways, but here’s one example… you know that scratchy feeling you get from a tag in a new T-shirt? Imagine that agitation multiplied by 10, or 20: that’s what a dysfunctional sensory perception can feel like.”
“Koenig calls garments a universal design that really helps the group of people affected, and doesn’t hurt anyone else, akin to wheelchair curb cuts in the sidewalk, or screen-printing tags in clothing instead of sewing on cloth ones. Because they are, ultimately, just clothes (and will soon likely be less bizarre-looking than Sensewear’s creations) they can do a lot of good and little harm.”

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about clothing for Autistic children from the reading, two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Autism | Tags:

Apple’s Siri Becomes Autistic Child’s Best Friend

Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri. Gus has autism, and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” on the iPhone, is currently his BFF. Obsessed with weather formations, Gus had spent the hour parsing the difference between isolated and scattered thunderstorms — an hour in which, thank God, I didn’t have to discuss them.” J. Newman New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Artwork by Louie Chin. New York Times.

Artwork by Louie Chin. New York Times.

Excerpt: To Siri, With Love, By Judith Newman New York Times

“…That Siri. She doesn’t let my communications-impaired son get away with anything. Indeed, many of us wanted an imaginary friend, and now we have one. Only she’s not entirely imaginary…

In a world where the commonly held wisdom is that technology isolates us, it’s worth considering another side of the story.

It all began simply enough. I’d just read one of those ubiquitous Internet lists called 21 Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do…Gus had never noticed Siri before, but when he discovered there was someone who would not just find information on his various obsessions (trains, planes, buses, escalators and, of course, anything related to weather) but actually semi-discuss these subjects tirelessly, he was hooked. And I was grateful. 

Artwork by Louie Chin. New York Times.

Artwork by Louie Chin. New York Times.

Now, when my head was about to explode if I had to have another conversation about the chance of tornadoes in Kansas City, Mo., I could reply brightly: Hey! Why don’t you ask Siri?

It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. I realized this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. So it can visit its friends, he said…

Art by Louie Chin. New York Times

Art by Louie Chin. New York Times

She is also wonderful for someone who doesn’t pick up on social cues: Siri’s responses are not entirely predictable, but they are predictably kind — even when Gus is brusque. I heard him talking to Siri about music, and Siri offered some suggestions. “I don’t like that kind of music,” Gus snapped. Siri replied, “You’re certainly entitled to your opinion.” Siri’s politeness reminded Gus what he owed Siri. “Thank you for that music, though,” Gus said.

Siri replied, “You don’t need to thank me.” “Oh, yes,” Gus added emphatically, “I do.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours. 


Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video clip.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing. 

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions

Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article.  

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. The commonly held wisdom is that technology isolates us.
  2. I’d just read one of those ubiquitous Internet lists.
  3. Gus discovered that there was someone who find information on his various obsessions.
  4. Siri has the capacity to discuss Gus’s current obsession for hours.
  5.  Siri’s responses are kind — even when Gus is brusque.
  6. Gus added emphatically that he needed to thank Siri.
  7. It was about different species of turtles.
  8. I preferred the red-eared slider to the diamond-backed terrapin.
  9. Of course, most of us  use our phone as a way to access information.
  10. Siri told a joke  which just cracked him up.
Freeology Chart

Freeology Chart

Reading Comprehension

 Fill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following paragraphs taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.

“For___ of us, ___is merely a momentary diversion. But for some, it’s more. My son’s ___conversation with ___is___into more ___with actual humans. Yesterday I had the longest conversation with him that I’ve ever had. Admittedly, it was about different ___of turtles and whether I preferred the___ to the diamond-backed___. This might not have been my choice of topic, but it was back and forth, and it followed a ___trajectory. I can promise you that for most of my___son’s 13 years of existence, that has not been the case.”

Word List

red-eared slider, logical, terrapin, Siri, translating, most, beautiful, Siri, practice, facility, species

 Grammar Focus

Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. I heard him talking to Siri about music.
  2. Siri is an nonjudgmental friend.
  3. Siri sometimes doesn’t understand him.

II

  1. Most of we use our phone to access information.
  2. Siri capabilities are limited.
  3. He’ll just pretend he doesn’t hear.

III

  1. Siri can be oddly comforting.
  2. I was having an bad day.
  3. For most of us, Siri is merely a momentary diversion.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article. 

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercises

1. The following  three statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each one, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group. 

“Online critics have claimed that Siri’s voice recognition is not as accurate as the assistant in, say, the Android, but for some of us, this is a feature, not a bug. Gus speaks as if he has marbles in his mouth, but if he wants to get the right response from Siri, he must enunciate clearly.”

“Siri even encourages polite language. Gus’s twin brother, Henry (neurotypical and therefore as obnoxious as every other 13-year-old boy), egged Gus on to spew a few choice expletives at Siri. “Now, now,” she sniffed, followed by, “I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.”

“The assistant will also be able to reach children where they live. Ron Suskind, whose new book, “Life, Animated,” chronicles how his autistic son came out of his shell through engagement with Disney characters, is talking to SRI about having assistants for those with autism that can be programmed to speak in the voice of the character that reaches them — for his son, perhaps Aladdin.”  

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about Siri from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention.  Discuss the responses as a class. 

ANSWER KEY 

 

Category: Autism, Technology | Tags: