Clicker Success Stories

Bernard Ashton

Parent of Benjamin (13).

Benjamin has Downs Syndrome, he is a visual learner and has a lot to say verbally but his ability to compose grammatical sentences and physically write words has been holding him back in developing his potential in both literacy and the spoken word.

Clicker has enabled us to provide Benjamin with a tool that is allowing him to start to easily produce meaningful sentences. He can now print out his sentences and use them in other work. We expect Clicker’s word level support to make all the difference to Benjamin’s literacy levels as he will be able to concentrate on constructing sentences with words instead of spending a lot of valuable patience forming the words himself using pen and paper.

We expect Clicker’s word level support to make all the difference to Benjamin’s literacy levels.

Although his condition generally affects his learning ability, some specific abilities are more affected than others. For example, his alternating divergent squint was an early problem that prevented him from reading fluently. We found that retyping the ‘Pops’ books in a larger font and on a light blue background alongside working with the optometrist to adjust his glasses prescription produced a significant and noticeable improvement in his reading ability. Repeating this process using Clicker would have been much easier and quicker.

The key to getting Benjamin going on Clicker was using a mouse pad. Benjamin has to work very hard with an ordinary mouse as the cursor moves while he is trying to left or right click. With a mouse pad the cursor stays in the same position while he moves his hand to left or right click an object on the screen and this means that he has been able to develop good proficiency now in using a computer.

We find that the supplied examples demonstrating the different ways that Clicker 5 can be used are really useful.

Creating Clicker resources ourselves was initially difficult to get to grips with as there are things that you need to know about it before you start. We overcame this difficulty in two ways: my wife attended some local inexpensive Clicker training courses and I found my way into it through the online video tutorials on the website. We find that the supplied examples demonstrating the different ways that Clicker 5 can be used are really useful in providing ideas to support Benjamin’s requirements for vocabulary and sentence building. We have made a lot of use of these resources to become familiar with what Clicker can do and to see which ones benefit Benjamin. By using our own pictures we can produce grids that are relevant to his life and experience that engage and keep his attention. 

By using our own pictures we can produce grids that are relevant to his life and experience that engage and keep his attention.

With Clicker we are starting to use forced order grids to help Benjamin develop his understanding of sentence structure and meaning by allowing Clicker to steer his sentence composition. We are currently using Clicker books and sentence building to enable Benjamin to complete his ASDAN project work at the horse riding school he attends on Saturdays. We also plan to use Clicker books to help Benjamin create his own picture diary for weekend news which he can take to school on Mondays to share the news that he has produced instead of producing it for him.

We are hoping that Benjamin’s school will start using their Clicker licences so that we can exchange work with school and he can continue his learning experience at home.

We also hope that as his abilities improve we will be able to use other resources from Crick Software to improve Benjamin’s literacy, fluency, speech, vocabulary and general preparation for living as much of an independent life as he is able.