Notes from Programming for Kids with Special needs

From a former special ed teacher

  • 3 pre-registered classes come from local schools and learn computer skills because their school doesn’t allow computers for religious reaons
  • use the website which has a differentiated, progressive learning plan.  Get the grade levels from the teacher before hand.
  • the public library as extension of school.
  • special ed teachers are great participants in summer reading.

Much desire for a monthly storytime for children on the spectrum

  • this way parents and kids can connect
  • examples: Chappequa NY has Special Saturdays (Mirriam Langbudin and Kathleen Sully)
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art did one
  • iPads can be a useful tool
  • it is important to have a schedule for the storytime, show it, stick to it, and refer back to it.
  • other tips: enclosed room, every child needs caregiver, have manipulatives (ie stress balls, seating discs, weighted sensory toys)
  • use the term “Spectrum Friendly Storytime”
  • a good book – “We’re Going on a Lionhunt”
  • All the concerns about what a kid with autism would do in storytime – we already deal with (disruption, overbearing parents, etc)


  • discussed this article: Could a Child With a Disability Use Your MakerSpace?
  • problems with accessibility in aisles
  • kids on the spectrum to really well with the 3D printer – are creating their own designs
  • market the MakerSpace to all – encourage especially parents and kids on spectrum to come
  • could print out tactile picture books for storytimes



– notes by Lisa Nowlain