Sunday, April 18, 2010
I suspect that the actions of psychiatric meds on injured brains cannot be predicted.
If this were true, it would not be surprising. It's hard to predict how psych meds affect even intact brains. In the injured brains of autism, mental retardation, and (presumably) schizophrenia we expect to find unusual neurotransmitter distributions, injured connections with recovery bypass routes, and areas of atypically high and low activity corresponding to injury and compensation.
If this were true, it would not mean we should avoid these meds. It would mean that we should look for unexpected side-effects, and perhaps be cautious about how we interpret response and failure. It would also mean that medications might be unexpectedly effective in atypical contexts.
Anyone know of any research on this? I doubt any research exists, there's unlikely to be funding for it.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Josh de Lioncourt has written a review of iPad use for visually impaired persons. He’s pretty positive, though reading between the lines I’m guessing version iPadOS 4.1 will be much better (4.0 is due out this fall, I expect 4.1 @ Feb). It does seem like Apple turned a corner with the 3GS iPhone; previously they’d taken a big step backwards with the Classic to OS X transition.
An essential feature for visually impaired persons is VoiceOver, Apple’s robust screen reader. These same technologies are also very helpful for people who struggle to read. Voice commands help those who struggle to write, and predictive text entry helps students who have trouble typing.
The same features that make the iPad accessible to a large number of Americans who don’t use computers well also make it interesting to the special needs community. It is relatively simple to use, very easy to maintain, and much more resistant to virus infection than traditional computing devices.
The next generation iPad will almost certainly support video conferencing (that’s far more likely than adding a camera). There are many uses of that kind of technology in providing support to special needs teens and adults.
It’s a new world indeed.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Update 5/26/10: We ran into a calendaring problem. We can't give my son unlimited Google access since his Google Image searches are not necessarily family friendly. We can't, however, using OS X parental controls, block Google Image search without also blocking calendar access. So this plan is on hold for the moment.
Monday, April 05, 2010
... Some humans too would benefit from a prosthetic conscience. It might allow persons with disorders of conscience to function more effectively in the modern world. Our prisons are full of low IQ individuals with a limited capacity to model the impacts of their actions on other persons. A prosthetic conscience might allow them to avoid prison, or to have great success after prison life...