binary boy

He is a ‘base 2’ boy.

He has a number of “viable two switch locations” ie two feet, two hands, two elbows, two cheeks.  So far, his feet are proving to be the most successful and also the most discreet.

It is official… Mac is a binary boy all the way.

We are currently using Mac’s feet to access choices and information.

So this year our focus will be on improving Mac’s ability with Auditory Scanning.

We are trialling his Macaw with two switches. One for step scanning through the choices (left foot) and then he has an option of either waiting for the time lag for the selection to be made or he can use his ‘yes’ foot to select that answer. We will see which one he prefers over the coming weeks.

Our second priority is to teach Mac his alphabet via Morse code using two switches. I have designed an Excel form to allow him to do this in the classroom with auditory feedback and training informtion. I will provide a copy in my next post.

Finally, our fall back will be to use the Yes/No switching option as a convenient, quick way to get answers.

These three options to my mind are complementary to one another and should provide him great opportunities to alongside the other students with congruency to what they are doing.

Numeracy is still my stumbling block.  I will see what ideas Vision Australia come back with when we see them next month.  I have been reading up on ‘finger binary‘ which allows you to count to 31 using the fingers on one hand.  This might be a concept we could explore using tactile feedback on fingertips perhaps, it is just a thought – I haven’t heard of anyone doing it so…  I will let you know.

I think this year should be an interesting and exciting year for Mac – his world opened up significantly since our visit to Rosie last year – this year is where we can start putting all these ideas into practice.


Filed under first grade here I come, Technology - things that help

4 responses to “binary boy

  1. I know a lot of Koreans also count with their fingers through the method of Chisanbop, which is in the encyclopaedia.

    Also, when we were studying bases and number systems, we saw various ways people counted with parts of their fingers.

    So binary is 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 …

    It would be good to have the months of the year that way, and scoring in sport.

  2. Finger binary is cool – I use it for counting on fingers regularly.

    For numbers up to 99 there’s also fingermath which … where did I learn it?

    Basically, fingers on left hand = 1 each
    thumb on left hand = 5

    fingers on right hand = 10 each
    thumb on right hand = 50

    I do it with my hands out flat, fingers spread, and to indicate a finger is “active” you touch it on the surface under your hands. Easier for me, physically, than folding fingers up and down like the Finger Binary usually does.

    This is more in counting with the “base 10” stuff that little kids generally learn so they can understand positioning when numbers are written down (eg 01 being different to 10). It’s like the method they describe here except I reverse my hands compared to their method – that’s just the way I learned it.

    I’ve also heard of a more fancy method but I’m not sure what’s involved in that – it sounds interesting, wish you didn’t have to pay money to find out about it!

    Mac, you totally rock!!!!

  3. PS
    Gina, you totally rock too of course 🙂

  4. Gina

    Shucks, thanks Ricky.

    If it wasn’t for the amazingly altruistic nature of the WWW I don’t know where we’d be.

    When you have a child with a significant disability you can now throw the old adage “it takes a village…” out the window. We prefer to go with “it takes the entire world (via www) to raise a child – all you have to do is ask”.

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