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Dec 31, 2014

Choice Board for Computer Time

It's Winter Break here.  That is my least favorite time of year.  Don't get me wrong, I adore my kids, but I adore them even more when they are at school for part of the day.  ;)  
Let's just say, I have ADD, and my brain is not a structured brain, so it is hard for me to maintain the structure my kids thrive on when they have school.  Therefore; my day consists of one chaotic dilemma after another during winter break.
My daughter has become extremely possessive of the iPad, which is actually fine because it keeps her from one of her other favorite activities is to flood the bathroom. So, when Garrett is in need of a digital diversion, he has to rely on the good old fashioned computer.  ;)   
Yesterday, I realized that Garrett might not know that he can use his favorite programs from the iPad on the computer.  So, I turned to the tried and true Choice Board.  
I decided to keep it simple and just put three choices on it:  Zac Browser, YouTube and iTunes.  If you are an autism parent and haven't heard of Zac Browser, it is absolutely wonderful.  ZAC is an anagram for "Zone for Autistic Children."  Here's a post from when Garrett first discovered it that explains a little more:
YouTube is a favorite of all of my kids, but it took a while for me to figure out how to make it work best.  First, I had to learn how to turn on the safety mode for youtube.  No need for the kids to learn swear words, see things they shouldn't, etc.  Then I started making individual playlists with clips for my kids that i knew they would like.  They think it's so fun, especially since they can click on whichever video they want, and it keeps their attention better than an entire movie does.  Also, there are suggestions on the side of the clip you watch with similar clips.  So they can discover their own clips they like too.
I have the iTunes logo on the choice board because,before Amazon and other sites had the digital movies for sale, iTunes did.  So when my kids open iTunes, they have access to their entire library of digital movies. And, since they only like certain parts, they can use the mouse to move the cursor to the parts in the movies they want to watch.  :)  
It was so nice this morning to show Garrett the Computer Choice Board, and hear him say, "I want iTunes please!"