Social Interaction with Age Appropriate Items

  • Situation

    I work with students who are teenagers in a public school. Some of them have severe disabilities. These students enjoy games designed for younger children such as a See and Say. I’m trying to get my students paired with teens in regular education – if these toys make them happy can’t I use them for social interaction? What other age appropriate items could I use?

  • Summary

    Determine the likes and motivators of the students. Identify the specific features of the materials/toys that are motivating and locate age appropriate items that provide the same level or type of input.

  • Definition

    Social Interaction with Age Appropriate Items means reassessing the current motivators that may be developmentally inappropriate for a student and replacing the item or activity with an age appropriate item. The replacement item or activity will continue to provide the reinforcing input or aspect for the student and promote peer interactions.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 11-13, 14-17
    • Planning Effort: Moderate
    • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Pre-requisites

    variety of age appropriate materials/activities

  • Process

    1. Determine the motivators with your students by observation, choice assessments, parental input.

    2. If the items are developmentally much younger than the student’s chronological age, determine another item that may provide the same input and features – for example: If a student likes a Mickey Mouse Vreader, instead explore items such as GLOBE Vtech items – the neuro-typical student can be stating the capitals and the buttons, sounds, and lights provide input to your student.

    3. Brainstorm with a team, using the student’s motivators AND chronological age to determine items that will provide the same features and input as a currently ‘younger’ item.

    4. Consider the use of current electronics such as a WII or tablets such as the ipad with a variety of apps.

  • Documents and Related Resources



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