The progress in technology in general and computers in particular, has opened up a wide variety of options for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for people with disabilities. The extent of this technology's efficiency depends on the therapist's ability to employ appropriate technologies for the patient's ever-changing needs (Lebel 1998). In this unique work environment, the child becomes the center of interactive activity. The therapists use advanced therapeutic devices that are compatible for a wide range of age groups and physical or cognitive levels. The screen type and size, type of software and level of appeal are adapted to the toddlers' needs.
The computer-based therapeutic session starts at the age of six months and is held once a week for half an hour. It takes place in the computer room in the presence of a trained therapist who, along with the occupational therapist and speech therapist, work through a program designed to advance skills in various areas:
• Language-cognitive area: Understanding and executing instructions; cause and effect processes; learning terms, attention and concentration
• Senso-motor area: Hand-eye coordination, finger spreading, adjustment of force, strengthening of limbs etc.
• Improvement of eye concentration and focus
• Development of independent work skills
• Improvement of delicate motor actions
• Work on various learning skills, such as reading and audio-based phonologic writing
• Raising the child's self-image by repetitive successful experiences and personal treatment
How does it work?
"Where is my nose?" the computer program asks. If the baby accidentally touches the ear on the screen, the screen answers, "Oh, no! This is not my nose. This is my ear. Please try again." The baby tries again and succeeds upon touching the nose. The screen congratulates the baby saying, "You are a smart boy. Thank you for touching my nose. Now touch my ear."
Through the use of special software and state of the art touch screens, SHALVA professionals activate a wide range of stimulations that assist in the improvement of communication skills, develop delicate motor procedures and cognitive processes - all at the touch of a finger.