The Tech Support Cat Toy

The cat toys are a win. An unconditional win. They stand like a symbol of victory in the challenges of teaching computer science to kids with austism/Asperger’s.

There is a fancy tech camp where they have “tech support flags” – so if you have a question, you tilt your flag, in presume, on some hinge. I see why they have this system – what do you do when you have a question? Yell for a teacher? Keep yelling? Keep your eyes peeled for them to be done with another student?

We have no such flag, but we needed a visual indicator that the student is stuck.So I walked into the dollar store needing 7 sticks that would not inspire warfare, and 7 big heavy ($1) cups to hold them upright.

The fascinating part was the mere fact that I walked in with a system for how to get our attention … that’s all our kids ask for …. a system. Not reprimanding them, not creating rules that are against their very nature, but a system for asking for help without making a ton of noise.

I don’t know why they love the cat toys so much, but they ask for them. And they don’t panic, I run over, put their cat toy in a cup and tell them I’ll be right back.

It works.

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