Assistive Technology After Childhood Cancer
While the survival rate for childhood cancer is 82%, approximately 60% of these young survivors will experience long-term effects because of their cancer or treatment. The late effects that affect the brain and learning and cognition can range from mild to severe and can include cognitive impairment resulting in learning difficulties that can affect a young person’s success at school or in the workplace. Assistive technology is any technology that allows someone to use their natural strengths to overcome an area of weakness. Todd Cunningham explains that new technology exists to help with cognition, like reading and identifying important parts of the text. With artificial intelligence, the software can analyze a document and highlight the most important bits of information for the reader, cuing them to pay attention to that passage. Assistive technology reduces the cognition load, allowing you to pay attention to what’s really important and relevant.
Todd Cunningham, PhD, C.Psych is a psychologist with Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON. He spoke at POGO’s 2013 Survivor Conference: Life after Childhood Cancer where he presented these and other ideas.
Straight Talk about Childhood Cancer is POGO’s series of video shorts featuring the insights of experts whose leading-edge work impacts the care, treatment and quality of life of childhood cancer patients, survivors and their families.