School Zone Software Helps Motor Impaired Students

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — For years, Jessica von Behren’s 6-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, watched with envy as her older brother passed countless hours playing computer games in the family’s home.

Elizabeth’s fine motor skills are delayed. Clicking, scrolling and dragging a mouse through traditional computer games is too difficult for the eager student.

Fortunately, Elizabeth’s dream of playing computer games has become a reality, thanks to School Zone Publishing.

School Zone specifically programs its software with “sticky mouse” action, an alternative to “drag and drop,” so the mouse isn’t the challenge for children—the focus is on educational development.

For Elizabeth, whose disability makes it difficult to tie shoes, School Zone’s software is a breeze.

“This is the only software she has been able to use on her own,” Jessica said. “It gives her a huge sense of independence. She’s so happy that she can sit on her computer and play games.”

After two years working with a tutor, Elizabeth barely knew basic preschool concepts. But after just a couple months using School Zone’s software, Elizabeth knows primary colors, the letters in her name, shapes and more.

“When your child has delays or other difficulty, you feel so bad,” Jessica said. “School Zone software opens up a whole new world of challenges and opportunities for my daughter.

“Her face just shines.”

Elizabeth’s favorite School Zone software titles are the Preschool 2-Pack On-Track Software and the Preschool Flash Action Software Workbook Combo. School Zone has dozens of software titles that are grade specific or focus on specific skills like the alphabet, spelling, or math.

Jessica said her daughter looks forward every day to jumping on the computer and “playing” School Zone software.

“She thinks she’s playing games, just like her older brother,” Jessica said. “That’s what she calls it. She calls it a ‘game.’ But for me, I love that she’s learning.”

Jonathan Hoffman, president of School Zone Publishing, said “sticky mouse” action allows children to click on an object and click again to drop it. Children don’t have to hold the mouse click while they drag, which allows children to focus on learning without being overwhelmed by the mouse.

School Zone is a leading maker of educational workbooks, software, flash cards, readers and iPhone/iPad apps, preschool through sixth grade. School Zone products are designed to help children of all skill levels.

“I am so thankful to School Zone,” Jessica said. “I want to get the word out so other parents with special needs children can utilize the great features you put into these programs.”

Elizabeth is expected to pass a curriculum-based test on shapes and colors in the coming weeks, the same test she was unable to pass before using School Zone software.

“We will continue to use School Zone software in our homeschool curriculum,” Jessica said. “I like that the software reinforces and rewards her when she gets something right.”

Check out Elizabeth's favorite School Zone titles: