I have an 8 year old autistic daughter (Zoe) who gets a great deal of pleasure and frustration from her XP machine.
My daughter's main use of her machine is to play her varied collection of music through windows media player.
Like all autistic children, Zoe has a strong preference for routine and predictability. Zoe likes to start a song playing, click on 'Now Playing' and see the album cover shown in the now playing view. Now, as Zoe thinks it is amusing to change the names of her tracks and the author information, this mucks up the now playing view and she then gets very frustrated.
To truly appreciate the problem here, one needs to have at least a partial understanding of autism and the problems that go with this life long mental health condition. Zoe has a website which is www.aboutautism.org.uk
which goes some way to explaining the problems we have.
What I need help with, is somehow looking at the following points:
* Suppress the endless MS error messages and warnings that windows generates. These have no meaning to Zoe and are a real pain. This is primarily with respect to any policy that may be implemented, for example, messages stating that Zoe does not have permission to change a track name would mean nothing to her and annoy her as well.
* In addition, windows likes to tell us that we are not using the latest version of media player - well we have version 9, Zoe has gotten her head around version 9 and we are not going to upgrade to the later more complicated versions, so stopping media player prompting for an upgrade would be great.
* Limiting functionality in media player - to prevent track renaming.
* Preventing tracks from being moved from one folder to another, without popup error messages when she tries to do this.
* Locking down the volume control - she always manages to get this really loud despite my preventing the volume icon from appearing and limiting volume in control panel.
Zoe is not very communicative and is most definitely not able to comprehend what is wrong with her machine or the fact that she has caused her problems herself, by fiddling in media player.
As I type this I am also wondering if there are other mp3 playing utilities which may be less advanced and thus easier to use. Another approach may be to either have a heavily locked down system or even a Linux build.
The objective here is to end up with a pc which Zoe can use to play her music on, which will perform the same function in the same way from one day to another. Zoe does not need internet access but she does rely on media player grabbing artist / track information when a CD is inserted.
This is a significant undertaking and I may be asking too much of this forum but if anyone has any insight into this problem their input would be very beneficial. If a local policy could be developed which could be used by other parents it would benefit many handicapped children indeed.
A final thought, Zoe does not need access to 90% of the system's functionality, which may actually make it easier to lock down. If we cannot resolve these problems we have been advised to remove the computer from her playroom as it causes more frustration than pleasure.
So, if anyone fancies a real challenge - please jump in, this will not be a 5 minute job but it will be interesting and make a real difference to a very frustrated little girl.
In terms of implementing a policy, I have a good understanding of XP, the MMC and permissions. I have weak knowldege on local security policies and group policies.