Children with an autism-range disorder can have a range of special needs, such as interpersonal or communication issues and restrictive or repeated manners. While technology has held promise as a therapeutic tool always, the customization and personalization of the latest apps are helping children with autism learn to communicate, grasp, and socialize routines in new ways.
Dan Smith, Ph.D., vice president of innovative technologies for Autism Speaks, a leading autism research and advocacy organization. Smith. He said that applications can present visual and auditory material consistently and can be personalized to fit a person’s needs. Of course, that’s not to state all apps are advantageous and many don’t possess sufficient evidence supports their effectiveness.
The Autism Speaks site consists of a data source of hundreds of applications so users can see what research, if any, is behind each app. Experts also explain that it is important to monitor a child’s use of an app. Mark Mautone, a special education teacher, the 2015 New Jersey State “Teacher of the Year,” and chief executive of Integrated Technology for People with Developmental and Autism Disabilities.
Here are a few of the top autism applications that are helping kids on the spectrum today. When it comes to teaching children with autism public skills, a report in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that digital conditions can help. The application Social Skill Builder uses real-life scenarios and interactive videos to help kids learn how to judge a social situation and determine what they need to say or do in each one.
The video shows a situation, pauses to fast the kid to click on an appropriate response, and then resumes the video showing the right one. The application includes nineteen modules ranging from proper greetings and saying “please” and “thank you” to learning not to interrupt or how to properly apologize.
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Mautone also talked about Book Creator, which customizes social tales for specific configurations or situations. Children can create a book customized with photos, videos, music text, and voice recordings. Using the intuitive user interface, children may use the pen tool to pull and annotate the reserve and can tap the display screen to eventually read and reveal their work. And nothing at all beats real-time peer connections on Skype and FaceTime, said Mautone. Many programs have been shown to boost communication, both verbal and nonverbal, in children with autism. Smith said some apps may also help children who aren’t verbal generate basic components of speech for the very first time.
Alpha Writer, based on the Montessori-based movable alphabet, helps children figure out how to read and write using phonics, phonograms, and a particular storyboard. One study in Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice discovered that children with autism spent more time on reading material when they utilized it through some type of computer than directly from a book.
14,000 pictures and icons to help people understand how to create phrases. The app allows users to select from 23 different grid sizes ranging from nine to 144 buttons on the screen, and allows an individual to customize the vocabulary words included. This means the application is appropriate for both social people learning to communicate and those who are more advanced. Since communication applications can vary widely, Mautone recommended that children are evaluated by an AAC specialist to determine which communication system best fits their needs. Children with autism frequently have delays with fine engine skills, small muscle movements like those made out of their fingers.
He directed to Balloon Maker, a straightforward app that allows children to hold their finger on the screen to “fill up” a balloon and then touch it to “pop” it. They can also tilt their device to watch the balloons float to one aspect or the other. Dexteria helps with fine electric motor skills by prompting an individual to be sure movements, such as needing to “pinch” an object on a display screen, which helps strengthen the pincer grasp necessary for skills which range from writing to self-feeding.
Structure and schedules can be particular very important to a kid with autism. One research in the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities discovered that video-based tutorials can help people with autism learn to independently complete certain skills, such as using a washing machine or cooking. First/Then Visual Schedules allows parents to make a schedule that helps a child visualize their day with timers and check boxes that the child can tick off as they complete each event.