Tag Archives: Apps

Autism Apps: New Tablet-Sized Teachers

Thirteen-year old Alec Marvin sits with an iPad in a classroom, his teacher Sandra Doherty is sitting beside him. She holds up a laminated picture of a $50 bill and asks Alec to identify it. Alec looks at his iPad, touches a slab titled “money identification” and then presses “$50”. “Fifty,” the gadget blurbs out.

Alec is among a growing number of children in the US with autism spectrum disorder. These children are increasingly using what’s known as autism education apps on electronic devices like the iPad and smartphone. And among all the autism apps being used, “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” are the two most used.

Just a few years back, Alec would have used a bulky assistive communication device, costing between $7,000 to $9,500. That is, if these devices used any form of communication at all. Autistic kids and special needs children, for long, have used the so-called assistive technology devices. These included audio books for the visually challenged, to special transmitters for those hearing impaired. The autism education apps are more targeted towards blended learning. The “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” apps combine the blessings of technology with the more traditional methods of instruction. It’s less jarring to the autistic kids than their conventional education peers.

There are many different autism apps that can help a child. These apps, more interestingly, are all customizable. This means that these apps can be tailor-made to suit each individual child. All over the world, autism education apps are helping the children because it’s usually much easier to read.

Some experts have cautioned against indiscriminate use of autism apps. This is because research on the effectiveness of educational technology for autistic children is still scant.

But educators, therapists, counselors and teachers using the autism apps, vouch that special needs children respond particularly well to the education apps because the programs respond in predictable and consistent ways. Unlike the earlier technologies, smart phones and tablets are much more portable and indistinguishable from the devices used by neuro-typical students.

Developer teams are continuously trying to come up with new apps that can better help children with autism. Apps like “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” have really shown the way. Researchers are now trying to introduce intelligent robots that’ll further help autistic kids in their education. Hopes are already running high, banking on the success of “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” apps.

Apps Are Playing a Major Role in Autism Education

Children who have developmental disorders, like autism, usually find it troublesome to recognize emotions and social cues. Autism apps like “Make Sentences” and “All Sorts!” can be of a major help to such children. These apps are programmed with voice and interactive response software and help autistic children to construct sentences and differentiate one object from another. Experts and researchers believe that these apps could be of immense help to autistic kids because they help focus on a single aspect of communication at a time, and then react according to the situation. The “Make Sentences” and “All Sorts!” autism education apps never overwhelm the child with multiple forms of communication. Introducing autism education apps at the right age will help the child become independent at the right time.

Both the “Make Sentences” and “All Sorts!” autism apps can be personalized. The can be changed according to the individual needs of the child. The educational apps help autistic children follow directions and bolster communication by instilling confidence.

The inclusion of technology in special education methods is already underway. Progress, however, is being carried out in steps and not in leaps. There’s still a lot of advancement need to be made. Technology in autism education, like the apps, can help students build confidence and attain academic and extra-curricular success. For students with special needs, it’s critical to usher in an emotional and social learning function into the mix. For instance, while using a technological learning device connected to an app, a teacher will be in a much better position to customize the learning plan which includes social, intellectual, and emotional learning. A child may face trouble to complete the daily tasks all by himself/herself. The autism apps will provide options for the answer to a question. The child can then match the nearest option and finish the task.

The “Make Sentences” and “All Sorts!” autism apps rely on teaching a child through games. The learning sessions are completely interactive. They are loaded with colorful icons and voice commands. A voice warns when a child selects a wrong option. Similarly, when a right option is chosen, the child is awarded with badges that help him/her go to the next level. The main aim of these apps is to make education fun. These simple gaming activities help autistic children further their education.

Both the “Make Sentences” and “All Sorts!” autism apps are frequently updated so that the special needs children can tackle fresh challenges.