Technology has been making huge differences in the lives of those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in recent years. ASD is deeply embedded in the world of tech, as app designers and program specialists are all working to create tools that will aid in the development of those on the spectrum.
Technology has been used for many years to assist those with ASD, but it was not until recently that relatively inexpensive and accessible tools could be used to assist these individuals. One of the biggest devices that has helped the Autistic population is the iPad. One parent of a young Autistic teen stated that an iPad removed the stigma of “carrying around an electronic device that screamed ‘I am different from everyone else’. The iPad made it kind of cool”, he continued, “He’s just another kid with an iPad.”
Many apps have been developed for the iPad which cater to children and teenagers on the Autism spectrum. Communication, one of the biggest issues for most individuals with ASD, is something that can be addressed through these apps. For example, the Social Express Home app helps children understand how to respond to others, and get a grasp on social norms. Another app, Calm Counter, teaches them methods on how to relax when they get frustrated or angry.
Aside from communication, there are apps that also aid in the development of important functional skills, such as time-management, and organization. Choiceworks is an app that helps kids understand how to follow visually-oriented schedules, as well as follow to-do lists, and manage a calendar.
The other tool that has really helped those with ASD in recent years is the internet itself. There are countless web resources dedicated to developing skills in those with ASD, as well as groups created for socialization. Social networks, such as MyAutismTeam, as well as activist sites, such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, enable parents of Autistic children, as well as those with ASD themselves, to communicate with one another and express their thoughts, ideas, struggles, and accomplishments.
The ICare4Autism International Conference will be discussing the latest technology developments for individuals with ASD on July 2nd in NYC. Well-respected speakers will be discussing the significant relevance of learning apps and various technologies to aid in the development of multiple skills for children with Autism, including Michele McKeone, Founder and CEO of Autism Expressed. Ms. McKeone will be presenting a workshop that demonstrates the uses and benefits of the program. To attend this conference, please select tickets here.
As Autism Awareness Month continues, ICare4Autism will be sharing more information about the latest advances in Autism treatment, research findings, and medical news. We will also be highlighting several self-advocates and stories of hope. We hope that you will share these stories, and use the month of April to spread awareness about Autism! Please make a difference and donate today!