1 in every 68 children born in the United States of America will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is according to data from the Center of Disease Control (CDC). Studies have gone ahead to show that about 20-30 per cent of those children will not be able to communicate their needs, thoughts, and wants verbally.

According to the CDC data, that means that more than 20,000 children born every year will be diagnosed with autism and will remain functionally non-verbal. Still, these individuals need to be able to communicate their needs, desires, thoughts for them to be understood since being unable to communicate can be frustrating and lead to negative behavioural issues. Much is being done to raise awareness and here at serene Media, we are offering an Autism Awareness Course specifically for those who work or interact with ASD.

 

As the technology for autism in the classroom continues to advance, it’s important that parents keep up with it so as to find the best technology that can influence their children towards a path that is fruitful both in their education and life.

 

There is a lot of research that is being done in regards to how best technology can be used to help people born with autism to express themselves and their needs. In addition, there is a lot of effort that has been made over the past few years in a bid to embrace the innate challenges and discoveries that are being made regarding the various degrees of autism.

While there is no denying that advanced educator training, targeted diets, specialized mentor programs, and different periodical resources are available to give support, it’s technology in the classroom that has helped propel autism in ways that had never been. And this isn’t surprising given that in this day and age, everything seems to revolve around technology. As such, there is a lot more that is expected to come in the future that will help propel autism education to an entirely new level.

 

Assistive Technology

Autism covers a large spectrum of challenges. This means that each child will show their communication issues differently. While some children can learn to read at a very young age, the same kids may struggle to contextualize what they have already read. At the same time, some children may struggle with non-verbal communication, while others can be able to start and take part in conversations.tools for autism

Regardless of the challenges, a child with autism may experience, assistive technology can and is being used to not only support but to improve communication for people living with autism despite their speech ability. One such type of assistive technology that can aid people with autism by expanding communication, promoting independence, and increasing their social interactions regardless of their age is augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Today, any parent that has an autistic child needs to know that they have rights that they can rely on should they feel that their child isn’t getting the right tools in their school. There are lots of laws that have been established and put into place to enable for a smooth transition for every child with special needs regarding a proper learning process. Inquiries about such legislation can be made at your local, state, or federal resource.

When it comes to classroom requirements, the Assistive Technology Act (ATA), for instance, is meant to ensure that every person living with disabilities has access to assistive technology devices as well as services.

 

Assistive Tools

Most people associate assistive technology with electronics. However, certain basic requirements are important and that parents need to take note of. While assistive tools can make a big difference to your child even if it’s considered minimal, it’s important that your child has access to an assistance tool that can help with their own individual challenge. These can include:

  • Activities of daily living (ADL) – access to adapted eating utensils, drinking devices, specialized toilet seats as well as adaptive dressing devices
  • Mobility – grab rails, wheelchairs, and walkers
  • Physical play – adaptive beeping balls, sporting equipment, toys, and games
  • Seating – ensure they have access to surface chairs that are non-slip, head support, bean bag chairs and blocks for feet

Besides the basic assistive tools mentioned above, there are other advanced tools that are specific, unique, and essential and accommodate most autistic symptoms. These include visual aids, auditor aids, and reinforced communication tools. While not all autistic children may be visually impaired, having visual aids can help them focus more efficiently.

While some schools may have these technological tools, some may not, and you can, therefore, consider getting them for your child or refer to what your state’s ATA says. As mentioned, assistive tools are meant to help autistic people to increase their social interactions, expand their communication, and promote their independence regardless of their age. As such, it’s important to ensure that the learning environment of your child includes the above basic assistive tools and technological ones so that they can advance as needed.

 

Video Games and Autism

There are studies that have shown that video games can help kids with autism in classrooms. Some parents whose kids autism video gameshave been diagnosed with autism have also observed how video games don’t only create engagement but are a source of learning and contentment for their autistic children. Motions sensors that are being used on games such as Xbox Kinect have become a huge deal in the autism world of education and therapy.

According to researchers, creating video game personas has helped autistic kids to interact easily with an onscreen avatar that is able to imitate their motions. This is because most kids with autism find it hard to recognize emotions and struggle with social awkwardness as well as ways of responding to verbal cues and emotions in a more appropriate manner.

As such, there are motion sensor activities that were specifically designed for autistic kids by software engineers at the University of Michigan. ‘Tickle Monster’ is one such activity that helps kids tickle imaginary creatures on the screen while learning appropriate facial expressions and touch. However, there have also been reports of autistic kids spending a lot of time on video games and not engaging in other activities.

Besides, the transition between playing video games and other activities can be received with a lot of opposition and arguments. Still, it doesn’t mean that the whole technology is taken out. Instead, parents can find better ways of managing their autistic kids as it’s not the best way to create calmness or manage difficult behaviour.

As the technology for autism in the classroom continues to advance, it’s important that parents keep up with it so as to find the best technology that can influence their children towards a path that is fruitful both in their education and life.