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Published byBryan Cunningham Modified over 8 years ago
Assistive Technology and the Autistic Child Presented by Jill Whalen Fall, 2002
What is Autism? Rare mental disorder Occurs only 4 in 10,000 born Autistic males usually outnumber females (4:1 ratio). Occurs in all ethnic and social groups.
Autistic Characteristics Social interaction seems detached Inability to become emotionally involved Unresponsive to eye contact or cuddling from infancy Prefer to play by themselves
Autistic Characteristics Sometimes develop repetitive behaviors (rocking, head banging) Don’t exhibit creativity or do little with it Don’t express gratitude and openness sometimes
Autistic Characteristics No known cure Usage and patterns of speech are usually abnormal Able to attain the power of speech, younger children barely use it much Lack of language development
What is Assistive Technology? An assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.
Assistive Technology in the Classroom There are many ways to use assistive technology in the classroom to help autistic students. Here are a few examples of what’s available.
Wearable Computers Teachers can develop simple lessons that integrate speech with objects like rocks and trees. Click on image, then the move arrow. A voice says what it is and shows actions with that object. Teachers can cut and paste pictures to create lessons using numbers, size, and colors.
Life Skills CD Roms available to assist autistic students with life skills such as grooming, working with others, and making good choices.
Cue Cards Very effective tools— highly visual PEAT—Planning and Execution Assistant and Training System Assistance with memory & attention disorders
Communication Devices Voice Output Communication Devices help autistic students become effective communicators and enhance their communication
Sign Language Since communication is usually a challenge for autistic students, sign language can be another means of communication.
Onscreen keyboard Onscreen/my-T soft at uses concept called “heads up display”. The principal objective is to keep users focus and concentration centered in one place.
Communication Board System which allows expressive communication by pointing or gazing at a letter, word, symbol, or picture on a board. Board can be made from paper, plastic, wood, etc.
Screen reader software Software which permits a speech synthesizer to read text displayed on the monitor Printed documents can be read aloud
AND FINALLY… Technology alone is not the answer. Teachers must incorporate technology into their curriculum activities using effective behavioral teaching principles. You must effectively use fundamental teaching procedures such as clear instructions, prompts and effective consequences for educating students with autism.
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