As you all know by now, Pokemon Go has become this summer’s sensation. Not only is the game making headlines as being beneficial play for those with autism, but the game’s creator has autism himself. Fifty year old Satoshi Tajiri (from Japan) almost didn’t’ graduate from high school because of his obsession with bugs and video games…an obsession that later turned into…
Answer: iPads, iPhones and other tech devices are gaining popularity for assisting people on the autism spectrum. There are lots of positives going for technology: people on the spectrum often enjoy using technology, there is some autonomy, it takes the pencil out of the process to demonstrate learning, there are 1000’s of apps to teach a myriad of skills, and their use can be both motivating and rewarding. Nonverbal individuals have another way to express themselves. These tech devices are also becoming more affordable all the time. But is there a down side?
Many individuals with autism enjoy using tech devices such as tablets and the iPhone, but a new study shows that their use at night can cause sleep disturbances due to reduced levels of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that typically increases in the evening and helps induce sleepiness.
Whether you are a parent of a child with autism or a person who wants to find something appropriate to give as a Christmas gift to someone on the spectrum, finding the right toy can be challenging. Toys and apps can be provide educational opportunities as well as enjoyment. Educational Technology Consultant Penina Rybak says, ‘I usually recommend that parents…
Verbal communication can be an area of difficulty for people with autism. Using a camera can be an alternate way of communicating and most children love to use them. Looking at what they take pictures of, angles, colours, and details can give you a peek into how the person with autism sees the world.
iPads are becoming increasingly popular with the special needs population. We are discovering that using this accessible technology opens the door for increased communication, learning and independence. There is a new project called the Mission Project which has launched an iPad Initiative. It is an innovative program designed to teach adults with developmental and cognitive disabilities how to use an iPad to: increase independence in their daily lives, connect socially within & outside of their community, find new & appropriate activities of leisure, further their education with new & meaningful information, and improve management of their health.
iPads, iPhones and other tech devices are gaining popularity for assisting people on the autism spectrum. There are lots of positives going for technology: people on the spectrum often enjoy using technology, there is some autonomy, it takes the pencil out of the process to demonstrate learning, there are 1000’s of apps to teach a myriad of skills, and their use can be both motivating and rewarding. Nonverbal individuals have another way to express themselves. These tech devices are also becoming more affordable all the time. But is there a down side?
Daniel Donahoo wrote an interesting blog about the iPad and autism for Wired magazine last March that brought up some important points. He stated in his blog, “the potential of the iPad is not achieved by the iPad alone, nor by simply placing it in the hands of a child with autism. The potential of the device is realized by the way professionals like speech pathologists, educators, occupational therapists and early childhood development professionals apply their skills and knowledge to use the iPad to effectively support the development of children. The potential is realized by engaged parents working with those professionals to explore how the device best meets the individual needs of their child.”
In today’s world, technology is all around us. We use computers, iPhones, iPads, video camcorders, digital cameras and DVD players. Using technology with the autism spectrum disorder population can be beneficial. These items offer a visual way to organize information and offer quick accessibility. Programs are predictable; the repetitive way in which we use tech devices creates comfort and independence as familiarity grows. The user can work at a suitable pace. Many programs reinforce or encourage with positive comments such as “good job” or “well done” accompanied by a pleasing sound or visual which motivates.
This study caught my eye at the CAOT conference in Saskatoon, SK June 15 – 17th. The study looked at how adolescents with an ASD used computers (how often, amount of time, and what did they look at) and the associations between computer use, autism symptoms and friendships.
The information for the study was collected by mailed surveys completed by parents and adolescents during the summer months of 2009. Participants ranged in ages from 12 – 18 and the parents ranged in age from 31 – 60 with an average income of $85,000. Their findings would probably not surprise most parents.