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?
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…
Confused about interventions for autism, what options are out there, and how effective they are? Autism Research reviews a different treatment, therapy or intervention each month. September’s review was on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The review is offered in a basic, intermediate and advanced version. They are also open to suggestions for what to review in the upcoming months. The latest autism research is also posted on this site.
Issues around schooling have been at the forefront for parents with the start of new school year. Time featured a great article on why kids with autism are a target for school bullies. A new study revealed that 46% of autistic children in middle and high school told their parents they were victimized at school within the previous year, compared with just over 10% of children in the general population. What makes them easy targets is they have trouble recognizing social cues, which makes them awkward around others. They also often engage in repetitive behaviors and tend to be hypersensitive to environmental stimuli, all of which makes children with the disorder ripe targets for bullies who zero in on differences and enjoy aggravating their victims.
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.”
I recently became a guest blogger on the Autism Calgary website. I will be writing a monthly blog called What in the World is Going On? which will feature the latest news in the field of autism. I will share my first post here with our Autism Awareness Centre readers.
National Autism Strategies play a big role in both Europe and the UK as a way of providing a framework for effective autism treatment, support and services. National standards raise the level of services, service delivery, best practice standards, and quality of care for people with ASD.
On November 2, 2011, Scotland announced its Autism Strategy. In addition to £10 million funding to help and support people with autism and their families, announced earlier this year, the Strategy for Autism commits to a further £3.4 million investment. It is estimated that 50,000 people in Scotland are affected by autism.
England passed their Adult Autism Strategy back in March 2010. The Strategy made recommendations for central Government as well as for local authorities, the National Health Service and Jobcentre Plus, focusing on five key areas. To read more about the Strategy, click here.