In a statistics that could stir Americans out of slumber, one out of every 69 children in the US have autism spectrum disorder, according to data disclosed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While most children today are considered to be “digital natives” the same holds true for autistic children as well. Many kids on the spectrum find themselves most comfortable with a digital device in their hands.
Studies have revealed that most autistic children are visual learners. That means, technology could be a valuable tool for their learning process. It makes visual images much more accessible to an individual with autism. Computer graphics can grab and hold on to their attention.
Technology, more importantly, helps these children to gain confidence in a social situation. It has emerged as an assistive and powerful tool for children struggling with socialization issues.
A big part of attending school is learning to negotiate social situations. Children with autism spectrum disorder, often with no roadmap, are lost. Technology has helped bridge the gap between autistic children and neuro-typicals.
From educational apps to robots, here’s how technology is helping children with autism spectrum disorder.
#1 Enhance verbal skills with apps
Researches by several nongovernment, scientific and advocacy organizations that fund awareness programs, have claimed that more than 25 percent of autistic children are largely nonverbal. The rest are usually low-functioning communicators. For such children, there are apps known as “visual scene display” that help children who are struggling with their verbal skills. Apps like What’s the Expression and All Sorts have been of immense help to both teachers and children with autism. These apps can be customized to suit a particular child’s need.
There are other apps for autistic children that can forge stories and interactive displays that can greatly help kids who struggle with the conventional style of education.
#2 Digital tools can promote confidence
Honestly speaking confidence is very much linked to improved social skills. Children with autism spectrum disorder often get intimated by the social aspects in a classroom. This can be tackled to a great extent by allowing the use of technology.
The search field for apps for special children can be streamlined according to individual needs. These include disability and subject needs, reading problems, mathematics, social and emotional issues, and other problems that the child may have.
Mobile education can be defined as a learning process that’s spread across several platforms. These include tabs and smart phones, and websites, rather than the conventional classroom setting. Besides, it entails interactive context, which can extend help and allow live feedback.
#3 No one-size-fits-all
As already said, there is no single app that may be suitable for all children with autism. What works for one, may or may not work for another special needs child. This is exactly where both the therapists and parents have to be cautious.
Research and development are being carried out almost all over the world to bring out new apps that can help children with autism become more equipped to tackle life challenges.