Assistive technology is an 'umbrella term' that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities.
Assistive devices include devices which enable, enhance or maintain the functional independence of the person with disabilities.
Children with autism process visual information easier than auditory information. The aim behind using assistive technology is to give them information through their strongest processing area (visual).
For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. And for people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.
Assistive Devices and Technologies are used to improve:
- Overall understanding of their environment
- Expressive communication skills
- Social interaction skills
- Attention skills
- Motivation skills
- Organization skills
- Academic skills
- Self help skills
- Overall independent daily functioning skills
Assistive devices can be divided into three categories Low tech, Medium tech and High tech Devices
- "Low" Technology assistive devices :
Example: Modified pencils, adaptive paper, dry erase boards, clipboards, laminated photographs, highlight tape, etc.
- "Mid" Technology Assistive devices:
These devices include Simple electronic devices .Mid technology devices are typically Battery operated devices which includes simple switches.
Example: voice output devices. Tape recorder, Language Master, overhead projector, timers, calculators.
- "High" Technology Assistive devices :
These are very costly devices with complex technological support strategies. These devices require higher level of maintenance.
Examples:Tablets, Applications to improve communication, video cameras, computers and adaptive hardware, complex voice output devices.