Autism is a broad range of adverse neurological conditions that challenge social skills, repetitive behaviors, as well as verbal and nonverbal communication. They are also accompanied by sensory sensitivities as well as medical problems such as gastrointestinal, sleep disorders, seizures, and various mental health challenges. They are caused due to genetic and environmental conditions or a combination of both factors. As autism is said to be a spectrum disorder, each individual with autism experiences a distinct set of challenges (learning, problem-solving) that range in severity. Some individuals with autism require support in their daily lives, while others require no/less support.
Symptoms of autism in children appear before the age of 3. It is important to get it diagnosed at an early stage. According to physicians, early intervention and support lead to positive outcomes in the lives of people with autism.
Assistive technology is used to enhance communication problems in people with autism. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a kind of assistive technology that helps in increasing communication, social interaction, and promote independence.
How Can Assistive Technology For Autism Help?
Today’s world revolves around the internet. iPhones, smartphones, and tablets are modern tools that can help people with autism to work on their challenges and improve the needed communication skills. This helps them in conveying their desire that ultimately lessens anxiety and adverse behaviours.
How Does It Work?
Some of the ways by which assistive technology for autism can be of help are:
This is the most common goal of assistive technology. It helps in restoring the lost skill or refining the already acquired communication skills. Several apps with abundant built-in features help support individuals with autism. These apps are preferred for individuals with strong verbal communication also for nonverbal ones. Building communication is the most common goal of assistive technology. It helps in restoring the lost skill or refining the already acquired communication skills.
Visual schedules available on smartphones and tablets can help a child to complete his set tasks scheduled for the day. The set of pictures reminds him/her to accomplish the intended tasks like self-care and daily living. These visual schedules help him learn to manage and form a disciplined routine gradually. From brushing teeth to wearing the night suit before retiring and everything in between, these visual schedules can teach the child independent living skills.
Making Their Want Known
For a non-verbal individual having difficulty in communicating, assistive technology for autism can make their ‘voices’ or requirements heard. These apps help in making decisions, by pointing to the items on his/her smartphone or tablet. The child learns the self-advocacy skills an important essential for growth.
Parents can offer their children to play their favourite games as a reward for completing their assignments. This can evolve positive behaviour in the child as they love playing games on devices like smartphones and tablets.
Videos that project step by step module for completing a task is a method that can visually induce important teaching skills. The child can watch these videos whenever he wants to learn important skills. Using a tablet or smartphone is an interesting channel for the child to learn not just one skill, but a wide array of skills.
Assistive technology for autism has proved to be helpful to both young and aged alike. The step-by-step checklists help individuals to stay on top of tasks and complete them in an orderly manner.