For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible. Assistive technologies are "any item, device, or piece of equipment that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional abilities of persons with disabilities".
Home modification for children with sensory issues is very important as it is therapeutic for meeting their specific sensory needs. The home can be tailor-made to create a more relaxed, creative and flexible environment. Understanding your child’s specific sensory needs is best done by an occupational therapist, followed by the necessary modifications under their trained guidance.
The aim of home modification is to calm or stimulate an individual through each of the senses. Every child is unique and has specific requirements. Children with Autism usually exhibit these requirements through different behavioural patterns. The main focus is to emphasize on the things they are able to do and make it better or safer.
A trained professional can only observe the child for a few hours. This is where the parents play a crucial role. They should observe the child during the rest of the day and make notes about their sensory issues, as these may change through the course of time. This can help therapists in guiding you better while making modifications in your home.
Assistive Technology is an ‘umbrella term’ that includes assistive, adaptive and rehabilitative devices for differently abled persons. An assistive device is an item, piece of equipment, software or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a differently abled individual. These devices help in improving their functional independence and quality of life.
Children with Autism usually find it easier to process visual information as compared to auditory information. Hence, assistive technology is aimed at enhancing their abilities by means of their strongest processing area, i.e. visual.
Development of communication skills among children with autism does not follow so-called typical patterns. Children with ASD appear to learn differently than other children and frequently have difficulty with spoken and written language expression. Children with ASD may not speak at all, they may speak just a few words, or they may speak but what they say doesn't make sense in the situation.
Children with ASD have difficulty in understanding nonverbal communication patterns like facial expressions, gestures and intonation patterns of voice. Also, the motor coordination of articulators (mouth, lips, tongue and facial muscles) required for speaking is very complex and requires fine motor planning ability. Same is the case for using sign language and writing. Thus, it becomes difficult and challenging for children with ASD to communicate with others.