Autism And Technology Education: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental and neurological disorder characterized by social interaction and behavior difficulties. Autism is associated with trouble in social interaction and communication skills combined with restricted and repetitive behavior. It begins in early childhood and is a complex neurobehavioral condition. The symptoms of Autism generally appear in the first two to three years of life. Autistic children may face difficulty in adjusting to their academic environment as they have trouble understanding or communicating to their fellow students and teachers, classroom instructions or directions and facial and vocal cues of teachers, all of this leads to challenging behaviors, ostracizing and bullying. All of these inability to fully decipher the world around them makes education stressful for the child and can cause issues in crucial areas of development;
- Verbal and non-verbal communication
- Sensory processing
- Social interaction
- Creative or imaginative play
- Communication with class fellows
- Understanding the teacher’s instructions
- A functional approach to problem behavior
Autism And Technology Education
Technology has taken over almost all the aspects of everyone’s life and education is a major part of it. Technology education in this modern world is gaining popularity and helping students in their studies. Technology has made education easy, accessible and interesting. Autistic children have difficulty in learning and communication but technology education and digital tools have the power to help autistic students to learn and thrive in education. According to research, autistic children spend more time on screen than with a real person, so they have the potential to rapidly learning experiences and developing skills from technology. The use of technology should provide a positive role for autistic people and improve their social skills, verbal skills and develop confidence. Computer graphics and visual images are more accessible to autistic children and they capture and maintain their attention.
1.TECHNOLOGY VISUAL APPEAL:
Many autistic children are non-verbal and some are identified as low-functioning communicators, they tend to learn better through visuals than processing verbal or written information for such student mobile apps called “visual scene display” are made and are helpful to teach autistic students. These apps have interactive displays and stories and help children develop storytelling skills.
2. DIGITAL TOOLS PROMOTE CONFIDENCE:
Confidence is important for improving social skills and that is hard for autistic students as they are intimidated by the social aspects of the classroom, but given technology, they can explore outside of their comfort zones and the digital tools increase their confidence outside of the classroom.
3. TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPS SOCIAL SKILLS:
As autistic students occur difficulty in communicating with others, they don’t have social skills as normal as other students, that is where technology education is helpful. Technology helps them to build connections with teachers and students who have similar interests and increases social interaction between them.
4.USING ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY
Assistive technology is any piece of equipment, item or product system that enhances working, learning and functional capability of a child with a disability. Assistive technology can aid students with autism if used correctly. These are some variety of assistive technologies that can help autistic students;
PORTABLE WORD PROCESSOR:
The portable word processor is a keyboard with a small LED screen and helps to solve poor fine motor and motor planning skills for writing.
TALKING WORD PROCESSOR:
It is a writing software program that provides speech feedback and helps to address motor planning, poor fine motor, cognitive difficulties.
TEXT TO SPEECH SOFTWARE:
This software converts text from print to audio formats for kids who have poor reading comprehension and fluency.
VISUAL ASSISTANT ELECTRONIC
This software helps with behavior issues and develop task completion skills, language and communication skills and helps to focus.
Headphones solve auditory overstimulation issues by eliminating extraneous environmental noise.
5- APPEAL TO SPECIAL INTERESTS
Every person takes interest in technology and its development. Autistic children take a special interest in technology as it helps them in many ways such as developing their confidence, social skills, communication skills, visual displays. Most of the autistic persons take STEM major in high school because of their interest in technology. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM programs include game design, electronics and programming,3d design and printing, coding, robotics, and cybersecurity programs and they appeal to autistic students mostly.
MOBILE TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION FOR KIDS WITH AUTISM
Mobile technology has greatly increased in the education industry and is very helpful for students to learn and grow. Utilizing educational apps on mobile phones for Autism spectrum disorder kids can be helpful for their social development and learning and has made the learning process easy and fun for students. Different educational apps are made especially for kids with autism according to their needs and for different purposes.
Following educational mobile applications are some of the best recommended for autistic children, that makes their study time enjoyable and peaceful.
1- ENDLESS READER
Kids with autism have major difficulty in reading and is a complex task for them. This app helps kids with autism to read with audio and visual. It helps kids to learn basic steps of reading by pairing words and images.
Autis mate is a perfect mobile app for kids to learn to do their everyday chores. This app lets parents set up a productive situation for their kid like how to wash their hands properly from the faucet. There is also a sentence formation category and visual scheduling feature on this app.
3- LEARN WITH RUFUS
This user-friendly app is made to teach facial expressions, emotional words to kids who face communication difficulties. The application can is quite helpful for kids to learn communication and language and develops social skills.
4- AUTISM XPRESS
Autistic children face difficulty in expressing their emotions and feelings, this app helps to overcome these issues. This app lets them develop their emotions so they can talk to other people about their problems and fears.
This app creates talking books and visual stories for kids. This app contains images and videos which helps in communication with others. This app assists children in remembering events with the help of visuals and develops social skills.