Assistive Technology – Products & Devices For Autism

Technology for disabled people has a long way to go but like internet for the disabled, changes are being made in various fields. When a child diagnosed with Autism feels lost and frustrated due to the lack of communication, various kinds of assistive technology devices can be used to help them interact with others. Assistive technology products may provide the much needed support required by your children. With the help of some simple computer assistive technologies, children with autism can express themselves more clearly and their quick computer skills allow them to become good assistive technology users.


Assistive Technology For Children With Austism

Autism is a brain disorder which affects 1 out of every 150 people in the United States and is usually diagnosed at a very early stage of a child. An assistive technology is any kind of product or device that is used by children with autism to assist them in their communication, education, sports and other basic daily activities. These activities would be impossible to perform if it were not for some kind of assisted technology, which helps to enhance or simply maintain a regular lifestyle. Children with Autism are able to lead better lives with the help of such assistive technology devices which are available in various forms. It is important to understand the needs of your child in order to implement the correct assistive technology device in their learning process.

Assistive technology for children can be used in many different ways:

  • Touch screen computer assistive technology
  • Trackballs in the place of a mouse
  • Talking computers
  • Electronic voice oriented assistive technology devices
  • Visual representation systems
  • Specialized keyboards

Visually Assisted Technology

While Autism can never be cured once it is diagnosed in a child, it is however possible to make your child’s life easier and more independent with an assistive technology device. Most children with autism find it easier to learn and communicate with visually aided assistive technology. In fact, they enjoy such computer assistive technology and are able to express themselves better by becoming proficient assistive technology users. Touch screen computers, customized keyboards and ergonomic trackballs allow your child to interact freely with assistive technology products. Some software programs that work as good assistive technology products are:

  • Boardmaker,  uses line drawings and symbols in black/white and color
  • Picture This, contains several commonly used real photos
  • True Object Based Icons (TOBIs), cut outs of actual shapes or outlines with printed word labels
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), stack of individual picture cards with labels

Assistive technology is ever changing and newer and simpler assistive technology devices are coming out more and more often with the help of researchers who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of children with autism.  Such autism assistive technology will continue to provide support and confidence to children with the use of the numerous assistive technology products and promote a better life for them. While it is our moral duty to take care of children with autism, assistive technology, in its various ways, helps us provide unimaginable opportunities for them and helps them communicate with their loved ones.

References:

  1. What is Assistive Technology – University of Washington
  2. Assistive technology information – Abledata
  3. Assistive Technology for Children with Autism – Special Ed US

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