Autism or ASD (Autism spectrum disorder) describes various similar conditions, including Asperger’s Syndrome. Autistic Disorder, also known as “classic” autism, is the most prevalent. Pervasive developmental Disorder – Not Other Specified (PDD -NOS) can sometimes be called ‘atypical autism’.
People are often described as being “on the autism spectrum”. Although autism is a spectrum, it’s possible to experience severe or mild symptoms. All autistic people share some common traits. First, autistic people have difficulties communicating and socializing. Autistic people also have limited interests. Autistic people can be repetitive in their behaviours and become disoriented if routines disrupt them.
Popular culture would lead us to believe that everyone with autism spectrum disorder is a math, science, and computing genius. This is not true, and it’s no surprise. It would be like discovering that everyone blue-eyed is automatically more skilled at swimming. We are all individuals. Each person has their talents and interests. This is true for autistic as well as non-autistic individuals.
What is so important about technology?
Technology is everywhere. Both parents and children need to learn how to use computers properly and get the most out of them. All children should be comfortable and confident with technology.
There are many technological benefits that children with autism can benefit from. Computers make it easy for children to learn new skills. Computers can be a great motivator. There has been much discussion about the effects of tablet/computer use on children’s concentration. Although there are many opinions, evidence suggests that computer skills-based activities can benefit communication.
Computers allow children to become experts in a particular area of interest. The development of knowledge and expertise leads to independence. The independence that comes with learning and expertise will allow children to decide how they want to learn and what their play should look like.
Technology can also help regulate moods and improve well-being. Some apps relieve anxiety, but you can also use them to watch entertaining YouTube videos.
Apps and software allow children to have more contact with their teachers and peers. The common interest in computing between your child and others can help build strong friendships.
These benefits are not only for autistic children. They are beneficial for everyone, and they just help to address certain key autism symptoms.
Computing as a Recreation Activity
For many families, the devices are more than a learning tool. Your devices may be able to help you get your child to read with you. Many storytelling apps have interactive features that your child might find more engaging than a book.
Using computers to improve communication
Many autistic children find it useful to use visual communication tools, such as social stories, picture communication systems and visual timetables, to communicate better with their peers. These resources are available on all smartphones and tablets.
You can create any schedule, story or symbol your child might need using apps for tablets and smartphones. These resources are also portable, thanks to today’s small-sized technology.
However, technological advances go beyond just displaying images on a screen. Many apps can assist non-verbal users in communicating by giving them a digital voice. Create a sentence with symbols, and the app will read it aloud.