Assistive Technology

May 18, 2016

Look around you. What technology do you see? Smartphones, tablets, and laptops? Our world is extremely tech-driven and the advancements are evolving faster with each day.  For years, different modes of technology have been used to improve the quality of life of people who have various developmental disabilities. Thankfully this means that there are more and more choices for assistive technology that can be used for children with autism. There are so many different types of technology that can be used to help children.  Let’s take a closer look at the vast types of technology that can be used in the classroom, at home or on-the-go!

  • Augmentative and  Alternative Communication Technology (AAC)  -Research shows that any type of AAC support will only enhance and increase verbal output! Making language visible through the use of technology for children with language delays and impairments assists in continued speech and language growth and development. These can help students effectively communicate in the classroom, socialize, and complete routine activities of the school day. Some of these include: communication boards and wallets, eye gaze boards, simple voice output devices, electronic communication devices, speech synthesizers, communication enhancement software and computer based communication systems.
  • Teaching Tools and Supportive Strategies – Technology can provide a visual support to children especially to facilitate learning. There are a number of options both high and low tech. For example: scheduling apps, visual timers, behavior support boards, social media communication and video modelling. Visual symbols and technology can help make concepts more concrete for children with disabilities.
  • Reading Tools – There are many adaptive technology tools for reading such as: change in text size, spacing, color, background color, use of pictures with text, adapted page turning, book stands, and talking electronic devices.
  • Writing Tools – Adaptive technology can assist with: pencil with adaptive grip, adapted papers, slant-boards and other computer processing technology.
  • Seating and Positioning Tools – There are several new pieces of physical technology that can help students stay in a seated position and focus better. For example: non-slip surfaces on chairs, blocks for feet, bolster or rolled towel, adapted or alternate chair, side-lying frames, standing frame, floor sitter or chair inserts.