TECH TOOLS TO HELP KIDS WITH AUTISM
If you have a child on the autism spectrum, than you know how frustrating it can be to find tools that can help your child. For the nearly 1 in 68 American children who are on the autism spectrum, learning how to communicate with others, interact with their environment, and express themselves are often the big hurdles to overcome.
Many parents of special needs kids are finding success in facilitating their communication, interaction, and learning development with the help of mobile devices and interactive apps and accessories. Verizon has some great tools that can help parents of kids with autism to make it easier to learn and grow.
To help with special-needs kids, many smartphones and tablets offer multiple sensory modes- including sound, visual, and touch. These features can help children with autism learn to communicate or to simple have a little fun with a game or some music.
While you may not want to give your kids an expensive and very breakable iPad, there are a variety of tablets that are relatively inexpensive and can be used as a great tool to help your child. For example, the Ellipses tablet is under $100 from Verizon, and is compatible with a range of different learning tools, apps, and accessories to help your child.
Many children affected by autism have trouble with visuals due to generalization, which makes identifying individual objects more difficult. One of the great tools that can be used with a tablet is the Crayola DigiTools Paint Pack. This is a no mess way for kids to create digital art. Children with autism can use the DigiTools Paint Pack to help develop fine motor skills, while parents and caregivers can use it to draw pictures and teach kids how to identify objects.
Another smart accessory that can help children develop fine motor skills is the Orbotix Sphero 2.0. Children use a compatible mobile device, like an iPhone or tablet, and one of over 30 apps available for the Sphero to control the robotic ball with a tilt, touch, or swing as it moves around, glowing in bright engaging colors.
With the right mobile technology, parents are finding new and easier ways to open doors for their special needs children. One of the best ways to put your devices to good use is to try out learning apps designed specifically for special-needs kids.
One of the most helpful apps for your child is the First Then Visual Schedule App. This app was designed specifically for children with communication or developmental delays. You can upload personalized photos and voice recordings to create visual schedules- ideal for children who thrive in structured environments. A visual schedule also keeps children from becoming overwhelmed when they have things to do in the morning. The pictures are useful because the child knows exactly which toothbrush to use or which socks to put on.
Another great app is Writing Wizard. This is a great app for teaching children how to write, especially if your child struggles with writing. Children affected by autism often have a harder time with motor skills such as handwriting, so this app can help to keep track of progress and show the child how they are doing. Children learn by tracing words and letters with their finger or a stylus.