“SKILL TRAIN your child/adult with autism, so that he/she is future ready. TECHNOLOGY is the future. Research has shown that people with autism can use TECHNOLOGY as a STRENGTH and become independent, successful and live a life of fulfilment using tools like typing & data entry” by getting meaningful connection in their social & professional life.
The Year 2021 has clearly made us realise the importance of technology and the need to adapt to it. People with Autism are a clear example to demonstrate this fact.
This observation has given Sunrise Learning a stronger reason to move ahead with technology and help children & adults with autism learn, develop and master unprecedented technology skills.
The goals and uses of technology differ significantly between children, adolescents, and young adults. These tools can be very empowering for young people, especially those with autism. Technology helps children become more self-reliant, tackle challenges and own their strengths.
‘PEOPLE WITH AUTISM ARE DOING WONDERS WITH TECHNOLOGY”, when they get a conducive sensory-friendly & encouraging social environment, they learn computer skills like pros, and through these learnt skills, which are their inherent strengths also (in many ways), they overcome many of their weaknesses & challenges (especially of communication).
Below is a list of just some of the ways technology can help your child/ adult with diverse needs:
- Communication:Perhaps the most common use of technology to support children and adults with autism is to improve their communication skills. These devices, which can support people of all levels and abilities of autism, have hundreds of apps and many built-in features. For example, one app may be aimed at nonverbal children and adults, while another app may be useful for social cues for people with high language communication skills. Apart from this, Handwriting is a challenging motor skill for children with autism. By using a tablet or mobile phone, you can communicate in writing such as text messages and emails. Check the Video on how we at Sunrise Use AVAZ speech classes to enhance Communication skills of special Children.
- Decision-making :- People with autism who have difficulty communicating can use technology to hear the “voice” when making decisions. This helps to develop very important self-approval as you get older. Here is an Example, You can start small, instead of ordering for your child in a restaurant, they can point their smartphone or tablet at the item they want.
- Motivating tool :- Technical devices such as smartphones and tablets can also help motivate your child to try more, do better and even venture into some non-preferred activities, hoping for a reward (of screentime). Use your iPad or your favourite game app as a reward for positive actions such as completing chores and completing homework (ofcourse screentime has to be given with very clear structure, with moderation, to ensure that the child understands “when” and “for how long” is he/she entitled to use it).
- Encourages Visual Learning:- Visual Calendar and To-do lists are a great tool to help your child complete household chores and work on skills such as self-care and daily life. For example, a visual Checklist of night routines helps him or her to learn time management and gradually master everything from after-school treats to homework, brushing teeth, and everything in between. These visual reminders are, among other things, very useful in helping children learn the skills of independent living.
- Portable:- Children with autism usually use many tools like schedule & communication folders, choice boards, communication devices (PECS cards), and social stories. Now, with the help of these devices, everything can be easily stored in the person’s gadget (ipads/ tablets). These are so flexible and convenient to carry, children can take it anywhere and it minimizes the changes of “forgetting” or “losing the folders” or even the hassle of carrying the bulky material.
- Accessible:- For people with autism, touch screens are much more accessible than keyboards. Tap and slide gestures are even more easier than typing on the keyboard.
Children with autism enjoy both the benefits and pitfalls of technology.
With Benefits also comes the pitfalls.
Here are some pitfalls.
- Addiction:- Children with autism are already withdrawn & disconnected and have a greater chance of being more attracted to screen-based technologies such as phones and tablets, as compared to human interaction. They are more prone to develop addiction to technology even when they are less exposed to technology than the regular person. And so, introducing screen with clear “structure” of “when” “after what” and “for how long” is of crucial importance.
- Impairs Social Skills :- Children with autism have difficulties in social skills such as eye contact, reading & showing facial expressions and body language reading, mind-reading, small talk, sharing feelings, expressing emotions, asking & replying to social questions & making sense of & dealing with complex social situations. For some people, unstructured Screen time can hinder the development of the same skill in many ways, mostly due to the isolation and disconnect.
- Increases Anxiety sometimes:- Many people with autism tend to be anxious. Some of them have obsessive-compulsive traits and social unrest. Unstructured, unregulated Screen time is associated with an increased risk of OCD and social anxiety.
We understand that parents often feel lost, in trying to strike a balance between teaching the use of technology to their child for independence and teaching communication & interaction skills for a social life. And it can be very complicated. We are here to guide you if needed.
Contact us now for more information on activities and courses for your special child.
Feel free to mail us at E: firstname.lastname@example.org for any query.
Moreover, we want you to lend a helping hand if you are new to the world of Autism.
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Check this Video which has summarised this article.
Thank you for Reading.