Technology and Autism


Every day new technology is changing our lives in ways we never imagined. For individuals with autism, some new technologies can improve communication, assist in the development of social skills, and enhance the ability to learn. This month's Community Connections is focused on helping families understand how new technology can improve the quality of everyday life!

Topic of the Week
Each week, Autism Speaks poses a question to our community through online social networking tools. Last week we asked:

Have you or someone you know on the autism spectrum used assistive technology to help communicate? Are there any applications you favor? What are some pros and cons of using assistive technology for individuals on the spectrum?
Here is an example of a comment we received:

"My son is three years old and after months of using my laptop and Android phone to play games, we decided to get him an iPad. Best.Decision. Ever. Yes, it was expensive but well worth the money & in just two weeks, my son is communicating for the first time with Tap To Talk. He is playing games he never had patience/focus/attention for before like match games and puzzles. iPad = Miracle in our house!!"
- Lynn, mother of a 3-year-old with autism

Click here to read more!

Expert Speaks! Vicki Clarke, MS, CCC-SLP
Vicki Clarke is the Owner and President of Dynamic Therapy Associates, Inc. She has 18 years experience as Speech Language Pathologist and Augmentative Communication Specialist specializing instate of the art AAC and AT equipment. In this month's Expert Interview, Vicki answers our questions about Technology and Autism.

Click here to read her interview.

Click here to read a list of the Favorite iTunes Apps from the AAC chicks!

Spotlight of the Month: The iTaalk Autism Foundation
The iTaalk Autism Foundation's mission is to train and educate families, educators and service providers on the basic uses of the interactive technological products (e.g. iPad, iPod, Android) for individuals with developmental disabilities; and, to supply/provide interactive technological products to individuals (birth to 22) with a Medical ASD diagnosis.

The iTaalk Autism Foundation is happy to announce The iTaalk Top 30: Educational Apps to Get You Started, and All for Under $50! We have created this list of available Apps to assist families with their new iPad/iPod (assistive technology device). It is our hope to provide families with all the resources they need to make interactive technology successful with their kiddo with Autism!

Visit itaalk.org for more information about interactive technology and funding sources for devices and Apps.

Autism Speaks' Innovative Technology for Autism Initiative
The primary focus of Autism Speaks' Innovative Technology for Autism Initiative (ITA) is to adapt and promote the use of available technologies, and spur the development of new technologies, in an interdisciplinary and creative way to facilitate applied research that directly impacts the growing needs of those with autism.
Click here to learn more!

Click here to visit the Autism Speaks Resource Library Apps for Autism page!

Webinar
Click here to view the webinar: "PDA's, Smartphones, and Tablet PC's as Cognitive-Behavioral Aids for Autism" from the Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence.

We would like to hear from you! Share your experience with technology with us at familyservices@autismspeaks.org. Photos are welcome!