Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Autism and the iTouch

The arrival of the iTouch, like an iPhone without the phone, has proven to be a surprisingly good thing for children with forms of autism. All over the internet there are stories of the difference it has made in their lives.

Children seem to adapt to new technology really quickly which makes the iTouch a great tool for learning.

There are lots of apps that can be downloaded that will suit your child’s specific needs. Some apps help children learn to focus while others help them to communicate.

Model Me: Going Places” is a free app that helps kids learn to navigate challenging locations in the community. Each location contains a photo slide show of children modelling appropriate behaviour in places like restaurants, shops and hairdressers.

The “Grace App” is described as a picture exchange for non-verbal people. The beauty of this app is that now your child can show you what he wants or where she wants to go. They can take photos and add them to the app so it becomes quite a personalised communication system.

These are just two of the apps that have been developed. There are lots more out there and I am sure that there will be more to come as this idea catches on. Isn’t it exciting to think of all the families that can now really connect with their autistic child? It’s a whole new communication channel that really seems to work.

For older children, who want to look like everyone else of their age, the iTouch helps them blend in with the crowd. The fact that this little device is actually a tool to help them cope in social situations is something that no one else has to know. It can help to keep them organised as well as show them how to join in a conversation.

The iTouch and the iPad are even being used in schools. The iPad is larger so it is easier to read and has a better keyboard, making it great for the classroom. It opens up a whole new world of interaction between the child, the teacher and the classmates.

Click here for a list of apps that might be useful for you (along with direct links to the app itself) I hope you find the right app for you and your child.

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