Technology for Kids With Autism
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can experience difficulties in identifying and describing their own emotions, have delayed or no speech and have various sensory difficulties. This makes life very challenging for these children and also their parents or carers. Nowadays advancements are being made into technologies to assist people with ASD and other disabilities.
Below we will outline some of these technologies that could be a benefit to children with ASD and their families.
The Skoog is a tactile musical instrument in the form of a squeezable and colourful soft cube. Being able to play music could help children’s hand eye coordination, build emotional rapport, help to raise resilience and satisfaction when correctly remembering a sequence of notes. Using music as a platform for communication may bring joy to a child with ASD.
Some children with ASD can lack a sense of danger or may get overwhelmed and go running off, possibly into places they shouldn’t be. Angelsense is a GPS tracker that shows you your child’s location via an app. The device attaches to any clothing and can only be removed via a parent with a key. A useful function is the listen mode where you can hear what’s going on at your child’s location, as is the two-way voice chat function. Angelsense is a US company but they do ship to the UK.
Another GPS tracker is the Footprint which features an SOS button and two-way communication via a built in speaker. It can pinpoint the location of the wearer and send a link on Google maps for up to three family members to see the GPS location. Alerts can be set up if the user leaves a predefined area (Geo-fence) giving reassurance to the user and their family.
Minecraft is a hugely popular computer game with many children, however for those on the autistic spectrum it can be used to help build social skills. The game is very logical and predictable with well defined rules, which may help some children feel at ease. When used online in multiplayer mode, children may start to share ideas and learn how to converse with each other.
For children who can write but are non verbal the iOS app Proloquo4Text will read out anything they write. The app has word and sentence prediction, which may help to save time as will the ability to group phrases and previously used words together.
Amazon Fire Kids Tablet
Perhaps the best feature of the Amazon kids tablet is the 2 year, no questions asked replacement service included in the price, if it breaks down or becomes damaged for any reason, just send it back and Amazon will send another one. The tablet also come with a thick protective case in a variety of colours. Also included is a one year subscription to the unlimited service, where you will find thousands of app, games, videos and books to download.
Hopefully this list of technologies has been useful, as anyone who is parenting a child with special needs knows, life has its own particular set of challenges and anything that can improve or make our children safer is very welcome indeed.