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An assistive technology guide for autism


In recent years, educators and parents have touted iPads, tablets, and mobile apps as assistive technologies that can help children or students diagnosed with autism communicate and learn basic concepts. But just as there’s a spectrum of autism disorders, there are many assistive technologies—but which assistive technology is the best choice?

According to Marc Sirkin, chief digital marketing officer at Autism Speaks, new technologies can help improve both communication and developmental skills, which is why he helped create the Autism Speaks Technology Guide—the mobile apps listed can help develop communication, development and creativity skills, said Sirkin.

The front side of the PDF handout focuses on “therapeutic” technologies and points to communications, self-improvement, and education apps. It’s what Sirkin calls “finding a voice.”

(Next page: The guide)The flip side of the guide looks at “applied” technologies and focuses on helping the user explore their passions more deeply. “That’s what helps you find your path,” Sirkin said. “It’s at the heart of the Maker ethos to take advantage of your strengths to focus on and explore your gifts.”

Front:

Back:

Download the PDF handout of the Autism Speaks Technology Guide: http://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/makerfairehandout.pdf

(Next page: Watch these videos on autism assistive technology)

Another assistive technology resource making the education and autism rounds is Canvas, a rapidly-growing learning platform startup used by more than 300 colleges, universities, and school districts.

Watch how Canvas is helping these Bellevue college freshman diagnosed with autism:

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For a more comprehensive view on how assistive technology, specifically mobile devices like the iPad, can help those diagnosed with autism, be sure to check out this CBS News special report:

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