Sophia Nelson, a 37-year old special educator, is often considered as an evangelist by her students and their parents. She has been a staunch advocate of reaching technology to the hands of children with autism spectrum disorder and other cognitive disabilities. She has changed the lives of these children with the “What’s the Expression” and “All Sorts!” apps. Unfortunately most schools often don’t see the value in providing technology to help autistic kids and special needs children. As a result, people like Sophia have to spend a hard time convincing schools about the benefits of using the “What’s the Expression” and “All Sorts!” apps.
Learning the use of these basic apps can have a big impact on autistic children and special needs kids. Digital media allows students to showcase their skills in a way which is usually not apparent in traditional assessments.
Sophia says that she just wanted to teach children with autism all that she herself learnt as a kid in junior school, with the help of the “What’s the Expression” and “All Sorts!” apps. We live in a world where almost everything has gone digital in the last few years. Special needs kids and autistic children, Sophia says, should be able to participate in that.
The “What’s the Expression” and “All Sorts!” apps are designed for junior and middle school students. They include a large number of separate lessons. These lessons use research-based techniques to break down the concepts and the teaching skills in several explicit steps. They offer short animated videos for introducing important educational concepts in stages. The special needs children are then asked to demonstrate what they have learnt. They are rewarded with virtual badges if they can successfully demonstrate their knowledge.
The curriculum of “What’s the Expression” and “All Sorts!” apps helps autistic kids to imbibe skills that they can later use in their workplace. The curriculum is divided into multiple modules that impart key communicative and sorting skills.
Sophia says that she has received favorable response from children, educators, experts, and counselors regarding the introduction of technology-based teaching methods. She wants to work with companies and other organizations in the future and develop certification programs. This, she claims, can be modified to suit specific workplace skills. She is aware that not many companies have opened up to hiring people with autism spectrum disorder, because these people lack technical skills. But a determined Sophia wants to change all that.
Source by Kevin Carter
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