Learning Apps Helping Autistic Kids in Education

Children with autism spectrum disorder find it difficult to process events that involve the use of the five senses. They are often uncomfortable with strong smells, loud noise, and even new clothing. The main reason for this is that their sensory perceptions are not like neuro-typical human beings. The sooner the parents of autistic children come to terms with this, the better will be the counseling and therapeutic measures.

Fortunately many companies have come up with learning apps that are helping autistic children in their education. Autism learning apps like “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” have made a huge impact in the lives of autistic children. These two learning apps help in the sensory processing. They have appealing sounds and graphics that capture the child’s attention and helps in taking decisions.

Technology improving lives

Innovative technology, like the autism learning apps, has improved the lives of special needs children to a great extent. Apps like “What’s the Expression,” “Make Sentences”, and others are helping in language skills, response skills, and more importantly in communication. There are various free autism apps as well. Some have a minimum download charge.

In many special needs classrooms across the world, teachers are freely using tablets and iPads to impart education to their students. These gadgets run the autism learning apps and are often used in small groups of children for improving their social interaction. Individual students, on their part, enjoy using iPads and smart phones for improving their reading, mathematics and communication skills.

The “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” autism learning apps can be included in the individualized education plan (IEP) of an autistic child. The developers of these two apps conduct regular workshops for educating parents and teachers about using technology for their autistic children.

The need for technology

Technology has emerged as an essential part of the lives of children with autism spectrum disorder. But many schools don’t have a dedicated teacher who can exclusively teach special needs students. The “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” autism learning apps have proved that success can be achieved by autistic children if technology is used at a proper age. The predictive and interactive nature of these autism apps is what attracts autistic children the most. They have been helpful both in the classroom and at home.

The moot challenge, however, is to make parents and educators aware that such an app exists. The autism app companies are doing their bit in this regard. But even then, much still needs to be done.


Source by Kevin Carter

Helping Parents Understand the Autism Educational Eligibility

Many parents are perplexed and confused about the amount of information given to them during an autism educational eligibility meeting. Professionals can do several things to help the parents through this process.

Explain Educational Terms

First, many special education terms are difficult for parents to understand. Educational professionals need to explain some of these unfamiliar terms to the parent or caregiver. An educational phrase or term may need to be defined for the parents. For instance, when the school psychologist talks about verbal and nonverbal abilities he or she could give examples of these different types of abilities to explain the terms.

Use Parent Friendly Terms

Professionals need to use parent friendly terms that parents of different educational levels can understand. A school psychologist may say the term ‘repetitive behaviors’ in an eligibility meeting. However, a parent friendly approach would be to share how a child demonstrates ‘repetitive behaviors’ like running back and forth in the testing room, opening and closing the door or continuously turning the lights on and off in the office. This helps the parent see example and understand the term in more ‘parent friendly’ language.

Provide More Time

Professional sometimes find they are talking fast to get through the large amount of information on autism and developmental delays. However, there are instances where the school psychologist and other educational professionals may need to take more time to allow parents to process the educational information. Some parents want more time to read the eligibility form even after it has been explained to them. Parents may want to read the eligibility form and other forms carefully as they reflect on the information before they put their signatures on a document or sign an autism eligibility form.

Allow Questions

There are times professionals explain the autism educational form to parents and don’t allow or give enough time for questions. Professionals can take different approaches with their educational strategies. Some educational professionals ask parents throughout the autism eligibility meeting if they have questions about the information and other professionals save time at the end of the eligibility meeting to answer any final questions. Parents want to feel comfortable about this eligibility process and providing a question time call allow them to discuss any unresolved issues or concerns about autism.

In conclusion, if professionals explain difficult educational terms, use parent friendly terms, provide more time to reflect on the process and allow questions the parents may have a better understanding of the autism eligibility process.


Source by Susan Louise Peterson

Autism and Assistive Technology

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a newly popularized term that includes a wide range of social impairments, communication deficits, and repetitive behaviors. The spectrum is flexible which means that it can be applied to children from both ends. It includes high functioning autism at one end, to those who lack communication abilities and can’t even express their most basic demands, at the other.

The new explicit spectrum thinking has given at least an illusion that there’s a fixed boundary regarding autism. The perspective-taken to the logical extreme-means an unbroken continuum among the minds that extends from autism, all the way into the folds of the normal world.

But the flexibility has led to ambiguity, particularly in the classroom. Most of the educators and instructors are not at all equipped to give the students the attention they require. They are thus increasingly turning to assistive technology, like autism apps for education, to bail them out.

Many children, whether autistic or neuro-typicals, learn from visual media and educational apps like “Just Match” and “Math on the Farm”. Educators and instructors say that these apps reflect real-life relationships and situations.

With the advent of the “Just Match” and “Math on the Farm” educational apps, teachers have become more comfortable in using technology. With customized educational apps now available for download online, it’s now easier for teachers and educators to access these technologies.

Most teachers, over the years, have become comfortable in using technology. As of now, there are two major types of assistive technologies for those having autism spectrum disorder. These are communication technologies and teaching technologies. Both these tools are extremely important for a special needs child’s education. The “Just Match” and “Math on the Farm” educational apps are perfect digital learning devices that lend autistic children a comfortable learning experience. A student’s ability to communicate in a classroom setting is important for his/her success. But the tricky thing about a classroom is that there are several unspoken rules. Educators and experts working with special needs children admit that one of the major difficulties, even for those having high-functioning autism, is to know the expectations.

Professionals working with children having behavioral disorders have voiced largely similar sentiments. A big part of attending school is to learn navigating social situations. Autistic children are often totally lost sans a roadmap. The autism apps for education have allowed children to close the gap between them and the neuro-typical kids.


Source by Kevin Carter

Autism Apps: New Tablet-Sized Teachers

Thirteen-year old Alec Marvin sits with an iPad in a classroom, his teacher Sandra Doherty is sitting beside him. She holds up a laminated picture of a $50 bill and asks Alec to identify it. Alec looks at his iPad, touches a slab titled “money identification” and then presses “$50”. “Fifty,” the gadget blurbs out.

Alec is among a growing number of children in the US with autism spectrum disorder. These children are increasingly using what’s known as autism education apps on electronic devices like the iPad and smartphone. And among all the autism apps being used, “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” are the two most used.

Just a few years back, Alec would have used a bulky assistive communication device, costing between $7,000 to $9,500. That is, if these devices used any form of communication at all. Autistic kids and special needs children, for long, have used the so-called assistive technology devices. These included audio books for the visually challenged, to special transmitters for those hearing impaired. The autism education apps are more targeted towards blended learning. The “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” apps combine the blessings of technology with the more traditional methods of instruction. It’s less jarring to the autistic kids than their conventional education peers.

There are many different autism apps that can help a child. These apps, more interestingly, are all customizable. This means that these apps can be tailor-made to suit each individual child. All over the world, autism education apps are helping the children because it’s usually much easier to read.

Some experts have cautioned against indiscriminate use of autism apps. This is because research on the effectiveness of educational technology for autistic children is still scant.

But educators, therapists, counselors and teachers using the autism apps, vouch that special needs children respond particularly well to the education apps because the programs respond in predictable and consistent ways. Unlike the earlier technologies, smart phones and tablets are much more portable and indistinguishable from the devices used by neuro-typical students.

Developer teams are continuously trying to come up with new apps that can better help children with autism. Apps like “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” have really shown the way. Researchers are now trying to introduce intelligent robots that’ll further help autistic kids in their education. Hopes are already running high, banking on the success of “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” apps.


Source by Kevin Carter

Autism Apps for Special Needs Education

Educational apps that have visual scene displays, are usually considered the best learning aids for children with autism spectrum disorder, especially the low-functioning communicators. Experts working with autistic children usually recommend “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” apps that extend a detailed context to most of the common situations.

The “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” apps convert symbols to speech and allows the less verbal autistic kids to communicate in a much better way. Several specialized educators focus on tools that gears around emotion for classroom support. Both these apps fit the bill in this regard. Many kids are lost in a social situation and the “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” educational apps can help them out in such circumstances.

These days, assistive technology has come to the help of autistic children, both inside and outside the classroom. A big difficulty faced by children with autism spectrum disorder is that all the people may not be aware of their situation. An autistic child is likely to face problems while communicating with people in a social situation. But if a child is introduced to “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” educational apps, he/she can negotiate the difficulties to a great extent.

Social situations are tough for autistic children. Even your neighborhood grocery store or the movie hall can be filled with distractions. These distractions can trigger and continue eliciting autistic behaviors, no matter what the situation is or how much improvement the child has made in his/her communication. Educational apps, undeniably, can ease the situation. These tools help children to communicate.

With the advent of the autism apps for children, societal factors are becoming less of an issue. This is because the special strengths of those having autism are beginning to be noticed.

Though the autism employment scenario for autistic people is not very rosy, some big multinational companies have begun hiring people with autism, things are far from what’s actually required to get all of them gainfully employed.

Assistive technology like autism apps are not only helping children affected with the disorder to learn, they are actually helping them survive and face their unique challenges. Apps like “What’s the Expression” and “Make Sentences” have become seamless components in their lives.

Experts are hoping that technology will become much more personalized in the future. The autism apps can be customized for each individual. The apps will become more intelligent to judge the intelligence of each child.


Source by Kevin Carter

Competitive PreSchools – Characteristics of a Good PreSchool

Preschool education has been pegged as a foundation to successful education and even success in adult life. But not all preschools are created equal, not even the most expensive ones. Here are characteristics and features a good preschool should have:

  • Clean and secure location. This is a non-negotiable for preschools. We are talking about kids younger than six years old who will be regularly attending classes. It is crucial that even on the way to school they feel secure. No health and safety hazards should be anywhere near the school. A good preschool should not only attend to the mental well-being of a child but also his or her physical well-being. Kids must be able to associate positive feelings and images with the school.
  • Complete and safe facilities. Setting up a room won’t be enough if we want quality public preschools. There are basic facilities kids need round the clock and facilities that are required to keep the school kid-friendly and hazard-free. Simply put, a preschool must have a toilet room, a sanitary area for eating, a separate area for trash, a clinic or medicine cabinet, a no-slip flooring and cabinets for toys and other materials. Furniture and any equipment must have no sharp edges. Electric outlets must have covers and anything else that pose harm to kids should be kept out of their reach and eyesight.
  • Feel-good atmosphere. A preschool should have an atmosphere welcoming to young children. It should not seem boring, rigorous or threatening. The classrooms should be well-ventilated and well-lit. Positive and colorful images and designs should be visible for kids. Staff and teachers should be helpful, friendly and accommodating. Kids must be able to see that they are going to have fun in class and that the school is a place where they can both play and learn.
  • Trained and caring teachers. It is no joke taking care of young kids, what more to teach them. A serious endeavor into preschool education must be accompanied with willingness to invest in teacher training or re-training. If kids are taught the wrong things in preschool, it defeats the entire purpose of the program. Preschool teachers must know how to teach the alphabet and counting, how to read stories and sing songs, how to motivate kids through games, and how to manage a class of young children. They must be caring and nurturing, and should never resort to coercion or physical punishment.
  • Low teacher-student ratio. Studies on the effects off preschool education on academic and life success all say the same thing regarding its potency. Preschool education cannot achieve its goal if it is of low quality, and a factor in quality is the teacher-student ratio. Ideally, one teacher should only handle seven to ten students. The maximum for each class is twenty. Sometimes, having teacher aides or assistants also helps in managing a large class. Young learners need a lot of supervision and personal interaction. If the government is serious with putting up public preschools, the current teacher-student ratio in public elementary schools should not be tolerated in the preschool level.
  • Holistic approach and curriculum. A preschool must not only prepare a child intellectually for entrance into the big school. It must also help children develop their other aspects. Preschool cannot be too focused on academic subjects. It must also address the development of social skills to prepare kids for a bigger group or class. As early as preschool, good qualities and values like self-confidence and love of country can already be introduced. Creativity and self-expression should also be a priority in the curriculum, keeping kids motivated and interested in schooling. In the words of Dr. Barbara Willer of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, “Your 3- or 4-year-old will learn the fundamental building blocks of reading, writing, math, and science, as well as how to interact with teachers and classmates…[but] the overarching goal of any preschool should be to help a child feel good about himself as a learner and to feel comfortable in a school-like setting.”
  • Some structure or routine. What differentiates a preschool from a daycare center is that it has a more defined structure. A good preschool has a set schedule for activities, from writing lessons to play time to nap time. It also requires regular attendance-it is not mere babysitting. In the class, routine chores may be done to instill in kids a sense of capability and responsibility. These can be as simple as helping out in distributing materials or in tidying up the room. This structured quality of a preschool ascertains that the kids are not wasting time but are learning each day.
  • Variety of Instructional Materials. Kids need a lot of stimulation-their intellectual stimulation is highly dependent on sensory stimulation. A good preschool has to have a wide variety of instructional aides. Pictures, storybooks, recorded songs and models or realia are some of these. Kids are also very tactile learners. Manipulatives such as puzzles and peg-boards help kids develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination essential for writing and other tasks. Buttons or marbles are less expensive items which can be used for teaching counting. The idea is for children to have fun while learning.
  • Play area and materials. It is but natural for kids to play. Therefore, there should be an area or time for play. Aside from the usual toys, blocks should be available. These help develop spatial and problem-solving skills as well as creativity. Play can also come in the form of art (children love to draw). The school should never run out of paper, crayons and clay. The idea is for children to learn while having fun.
  • Physical activity. You heard it right! A good preschool is not afraid to get physical. Kids must have the opportunity-everyday-to move about and play, whether indoors or outdoors. This helps them practice their motor and other physical skills.
  • Language-sensitive, language-rich. Since kids will learn more about language-and learn a new one, at that-in preschool, they must be as exposed to it as possible. Whether the new language is Filipino or English, there should be materials available everywhere. Posters on the walls, labeled objects and storybooks should be staples in class. On the other hand, the preschool must also be sensitive to the community’s mother tongue. Many countries have multi-lingual education, and preschools must care not to ban children from using their mother tongue. Moreover, teachers should not hesitate to use the mother tongue in explaining and teaching.

Source by Christine Gapuz