Autism

The most severe form of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by severe deficits in social interaction and communication, by an extremely limited range of activities and interests, and often by the presence of repetitive, stereotyped behaviors. The role of genetics and environmental factors in its cause is still being studied while theory factoring on parental practices has long been disproved.

Symptoms of autism improve with treatment and with age. Children whose language skills regress before the age of 3 may develop a higher risk of developing epilepsy. Adolescents may become depressed. Services and support are then vital for them to be able to work successfully and live independently. Autismspeaks.org has listed the various sites  linking to how technology can assist PWDs with autism.

Portable computers—iPad or tablet—can encourage communication; the screen just have to be touch to be activated. There are apps that come with plenty of pictures, too, for beginning language learners or scheduling apps with visual support. Recently, Drs. Connie Kasari and Ann Kaiser along with team members, Drs. Charlotte Mucchetti, Stephanie Shire from UCLA and Dr. Courtney Wright from Vanderbilt University have found out that speech generating devices (SGD) aid social communication.

These application programs are listed in this site while the suggestions on how to set up a portable computer are discussed in another.

Meanwhile, Rosalind Picard, founder of the Affective Computing Research Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, is finding out how a facial recognition software with Google Glass can be used to identify emotions. Other devices can also teach simple tasks, social skills, interaction with a computer-simulated environment, or steps in a specific activity such as robots, social stories, video modelling, and virtual reality.

“Autism is like a rainbow. It has a bright side and a dark side. Even though it can mean rough weather, it can be beautiful.” ~Lacy Bella Designs

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the behaviorfrontiers

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