Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Autism – is there an app for that?

Autism – is there an app for that?

I attended Springbrook's National Converge Autism Conference last week and it was awesome. Here are my notes from one of my sessions. The presenter was Amy Perry, an autism resource specialist.

Why an iPad?
It works because it’s visual –“picture choice” layout
·      Finger pointing
·      Instant response
·      Portability – 1.5 lbs.
·      Natural opportunities for communication and joint attention.

iPad vs. Android/Apple vs. Google (everyone else)
·      Only Apple makes the iPad
·      Several companies make Android
·      iPad and Android apps aren’t cross compatible
·      More quality apps for Autism developed for iPad (right now)
Looks like a picture schedule on other devices.

Over 2 million apps in the App store

Video – Sesame Street – There’s an app for that!

Loads of topics!

What apps are right for autism?
Autism affects 4 main areas: communication, social interactions, behavior/sensory, thinking and learning.

Proloquo Apps are on sale on Autism Day.

·      Difficulty relating to others
·      Challenged to use language in an appropriate way
·      May have little or no speech
·      Limited facial expressions and unusual vocal intonation
·      May not be able to communicate events, wants or needs.

Proloquo2Go ($249) operates off a system ofa nested menu. Takes a long time to get a sentence out. Try with a speech pathologist or school program first before buying because it is so expensive.

Communication Talk Tablet ($79.99) – very similar to Proloquo2Go; available on iPad and Android and Windows; toll-free and chat support

Proloquo4Text ($119) – text-based app

Bridge Communications ($9.99) - app

Listen and Talk (free) – app; easy to design choices

Social Interaction

·      May be unaware of social norms
·      Difficulty with Body language or facial expressions
·      Difficult understanding the Perspective of others.

Social Express – free version or $10/month

Pictello – app; pull in pictures and you can make a social story; back it up into Dropbox

Upset by or resistant to change
Over or under stimulated
Loud or disruptive
Unusual motor movements
May react impulsively
Visual perceptual difficulties

Sesame Street Breathe (Breathe, Think Do with Sesame) - https://youtu.be/yu0YEii4FkQ;  free; teaches self-control

ChoiceWorks ($6.99) – visual schedule with video clips; coping strategies

Fluid2 – rocks

A Screen of water - free; simulates sound and feel of real water

Candle Free– free app, you can blow it out or pretend you are the wind.

Birdhouse for autism – free behavior tracker

Tantrum – tantrum tracker ; customizable

Extreme focus on the details
Relevant vs. irrelevant
Concrete vs. abstract difficulty
Rigidity in thinking
Organizational difficulties
Slower processing speed
Deep and focused interest.

SnapType -free; take a picture of the worksheet; then you can type on the screen. Email as .pdf to the teacher.

Dragon Box Algebra – ($4.99 – 7.99) solve equations in a game
Endless ABC – Alphabet and words
Endless Numbers – numbers

Paperless ($2.99) make a list

The Magic Bullet –
·      iPad is a tool
·      No app will get rid of autism
·      An unsupervised iPad isn’t necessarily any more beneficial than a computer or a TV
·      Should never be a substitute for personal interaction (90:10 rule; 90% of the time with someone else)’ replace opportunities to practice real-world skills; be imposed on a person who is uninterested or unwilling to use it.

Best practices for iTherapy
·      Should not be used unsupervised.
·      No screens in the bedroom.
·      Play with a partner – use screens for joint attention
·      Have goals and set time limits for use
·      Avoid screens at night.

American Academy of Pediatrics – less than 2 hours of entertain screen time per day.

Guided Access feature on the iPad –go to app; triple click home button (allows you to “lock” a user inside an app. A 4-digit code set by the adult is required to exit the app) Can be used for a timed reward.  (To unlock, triple click home button and put in code)

iOS8 and up: Settings - General – Accessibility – Guided Access, time limits

http://Bridgingapps.org  – database of apps; put in device, age, skill

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