What are assistive technology tools for autism? You’ve come to the right place to learn more about this technology.
What are assistive technology tools for autism?
More than 75,000,000 people have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It makes life more challenging by impairing communication skills, social interactions, and emotional development.
Those with this condition need something to cope with the disorder and assistive technology is extremely helpful.
What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology is any equipment, software, product, or item that helps improve or maintain the functional capabilities of individuals with autism and other disabilities. There are many types of assistive technology persons with autism can use to raise their quality of life, including
Augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC devices)
Wheelchairs, braces, walkers, and other equipment
Specialized curriculum aids and learning materials
Auditory programs and screen readers
Special pointing devices, keyboards, and switches
High-tech computers and communication boards
Assistive technology devices can help individuals with autism improve their language skills by enhancing their speaking, writing, and typing. Plus, they can facilitate other life skills, such as memory and comprehension.
Assistive technology that aid daily living for those with autism
Above are general examples of assistive technology available for those with autism. Here’s a detailed overview of the low-tech, mid-tech, and hi-tech tools and apps people can use to enhance their social skills and other areas of life:
Text to speech
Text to speech (TTS) is an assistive technology that reads digital texts aloud. Also known as read-aloud technology, it processes words on smartphone or computer screens and transforms them into recordings.
TTS tools are helpful for people with autism by helping them enhance their reading skills. They can also boost focusing, editing, and writing abilities, all of which are crucial skills in many social situations.
There are many well-developed TTS platforms, like Speechify. This convenient software works on practically any device, including iPads, Macs, and Android smartphones. It can read any text aloud, such as Google Docs files and physical documents.
Autistic children, learners, and caregivers can use Speechify to optimize special education needs and elevate social interactions while addressing conversation deficits. It’s one of the best, if not the best, verbal communication devices out there.
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
The main goal of a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is to improve functional social communication. They start by instructing individuals to show a picture of an action or item to their partner. The partner either provides the item or performs the action described in the image.
The PECS method has several benefits for individual needs, but it primarily helps those with autism improve their communication. It lets them use their language more confidently and, over time, master modifiers, answering questions, and other aspects.
Speech generating devices
A speech-generating device is a hand-held gadget that plays phrases or words when you press appropriate keys or buttons or touch a switch. Some tools can also speak words as you type them on your keyboard.
Individuals with autism commonly use speech-generating devices for communication. They’re perfect for people who struggle to pronounce words and want to improve their skills. The devices can come in the form of tablets, computers, and other gadgets with speech-generating features.
Alternative and augmentative communication devices allow people with autism to communicate in many different ways. They can boost comprehension and speech through quizzes, videos, and activities. There are many advantages of these battery-operated or electronic devices, such as:
Easier participation in daily life
Higher independence in everyday activities
Better connections with friends and family
Adaptation of various materials for smoother communication
Visual schedules are graphic representations of scheduled activities and tasks. They’re a great way to break down tasks with multiple steps and ensure the user follows the rules and meets deadlines.
This technology is ideal for persons with autism because it reduces anxiety associated with task organization. It allows participants to perform activities and meet deadlines consistently by lowering stress.
The most common form of visual schedules is pictures, but there are other ways to use this method, including:
Words or phrases
Audiobooks can work wonders for people with autism by aiding their comprehension.
More specifically, those with autism generally have a hard time understanding language nuances on a page, such as sarcasm and inflection. An audiobook narrator can emphasize those elements with cues, so that the listener can pick them up.
Therefore, audiobooks are a perfect way to understand new content as a young child or adult with autism.
Speechify – The text to speech tool for those with autism
Life with autism is challenging, but there are many software programs to cope with this condition and appropriately meet special needs. Speechify is one of your best options.
This text to speech (TTS) solution provides high-quality computer-generated voices that mimic real-life speech with high accuracy. There are different accents in several languages, including English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Another excellent feature of this tool is that you can slow down and speed up the rate of speech. It’s perfect if you’re struggling to keep up with standard reading materials, allowing you to keep pace with your peers.
Furthermore, Speechify highlights words in yellow as it narrates the content. It allows you to focus on the subject matter and avoid missing key points.
Finally, the app has numerous advancements, like optical character recognition (OCR), enabling it to read text directly from images. You can take photos of street signs or documents and upload them to the system. It’ll produce realistic speech for an immersive listening session.
Try Speechify for free today.
What are the most common applications of assistive technology?
Assistive technology has many applications. It can help people improve vision, hearing, communication, and social interactions.
How might autism assistive technology assist in the classroom?
Assistive technology for autism can help sufferers reduce the anxiety that usually accompanies learning materials. It also allows them to keep up with their peers, which is especially true for TTS tools.
What are the benefits of assistive technology tools for autism?
Individuals with autism can use assistive technology equipment to be more independent in their learning and everyday life.