What are the best technology tools for autistic kids?

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    Pondering the best technology tools for autistic kids? Let’s explore these apps and more.

    What are the best technology tools for autistic kids?

    Children with autism spectrum disorder encounter numerous daily challenges. Autism affects their speech, studying, social skills, and most other aspects of their lives. They communicate, learn, and behave differently from their classmates. As a result, many ASD children have social interaction issues that result in stress, social isolation, and school problems.

    Fortunately, advanced technology tools can now assist children with autism and make their lives easier. This article shares the best assistive technology tools available to help autistic children perform better in school and ease their social anxiety.

    Useful assistive technology tools for autistic children

    A range of tools, apps, and assistive technology devices are available to help autistic children and learners navigate through daily living. Below is an overview of the easiest, most popular, and most effective tools to try.

    Text to speech

    Text to speech (TTS) converts text files into audio. Many TTS apps have highlighting features to make reading texts simpler. Educational institutions worldwide have begun integrating TTS as an essential tool in special education, especially for students with learning disabilities.

    Students with dyslexia, ADHD, autism, and similar learning disabilities can benefit from TTS in many ways. The students can focus better on the content without having to read it. As a result, they understand the material better. Other than information retention, TTS also helps with increasing motivation.

    Many modern-day tools like Speechify have natural-sounding voices that sound more realistic.

    Proloquo2Go is another example of an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app with TTS functionality that can help children with autism.

    Smartstones Touch

    Smartstones Touch is a lightweight, wearable device that makes nonverbal communication easy for children with autism. The wearable lets children send messages using simple gestures. They can shake, swipe, or tap the device to choose from different messages, create their own, and send them to their friends and family.

    The tool allows recipients to send answers from their smartphones for more accessible communication.

    The Autism Speaks toolkits

    Autism Speaks is an excellent resource for children and families living with autism. The tool kit contains various resources, research studies, educational material, support groups, and an extensive podcast and video library.

    Autistic children can navigate through the tool kit easily, allowing them to access valuable material that can help them do better in school or improve their social interaction. Parents can benefit from the platform through helpful advice, autism-related scientific news, and more.

    Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS)

    Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) allow people with autism and other communication difficulties to express themselves using pictures. A PECS user can approach someone and offer them a picture of an item they want to receive that item.

    Children with autism can benefit from PECS by communicating thoughts, requests, or any ideas they can display on a picture card. Parents and teachers can use this tool as well.

    Smile at Me

    Smile at Me is a tool that helps autistic children learn about emotions. Parents or caregivers show pictures of different situations (both negative and positive), and the child selects a happy or sad emotion. They receive rewards when choosing the right answer.

    Using Smile at Me repeatedly helps children learn about and understand social cues.

    Skyle

    Skyle is a flexible device for people with physical disabilities. The tool is an attachment for an iPad Pro and can be used through eye control, switch, touch, or a pointer device, allowing those with disabilities to browse the web and access apps independently. Skyle can also work with Proloquo2Go or other AAC devices and apps to make sending emails or using social media a breeze.

    Avaz AAC

    Avaz AAC is an app for children with autism and other communication difficulties. The app uses text and pictures to help grow the child’s vocabulary. The software includes valuable metrics like behavior analysis which parents can track to see their child’s development.

    The app is fairly simple to use. There are various personalization options to make the experience unique for every autistic child.

    The app is available for Android and iOS devices.

    Flip Writer

    Flip Writer is a communication app for nonverbal autistic children and people. It’s also an app for everyone who prefers communicating through text. The user simply types the message of their choice, while the text appears inverted so the person standing opposite the person can read it.

    The app has a predictive text feature, text to speech functionality, and Siri integration for speech recognition.

    At the time of writing, Flip Writer is only available for Apple devices.

    Discover the power of text to speech with Speechify

    As mentioned above, Speechify is a text to speech tool that is effective in helping children with autism focus better.

    With the Speechify app, any text file, web page, PDF, or email can become speech without using an external speech-generating device. Users can upload their own documents from their devices and turn them into MP3 or WAV audio files. Then, they can listen to that file online or offline.

    Students and young children with special needs, including those with autism, can boost their communication skills, learn new vocabulary, listen to social stories, and more with Speechify. Speechify has a free version you can try by visiting the official website and hitting the “Try for free” button.

    FAQ

    What are good sensory items for autism?

    Sensory mats, pin art, rainmaker toys, vibrating cushions, and stress balls are great sensory items and toys for children with autism.

    What are some signs of autism?

    Children that avoid eye contact, don’t respond when being called, do plenty of repetitive movements, don’t talk too much, or smile when a person smiles at them may show signs of autism.

    Is a visual schedule useful for autistic children?

    Yes, children with autism can be more responsive to information presented visually and using a step-by-step approach compared to auditory information presentation.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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