Overcoming Communication Barriers with Technology

Communication continues to serve as a devastating barrier for many children on the autism spectrum.  Not being able to express their needs and wants to others, as well as struggling to make sense of communication cues from peers, often results in discouragement and frustration which can take the form of behavioral outbursts.

“Autism is a disorder that may make it impossible at times for the child to communicate. Even the smile is just too confusing.” – Dr. Mehmet Oz

Those children in the moderate to severe range of autism often have difficulty with expressive communication.  We have turned to communication systems, such as Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and the GoTalk Device, for assisting our children in acquiring communication skills.

Children on the autism spectrum with a mild language, may have difficulties with reciprocal interaction, or “reading” the emotions on another’s face or understanding abstract concepts and idioms.  In these cases, we have found that they can improve their skills through the utilization of certain iPad apps.

We have acknowledged our successes anecdotally and we are now in the process of formalizing our results. As we see an increase in our students’ communication skills through the use of the Apple iPad, we are excited to share our findings with others as an attempt to impact the quality of services to children with disabilities beyond the Erie community.

A successful program should be individually designed and involve both the school and family members.

We invite you to stay tuned as we continue to share our success stories and information about what we have found to be helpful in improving communications.

For my post on Tuesday I will be suggesting iPad apps that we have found to be effective with our students.

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