Computer-Based Therapy for Autistic Children (Part II)

Also, parents need to take into consideration hardware such as a mouse, for instance. Some children might have difficulty using a mouse. In this case, parents can buy a touch screen or work the mouse for the child.

If the child with autism has trouble using a computer mouse, they can do computer therapy on a touch screen device.

The most crucial fac or is for parents to create a schedule for the use of software programs. The programs must be used in a distraction-free environment with the aid of a sibling, parent, caregiver or trained professional. The software is to be used as a tool, not as entertainment. Parents must decide the where, when, and how of using it.

Purchasing Software

When purchasing software, parents buy programs from manufacturers who specialize in special-needs software. Use caution if buying off-the-shelf. Commercial software programs usually offer little to no educational value for autistic children. Those programs also typically contain animation and music that can distract an autistic child. Parents should consult a professional who specializes in skill development on the appropriate type of software to purchase for their autistic child.

When a program works for a child, its effective use will last six to eight months on average or, in some cases, longer based on the number of levels provided in the program. Also, parents have to create a budget for the programs. The average cost of software is around $100 and can go from $50 to $250. A child’s first set of programs will run around $100 to $150. To save money, parents can buy programs packaged in a series that will instruct the child through a range of levels.

Computer-based instruction using software programs can improve a child’s speech, reading abilities, social skills and life skills. Also, using software programs will help a child develop the abilities necessary for living in today’s computer-oriented society. This technology gives the chance for children with autism to have an optimistic view of independent life.