Computer Programs and Apps for Autistic Children (Part I)

Advances in technology have given educators a good amount of new tools to use in instruction. This is no exception for teachers educating students with autism.

From iPads to SMART Boards to the typical computer, there are numerous websites, software programs, and applications that help the needs of learners with autism.

One specific software program that has gained the attention of professionals educating those in the autism community. Vizzle is a research-based, innovative program geared at supporting the social, academic, and communication needs of learners with autism, not to mention supporting the educators and parents of those children.

This program is about easy data collection and easy sharing,” said Pam Homsher, communications director for Vizzle and parent of a child with autism. Parents and teachers can save lessons and get visual supports created with the program and access ready-made materials too. This tremendously reduces the preparation time.

Homsher notes that for children with autism, there is frequently too much extra information to process when given a lesson from a teacher. Students are able to concentrate closely on the skill at hand when learning with Vizzle.

The use of iPads in the classroom has helped students with autism tremendously.

Using iPads

The use of the iPad in classrooms for children with autism has brought real change in communication, instruction, and behavior management. There is a whole category on the education app page dedicated to special education.

Simple apps, such as timers and chore charts, help students with disabilities arrange their time and improve productivity. Several parents and teachers use timers with autistic children to indicate the end of an activity and help with a smooth transition to a new task.

Popular apps like Proloquo2Go, which help with communication for non-verbal learners, and Dragon Dictation that utilizes speech-to-text technology, have modified the way autistic children participate in the classroom.