Technology to Support Those With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Caregivers

Reviewed Aug 28, 2017

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Summary

Helpful apps include:

  • Calendars
  • Social media
  • Language skill-building apps

A caregiver of a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can face seemingly endless work, nights without sleep or feelings of guilt. This is all while caring for a person who isn’t communicating or interacting in a way that can be understood. The task can feel overwhelming.

Advances in technology offer support to caregivers and those with ASD. Applications, or apps, exist that can help discover the personality and what the person with ASD can do. Those considered to be nonverbal can now have a voice. Those thought to be functioning can show how smart they are. Those believed to be not interested can show if they are or not.

The technology also gives the caregiver a chance to explore and get to know the person for whom he is caring. Other apps offer support to the caregiver. They can give a voice to his social, emotional and spiritual needs.

Educational/supportive technology

Augmentative and alternative communication is a way to make up for speech-language impairments. Low-tech (non-electrical) choices are a good tool. But touch-screen computers and devices such as the iPad have opened up a world of chances for those with ASD to express themselves. The apps let a person connect using pictures and phrases and, in some cases, let them change them to speech.

Users can plan daily routines. These can be defined as an order of distinct actions. The actions can be presented as visual cues and images and give the person a sense of control. The predefined schedules also have a way to control emotions and resist feelings of impatience.

Emotions and self-expression apps were designed to teach the person to associate her emotions to facial expressions and body language. This empowers the person with the goal of understanding and regulating them.

Social skills and language growth are applications that show how to act in larger gatherings, and speak and relate with others. Some of these apps support interaction through social or other media.

Learning and motor skills are applications that help teach things such as letters, numbers, counting, math, time and more. Games, art and other creative applications are also helpful.

Caregiver support

Social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs let caregivers connect and share with peers who are facing challenges like their own.

Calendar apps can help caregivers stay organized and keep track of tasks and duties to be done on a day-by-day basis. Calendars can be shared so spouses or other approved people can have a shared view of tasks and meetings. There are many free choices that are useful. In most cases, the calendars are able to be used by smartphones or other mobile devices.

A number of articles and advocacy papers are on the Web. In many cases, they are written and reviewed by experts.

There are many choices for a free email account that is secure and trusted. Once established, all email platforms let the user make contact lists. This is a way to keep all people you know in one place (doctors, friends, playgroups) for easy access to addresses and phone numbers. Most smartphones support access to email accounts, and the lists can be imported.

Resources

Help for parents

100-day Kit from Autism Speaks
Created specifically for newly diagnosed families to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child’s diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/100-day-kit

Guide for Parents, from helpguide.org, a service of Harvard Medical School
www.helpguide.org/mental/autism_spectrum.htm

Blogs for parents

Autism Matters
www.autism-society.org/blog

Paula Kluth, a special education teacher, advocate for people with ASD, consultant and winner of many awards for her work with special needs children.
www.paulakluth.com/

Autisable, real blogs from people tackling the puzzle of autism spectrum disorder, compiled by The Autism Society.
www.autisable.com/

Blogs for people with autism

In Their Own Words, the official blog of Autism Speaks.
www.autismspeaks.org/blog

Apps, books and DVDs for people with autism spectrum disorder

Apps for Autism, mostly for iPhones/iPads, compiled by Autism Speaks.
www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/autism-apps

Free Videos for Autistic Kids, links to free digital resources for parents and teachers.
www.freevideosforautistickids.com

Model Me Kids, videos for modeling social skills.
www.modelmekids.com

We Thought You’d Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism, an award-winning film by author and autism advocate Paula Kluth. To preview, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKj9NDHo8bg.

By Keith Roberts, Vice President, Business Intelligence Architecture, Beacon Health Options
Reviewed by Drew Pate, MD, Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Helpful apps include:

  • Calendars
  • Social media
  • Language skill-building apps

A caregiver of a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can face seemingly endless work, nights without sleep or feelings of guilt. This is all while caring for a person who isn’t communicating or interacting in a way that can be understood. The task can feel overwhelming.

Advances in technology offer support to caregivers and those with ASD. Applications, or apps, exist that can help discover the personality and what the person with ASD can do. Those considered to be nonverbal can now have a voice. Those thought to be functioning can show how smart they are. Those believed to be not interested can show if they are or not.

The technology also gives the caregiver a chance to explore and get to know the person for whom he is caring. Other apps offer support to the caregiver. They can give a voice to his social, emotional and spiritual needs.

Educational/supportive technology

Augmentative and alternative communication is a way to make up for speech-language impairments. Low-tech (non-electrical) choices are a good tool. But touch-screen computers and devices such as the iPad have opened up a world of chances for those with ASD to express themselves. The apps let a person connect using pictures and phrases and, in some cases, let them change them to speech.

Users can plan daily routines. These can be defined as an order of distinct actions. The actions can be presented as visual cues and images and give the person a sense of control. The predefined schedules also have a way to control emotions and resist feelings of impatience.

Emotions and self-expression apps were designed to teach the person to associate her emotions to facial expressions and body language. This empowers the person with the goal of understanding and regulating them.

Social skills and language growth are applications that show how to act in larger gatherings, and speak and relate with others. Some of these apps support interaction through social or other media.

Learning and motor skills are applications that help teach things such as letters, numbers, counting, math, time and more. Games, art and other creative applications are also helpful.

Caregiver support

Social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs let caregivers connect and share with peers who are facing challenges like their own.

Calendar apps can help caregivers stay organized and keep track of tasks and duties to be done on a day-by-day basis. Calendars can be shared so spouses or other approved people can have a shared view of tasks and meetings. There are many free choices that are useful. In most cases, the calendars are able to be used by smartphones or other mobile devices.

A number of articles and advocacy papers are on the Web. In many cases, they are written and reviewed by experts.

There are many choices for a free email account that is secure and trusted. Once established, all email platforms let the user make contact lists. This is a way to keep all people you know in one place (doctors, friends, playgroups) for easy access to addresses and phone numbers. Most smartphones support access to email accounts, and the lists can be imported.

Resources

Help for parents

100-day Kit from Autism Speaks
Created specifically for newly diagnosed families to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child’s diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/100-day-kit

Guide for Parents, from helpguide.org, a service of Harvard Medical School
www.helpguide.org/mental/autism_spectrum.htm

Blogs for parents

Autism Matters
www.autism-society.org/blog

Paula Kluth, a special education teacher, advocate for people with ASD, consultant and winner of many awards for her work with special needs children.
www.paulakluth.com/

Autisable, real blogs from people tackling the puzzle of autism spectrum disorder, compiled by The Autism Society.
www.autisable.com/

Blogs for people with autism

In Their Own Words, the official blog of Autism Speaks.
www.autismspeaks.org/blog

Apps, books and DVDs for people with autism spectrum disorder

Apps for Autism, mostly for iPhones/iPads, compiled by Autism Speaks.
www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/autism-apps

Free Videos for Autistic Kids, links to free digital resources for parents and teachers.
www.freevideosforautistickids.com

Model Me Kids, videos for modeling social skills.
www.modelmekids.com

We Thought You’d Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism, an award-winning film by author and autism advocate Paula Kluth. To preview, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKj9NDHo8bg.

By Keith Roberts, Vice President, Business Intelligence Architecture, Beacon Health Options
Reviewed by Drew Pate, MD, Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Helpful apps include:

  • Calendars
  • Social media
  • Language skill-building apps

A caregiver of a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can face seemingly endless work, nights without sleep or feelings of guilt. This is all while caring for a person who isn’t communicating or interacting in a way that can be understood. The task can feel overwhelming.

Advances in technology offer support to caregivers and those with ASD. Applications, or apps, exist that can help discover the personality and what the person with ASD can do. Those considered to be nonverbal can now have a voice. Those thought to be functioning can show how smart they are. Those believed to be not interested can show if they are or not.

The technology also gives the caregiver a chance to explore and get to know the person for whom he is caring. Other apps offer support to the caregiver. They can give a voice to his social, emotional and spiritual needs.

Educational/supportive technology

Augmentative and alternative communication is a way to make up for speech-language impairments. Low-tech (non-electrical) choices are a good tool. But touch-screen computers and devices such as the iPad have opened up a world of chances for those with ASD to express themselves. The apps let a person connect using pictures and phrases and, in some cases, let them change them to speech.

Users can plan daily routines. These can be defined as an order of distinct actions. The actions can be presented as visual cues and images and give the person a sense of control. The predefined schedules also have a way to control emotions and resist feelings of impatience.

Emotions and self-expression apps were designed to teach the person to associate her emotions to facial expressions and body language. This empowers the person with the goal of understanding and regulating them.

Social skills and language growth are applications that show how to act in larger gatherings, and speak and relate with others. Some of these apps support interaction through social or other media.

Learning and motor skills are applications that help teach things such as letters, numbers, counting, math, time and more. Games, art and other creative applications are also helpful.

Caregiver support

Social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs let caregivers connect and share with peers who are facing challenges like their own.

Calendar apps can help caregivers stay organized and keep track of tasks and duties to be done on a day-by-day basis. Calendars can be shared so spouses or other approved people can have a shared view of tasks and meetings. There are many free choices that are useful. In most cases, the calendars are able to be used by smartphones or other mobile devices.

A number of articles and advocacy papers are on the Web. In many cases, they are written and reviewed by experts.

There are many choices for a free email account that is secure and trusted. Once established, all email platforms let the user make contact lists. This is a way to keep all people you know in one place (doctors, friends, playgroups) for easy access to addresses and phone numbers. Most smartphones support access to email accounts, and the lists can be imported.

Resources

Help for parents

100-day Kit from Autism Speaks
Created specifically for newly diagnosed families to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child’s diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/100-day-kit

Guide for Parents, from helpguide.org, a service of Harvard Medical School
www.helpguide.org/mental/autism_spectrum.htm

Blogs for parents

Autism Matters
www.autism-society.org/blog

Paula Kluth, a special education teacher, advocate for people with ASD, consultant and winner of many awards for her work with special needs children.
www.paulakluth.com/

Autisable, real blogs from people tackling the puzzle of autism spectrum disorder, compiled by The Autism Society.
www.autisable.com/

Blogs for people with autism

In Their Own Words, the official blog of Autism Speaks.
www.autismspeaks.org/blog

Apps, books and DVDs for people with autism spectrum disorder

Apps for Autism, mostly for iPhones/iPads, compiled by Autism Speaks.
www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/autism-apps

Free Videos for Autistic Kids, links to free digital resources for parents and teachers.
www.freevideosforautistickids.com

Model Me Kids, videos for modeling social skills.
www.modelmekids.com

We Thought You’d Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism, an award-winning film by author and autism advocate Paula Kluth. To preview, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKj9NDHo8bg.

By Keith Roberts, Vice President, Business Intelligence Architecture, Beacon Health Options
Reviewed by Drew Pate, MD, Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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