Carol Allen, Independent Educational Consultant.
I’d like to begin by presenting a few baseline observations:
- Communication is at the heart of all teaching and learning, both formal and informal.
- Communication is historically identified as a key area in the triad of impairments commonly associated with those on the autistic spectrum.
- Technology is an integral part of our world and everyday lives.
- Technology has offered us a way to see that there are other forms of communication that may be used by others, perhaps not communication in the ways we are used to, however communication nonetheless.
Consider the toast analogy: think about how exactly you like toast to be prepared and served. No two people really enjoy toast the same way…why should we adopt one size fits all in education?
So…what are we aiming for?
- Understanding the environment
- Improve communication skills
- Understand social interaction
- Build better attention skills
- Utilise and add to motivators
- Improve organizational skills
- Keep up with the classroom curriculum
- Always work towards independence
How can technology help?
Offers an attractive alternative to social or verbal interactions.
- Safe, consistent and controllable environment.
- Over and Over and Over!
- Supports reading, writing, handwriting and organising thoughts.
- Cognitive difficulties supported by personalisation.
- Games technology – achieving excellence and allows relationships with peers.
- E-mail/msg/txt allows for easier communication.
I suggest the following key points
- Mobile technology…the key is in the name…use the tech to get beyond the desk/workstation/classroom. Don’t be an app collector..know why you are using them and how they enhance learning.
- Technology to support learning..oh so many choices and in this short session we considered offering a choice of writing implements and
for communication: apps such as proloquo2go, Grid 3, SFY, Clicker Communicator, Grace App
When making your own, personalised resources (always a good idea) pay attention to every detail!
More to follow!
Carol Allen will be presenting at the forthcoming BIG AUTISM PLAY DAY in London, 17 March 2017.