Carol Allen Autism notes

Mobile Technology: communication, literacy and life!

Carol Allen


FB:  2010: Inclusion for All!

Well hello and HUGE thanks for making it through the snow and rain to attend the Autism Playday in Manchester!  I promised the references from my  here they are.  I hope you can find something that supports your practice and consequently, the young people that we all strive to move forwards successfully.

I began by presenting a few baseline observations for the session.

  1. Communication is at the heart of all teaching and learning, both formal and informal.
  2. Communication is historically identified as a key area in the triad of impairments commonly     associated with those on the autistic spectrum.
  3. Technology is an integral part of our world and everyday lives.
  4. 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 again 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.

We covered the following key points

  1. 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.
  1. 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

NB…remember the story about Mrs Brazil…when making your own, personalised resources (always a good idea) pay attention to every detail!

  1. We had very little time to touch on behaviour support so we jumped over the fact that technology allows us to make social stories, video diaries, prompt sequences etc easily and concentrated on the window that it has provided into the world of young people with autism.  Give them the technology, let them film and show you their world.  Follow online sharing channels such as those on You Tube to gain greater understanding.
  1. Social Networking.  We considered this from three perspectives.  Firstly, for our own learning….Twitter..superb for CPD, for gaining ideas and sharing ideas/ Facebook..superb for following parents groups, specialist pages and resource pages.  Secondly, for our students to be part of the online world and share their leisure time, gaming, areas of special interest etc.

Finally we considered e-safety for this particular group of learners

The resource pack that I mentioned which offers a good overview, Autism spectrum disorders: a resource pack for staff will be useful for any member of staff working in an education setting is to be found free to download at

Once again..HUGE thanks for listening, for travelling to share the day..and generally being lovely!

MAKE A DIFFERENCE!   Thanks, Carol