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assistive technology

nicks1974 Member Posts: 1
Hi everyone,  Is anyone aware of any technology that would encourage my 10 year old son with autism to start speaking.  They have tried makaton and object of reference but he does not really try to copy in anyway and any response has not been consistent.


  • Hello nicks1974,

    It is always difficult to recommend the right technology without seeing the individual, but there are a few different things you could try. The most common pieces of technology are the iPad and/or an Android Tablet. The Android tablets tend to be cheaper, but offer less choice of apps. 
    • iPad - there is a great resource from CALL Scotland on iPad apps for complex communication support needs here.
    • Android Tablet - There isn't much on appropriate apps, but the Research Autism website has a few recommendations here.
    • Android Tablet - Deal with Autism is an American website, but lists 23 top apps for Android so is worth a look here.
    My advice with regards to apps is to try as many free ones as possible, you can find specialist packages are expensive so make sure it works for your son before you think about spending a lot of money.

    The National Autistic Society has a page about using technology that is a good guide on whether or not it would be the right thing for you and your child, so it would be worth giving that a read

    If you don't think either the iPad or Android Tablet would be right for your son then please do get back in touch because there are other things you could try.

    Hope that helps and thank you for posting in the Scope Community.

  • APMagazine
    APMagazine Member Posts: 4 Listener

    Researches and studies shows that assistive technology produce some heights on the development of a child on the spectrum. My advice is for you to read articles and proofs about the true impact of assistive technology on the spectrum. There are several things that you should also consider upon developing one.

    First, Communication issues and autism

    - For many children with autism, communication issues are one of the first telltale signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

    As autism covers a spectrum of challenges, children can present communication issues differently from one another. Some children might have a large vocabulary and learn to read at a young age but struggle to contextualize what they have read or answer who, what, where, when, why, and how questions.

    Other children may be able to carry conversations but have trouble understanding non-verbal aspects of communication such as gestures, facial expressions, and body language. And then some children with autism may be entirely non-verbal.

    According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), children with autism generally display one of the following patterns of language and use of behaviors:

    Repetitive or rigid language

    Narrow interests and exceptional abilities

    Uneven language development

    Poor nonverbal conversation skills

    Stating this things, you must have an idea now on what path you’ll take in developing an assistive technology.

    Furthermore, a variety of assistive communication devices and strategies have proven successful in assisting many children to develop methods of communicating and even developing speech. These devices are usually prescribed by a speech-language pathologist and are a part of augmentative and alternative communication interventions (AAC).

    You can compare some of the examples of Available assistive communication devices and strategies here:

    Visual Boards

    Picture Exchange Communication System

    Sign Language

    Low technology AAC interventions

    High technology electron devices

    You can find more of the information here (How to access the best assistive devices for your child)Assistive Communication Devices for Children with Autism - Autism Parenting Magazine

  • Beverley_Scope
    Beverley_Scope Scope Navigate service Posts: 84 Pioneering
    edited February 2019
    hi @nicks1974,

    A great piece of software which can be used on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is Proloquo2Go.  you have to buy the software and it is not cheap I'm afraid to say but I have worked with many children with autism using this tool. 

    It is essentially an electronic Picture exchange communication system which speaks whatever is chosen on the screen and can be utilised in different ways.  You could set it up with 4 simple pictures to choose from or you could create folders within folders so that your son could speak sentences and have conversations.  You can also type using the built in keyboard.

    The following link shows a video of the system in use if you are interested.

    The following link takes you to a page where you can view the price.

    I'm not sure how your son's school works but you could speak to the SENCO to see if she/he could point you in any directions as to possible funding.  Especially if it would help him in school.

    Hope this helps,

    Beverley Davies
    Parent Advisor


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