Adaptive Technology and AutismMitzi HelmsITEC 8133Literature Review Presentation
What is Autism?The term "autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)"refers to a wide range of developmentaldisorders and includes five classifications.According to the National Institute of MentalHealth, these disorders are usually firstdiagnosed in early childhood and range froma severe form, called autistic disorder, to amuch milder form, Aspergers syndrome. Theyalso include two rare disorders, Rett syndromeand childhood disintegrative disorder(Southwest Autism Research & ResourceCenter, 2013).
Adaptive Technology…Defined• The federal government has defined assistivetechnology, also known as adaptive technology,devices as ‘‘any item, piece of equipment orproduct system, whether acquired commerciallyor off the shelf, modified, or customized, that isused to increase, maintain, or improve functionalcapabilities of individuals with disabilities’’ (IDEIA,2004).• The Individuals with Disabilities EducationImprovement Act (2004) also requires thatassistive technology, or adaptive technology, be‘considered’ when developing individual familyservice plans (IFSPs) or individual education plans(IEPs) for young children.
Methods of Computer-Assisted Instruction• TeachTown™ is a CAI program that targets language,cognitive, academic, social, and life skills. Research showsstudents who actively used TeachTown™ demonstrated muchbigger increases in receptive and expressive language thantheir non-treated peers (Whalen, Moss, Ilan, Vaupel, Fielding,MacDonald & Symon, 2010).• Computer-Assisted Interviewing offers specific qualities includingthe child’s ability to take control, avoidance of social factors,and the predictability of a computer; however, there appearsto be few studies evaluating the use of CAI with children.• Researchers have conducted experimental episodes wherestudents were given a personal digital assistant (PDA) to use asan activity schedule. Studies show that task completion washigher for two of the three students compared to using apicture-based task strip (Mechling & Savidge, 2011).• PowerPoint has been used to teach reading decoding forstudents with physical and speech disabilities and to encouragesocial communication for students with ASD (Coleman, 2009).
Methods of Information & Communication Technologies• Video-based intervention (VBI) is a termused to describe procedures thatinvolve presenting video recording asthe independent variable forintervention.• Video self-modeling is effectivebecause:– it focuses on the target children’s visualstrength;– children with autism prefer to learn fromvideo self-modeling to live, real world peermodeling (Huang & Wheeler, 2006).
Methods of Evidence-Based Practices• Behavioral teaching strategies are fundamentalintervention techniques based on the principles ofapplied behavior analysis (Odom, Collet-Klingenberg, Rogers, & Hatton, 2010).• Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a set of strategies usedmainly to reduce or eliminate interfering behaviors.• The E-Word Wall (EWW) is an interactive model of aword wall.• The SmartBoard is an interactive whiteboard developedby SMART Technologies in 1991 (Xin & Sutman, 2011).• Smartphones have the possibility of increasing socialopportunities of students with ASD through contact withpeers by using emails and text messaging as well associal media, including Facebook and Twitter.
Conclusion• Educators can employ computer-assisted instruction,information and communication technologies, andevidence-based practices to be used in the P-12classroom.• It is widely recognized that autism has its basis inintellectual dysfunction, and some of the brain are asknown to be involved in autism symptoms areestablished. Several technological advancescontributed to an increase in autism research andchanges in practice beginning in the mid-1960s andrapidly increasing in the early 1990s.• Thompson (2013) found that as a replacement for 1–2%of individuals with autism having good outcomes aswas the case in the 1970s, over half are presently inregular education classrooms and many are going onto college.
SOMETHING TO CONSIDEREllen Notbohm (2005), author of Ten Things Every Childwith Autism Wishes You Knew, wrote:“Patience. Patience. Patience. Work to view myautism as a different ability rather than a disability.Look past what you may see as limitations and see thegifts autism has given me. It may be true that I’m notgood at eye contact or conversation, but have younoticed that I don’t lie, cheat at games, tattle on myclassmates or pass judgment on other people? Alsotrue that I probably won’t be the next Michael Jordan.But with my attention to fine detail and capacity forextraordinary focus, I might be the next Einstein. OrMozart. Or Van Gogh.” (p. xxxi)
ReferencesColeman, M. (2009). "PowerPoint" is not just for business presentations and collegelectures: Using "PowerPoint" to enhance instruction for students withdisabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, 6(1).Huang, A., & Wheeler, J. (2006). Effective interventions for individuals with high-functional autism. International Journal of Special Education, 21(3), 165-175.Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, 118 Stat. 2647 (2004).Mechling, L., & Savidge, E. (2011). Using a personal digital assistant to increasecompletion of novel tasks and independent transitioning by students withautism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders,41(6), 687-704.Odom, S., Collet-Klingenberg, L., Rogers, S., & Hatton, D. (2010). Evidence-basedpractices in interventions for children and youth with autism spectrumdisorders. Preventing School Failure, 54(4), 275-282.Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center. (2013). Autism faq. Retrieved fromhttp://autismcenter.org/autism_faq.aspxThompson, T. (2013). Autism research and services for young children: History,progress and challenges. Journal of Applied Research in IntellectualDisabilities, 26(2), 81-107. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jar.12021Whalen, C., Moss, D., Ilan, A., Vaupel, M., Fielding, P., MacDonald, K., & Symon, J.(2010). Efficacy of teachtown: Basics computer-assisted intervention for theintensive comprehensive autism program in Los Angeles Unified SchoolDistrict. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 14(3), 179-197.Xin, J., & Sutman, F. (2011). Using the Smartboard in teaching social stories tostudents with autism. Teaching Exceptional Children, 43(4), 18-24.