“While it may sound obvious that students with disabilities need additional support, few ed tech tools exist to support this diverse group of students,” said Tonika Cheek Clayton, Managing Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund.
San Francisco, California (PRWEB) May 17, 2017
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties in social communication and social interaction and the presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors. Speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat children with autism. They help in areas including communication skills and social skills.
iTherapy, LLC designs educational technology that improves communication skills, using a combination of science, technology, and play. Co-founded by speech-language pathologists Lois Jean Brady (Martinez, CA) and Matthew Guggemos (Napa, CA), iTherapy, LLC designs educational software for people on the autism spectrum. Additionally, iTherapy, LLC provides communication therapy to children, aged three to 18, throughout Northern California Counties.
For many children with autism spectrum disorder, educational technology is often the key that unlocks hidden potential, particularly in the areas of language and literacy. All around the world, people with autism are learning to communicate by acquiring literacy skills -- by first associating written text with photographs -- and thereby opening up new worlds of social, vocational, and educational opportunities.
“While it may sound obvious that students with disabilities need additional support, few ed tech tools exist to support this diverse group of students,” said Tonika Cheek Clayton, Managing Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund. “We believe ed tech tools have the potential to address many critical needs in special education.
iTherapy’s app, InnerVoice, features the NSF-funded emotional communication technology: InnerVoice allows users to express their thoughts, feelings, and words through an amazing combination of facial expressions and emotional speech. InnerVoice allows users to communicate via handwriting, typing, or selecting picture icons -- any of which are converted to speech delivered by an avatar bearing the user’s image, helping to model speech and express emotions. InnerVoice is currently available for, an incredible $9.99, 50% off on the iTunes Apple App Store for the entire month of May.
Everyone can play a role in fostering an inclusive atmosphere for children and adults with autism, whether at school, in workplaces, in local businesses, and throughout our society.
The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association offers these tips:
Reach out. People with autism want to make social connections just like everybody else, but it might be more difficult for them. Make an effort to engage the person in conversation or to invite them to participate in an activity.
Be patient. Give the person additional time to speak and respond. Don’t try to finish the person’s sentence or thought for them.
Modify your communication. Rephrase what you say if the person doesn’t understand or respond the first time. Use visual cues, or write your message down. Go the extra mile to be a good communication partner!
Don’t make assumptions. Don’t assume you know what the person wants or what they are thinking. Ask them!
We know from research as well as practical experience that the earlier treatment begins for a child with autism, the better their outcomes.
For parents who have questions about their child’s development, don’t delay. The time is now to seek an evaluation. There is nothing to lose but a lot to gain if there is an issue that needs to be addressed.