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Autism Apps for Kids

Archive for October, 2016

Autism Apps for Kids

Posted on: October 20th, 2016 by Autism Therapy Group

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We live in an increasing age of technology; from integration in schools, at home, and in the workplace, technology is no longer just a source of mindless games and entertainment. In fact, there are several proven apps that help support the needs of children with autism.
 
Benefits of apps:
 

  • Relevant learning tool
  • Increases social development
  • Practice and master skills
  • Provides useful visual support
  • Useful tools to increase and practice communication

Check out these expert-recommended apps for the iPhone and iPads to find what works for your child.
 

  • iPrompts:
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  • “iPrompts® includes several easy-to-use, visual prompting templates to help individuals transition from one activity to the next, understand upcoming events, make choices, and focus on the task at hand.

 

  • No need to spend hours creating image cards by printing, cutting and laminating
  • No bulky or stigmatizing binders or strips of images
  • Store thousands of images in your pocket
  • Add your own pictures to the hundreds of stock images included within iPrompts®
  • Electronically backlit images are bright and visible any time of day or night
  • Paperless and environmentally friendly.”
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  • iprompt

 

  1. Pictello:
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  3. “An easy way to create, playback and share visual stories and talking books.” Users will develop reading, writing, and spelling skills while building confidence in communication.

 

pictello
 
Features:

 

Use the wizard function to create stories of your own

  • Play a slideshow of your creation
  • Integrate multimedia by adding your own photos and video clips
  • Share your stories with other users

 

  1. Cognoa:
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  3. “Cognoa is a consumer healthcare company that’s changing how parents assess and support their child’s development. Already one of the largest screeners of children’s development, Cognoa gives parents peace of mind by identifying where a child is on track and what parents can do to help the child improve.”
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  7. First Then Visual Schedule:
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  9. “First-Then visual schedule is an affordable user-friendly mobile application designed for caregivers to provide positive behavior support through the use of visual schedules. First-Then was designed for individuals with communication needs, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders or anyone who would benefit from a structured environment.”
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  1. Learn with Rufus:
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  3. Your child will learn to sort his or her feelings and emotions with this interactive app. Watch as they have fun while learning how facial expressions tell us what someone is feeling and how to identify and express those emotions. This customizable game will meet the needs of your child’s development and learning styles.
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As you already know, technology, phones, and iPads can be excellent sources of learning, development, and information but can also become a somewhat addictive habit. Be sure to monitor computer time and create clear time limits and rules your child understands. Reinforce these apps with breaks and other methods of learning that do not utilize technology to create a balance. Encourage your child to bring these skills to the outside world and to practice them in real social settings to see how these apps can pay off in real life.

 

What apps do you use? Have you created rules for using technology? Share your tips, apps, rules, and experiences below.

Autism Coping Skills for Parents

Posted on: October 14th, 2016 by Autism Therapy Group

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As a parent of a child with autism, only you can understand the unique dynamics, obstacles, joys, and struggles that occur on a daily and nightly basis, but don’t worry, even though it may feel like it at times, you are not alone. Thousands of other families are handling similar situations, and the great news? There are coping skills you can use during those trying moments.
 

  1. Avoid the internet:
     
     
    What’s the first thing people turn to in times of need, desperation, or questioning? The internet, of course. It’s an endless resource, literally available at your very fingertips any time of the night or day.
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Put your phone down. Turn the computer off. Stay off the internet.
 
 
What may start as good intention will turn into an endless black hole of “information,” leading you in hundreds of different directions, often spiraling out of control. What you need in your times of need is calm. What you need is security. The internet can be a wonderful resource but can also be your worst enemy.

When you feel the need to Google your dilemma, write it down in a journal, call a friend, turn to a book, and wait to call your doctor.
 
 

  1. Network:
     
     
    While you should trust your doctor and therapists for medical advice, sometimes the best and most comforting support you will receive is from other parents who have been there. This is where the internet can actually be a useful tool – use it to network with parents of children with autism and start building relationships.
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Remember, you may feel alone, but you are not alone. Connecting with other families will assure you of this, and you can lean on one another for support, share your triumphs, and offer to listen through those bad days.

A word of caution and advice? While online groups, including social media networks, can be an excellent source of support, you should be prepared to brush off unsolicited advice. Weed through any negativity and focus on those positive relationships.
 
 

  1. Give yourself grace:
     
     
    Through the good and challenging days, doctor office waiting rooms, and waiting for school meetings, your responsibilities go on and on. Don’t forget to give yourself allowances for you Taking care of yourself is not selfish; in fact, you will be the best help to your child if you first take care of yourself. Get into a habit of making “me time” every day, even as little as 20 minutes; whether it’s reading before bed, getting in a quick workout, or finding a peaceful moment to reflect and journal, find what makes you happy and make sure to remember your needs.
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  1. Not every day is a win:
     
     
    Finding what works for your child is an ongoing process; you will inevitably try things that work and run into strategies that do not work, and that’s okay. Not every day needs to a win to be considered a success. Focus on the positives, no matter how small, and learn from the trials. There are treatments and therapies that will work for your child; you may have to go through various methods before you find the right one, but it is out there.
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  1. Ask for help:
     
     
    Parents have a notion that they need to take on the world, especially parents of children with special needs. But guess what – you’re human! If you’re having a hard day, you don’t have to just grin in bear it. If you need to cry and talk about it to a spouse or friend, do it – don’t hold the weight in and keep it all to yourself.

Remember: you will best be able to care for your child if you take care of yourself first. This means asking for help – doctors, partners, friends, neighbors, your child’s school – they are all part of your support system, so ask for help before you feel completely and utterly overwhelmed.

What coping strategies have worked for you? Are you a member of any online support groups or social network sites for parents of children with autism? Are you guilty of becoming a doctor of Google? Share your experiences so we can cultivate a community.