The Amazing Ways Technology Is Impacting Education for Children with Autism

Jan 17, 2018 by

There was a time when parents feared the label ‘autism,’ but in reality, one of every 68 children are on the autism spectrum at varying degrees. This is no longer something to be feared, but rather something to be embraced because many of the world’s leading scholars, scientists, and successful entrepreneurs have been diagnosed with autism! With this ratio and classrooms that often total 30+ children, it leaves teachers with a 50% chance of having at least one student with autism in their classroom each and every year. However, the news is good because technology can foster a positive learning experience. Here are a few ways technology is impacting education for these students.

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1. Improved Social Skills

One of the problems confronting educators today is the size of classrooms, which aren’t conducive to working with students with special needs. One innovative pioneer in keeping teacher to student ratios low is Spero Academy located in Northeast Minneapolis. Here is where you’ll typically find a 1:4 teacher/student ratio, which works well in teaching students to use technology to develop social skills. This particular benefit corresponds directly to a student’s ability to communicate. It’s hard to be social if you can’t communicate and so apps developed for helping kids communicate are also apps to help them build social skills.

2. Apps to Increase Communication Skills

As students begin to master digital technology, they are better equipped to share with other kids. Bear in mind that approximately ¼ of students diagnosed with autism are on the nonverbal spectrum and so apps which help them communicate with others improve socialization with peers. Technology provides these students with a way to communicate and there are several apps developed to help nonverbal autistic children learn to communicate.

3. Promotes Self-Confidence

Believe it or not, technology goes a very long way in helping autistic students develop a positive self-image and self-confidence. The latest statistics show that a great number of autistic students do well in STEM and with the knowledge that they can excel in a subject other students struggle with, they begin to feel better about themselves as fully-functioning individuals. With apps to help them communicate if they are on the far end of the nonverbal spectrum, they can become increasingly self-confident and may even be able to assist other students suffering from low self-esteem.

Summing up the Role of Technology in Autism

It’s amazing just how vital digital communication is in developing self-confidence and in promoting better social skills. From there, kids begin to realize that they are not disadvantaged. Rather, they have the same skills manifesting in different ways. They can speak, even if their communications are digital. They can excel in subjects that other students struggle with. Technology offers a channel through which students with autism can grow as scholars and as social beings.

Just like teaching English as a Second Language, teaching kids to communicate through technology brings the class together. That is the starting place and, thanks to technology, teachers are now able to play a vital role in creating a social learning environment.

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