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Apps for learning differently benefits autistic children

Light up blue for autism
Light up blue for autism
Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, and the month of April is Autism Awareness Month. Early childhood educators and pediatricians encourage parents to learn the signs of autism with its many signals that a young child's growth and behavior will give at a very early age. Pediatricians encourage parents to have children tested as young as 2 years of age if they suspect that there is a problem in development. There are many learning disabilities and behavioral disabilities that now fall into the autism spectrum.

Children with autism and its many facets on the spectrum learn differently. Children with autism are sensitive to sounds, smells, and large groups of people. Sarasota is fortunate to have an educational center that is designed for children with a diagnosis of autism, Aspergers, ADD, and ADHD. Beyond the Spectrum provides programs for children in pre-k-12th grade. Their educational programs also focus on social skills. Each program uses hands-on educational activities that correlate with Florida's Sunshine State Standards. Each student is provided with an individualized educational program within the class. Beyond the Spectrum is located at 7333 International Place in Sarasota. Parents with a child that has been diagnosed with autism or one of the many special needs that fall in the spectrum are encouraged to visit Beyond the Spectrum for a tour.

Beyond the Spectrum Educational Center uses current technology to teach its students. Games are part of current technology that can benefit children with autism. Current technology that will be of interest to parents with children who have a diagnosis of autism are the use of apps that are now available from Andre Spivey is a former Air Force IT dad who has developed apps to use with his son who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4. After leaving the Air Force and moving to Florida, he wanted to take his family to Busch Gardens. He was aware that his son needed to be prepared for the trip in that there would be animals, loud sounds, and crowds of people. He developed his first app to introduce his son to animal sounds that he would hear at the gardens. His son was able to remain calm during the visit to the park after using the games on the app to become familiar with what he would experience at the gardens.

Live2Learn Differently LLC currently has game apps for learning shapes, numbers, and hand-eye coordination skills for children who have a diagnosis of autism. Apps for other cognitive skills and a sight word app are currently being created. CEO Andre Spivey is a dad who stepped up for his son when he was diagnosed with autism to create a product that other parents are able to access for their children. His products are available through ,, and