Children with autism spectrum disorders are using technology to learn and communicate in new ways. Now there is a new smart phone application that incorporates Applied Behavior Analysis to help children in new ways. According to an announcement made on Feb. 24, the Social Talks application from WebTeam Corporation goes further than many other autism-related applications currently on the market.
The application teaches communication skills and social interaction skills. Children can learn how to navigate social situations like birthday parties and holidays using social stories and a series of "yes" or "no" questions. Visual cues along with the two answer options create a way to engage children on the app without overwhelming them with too many choices.
Although it may seem limiting to only allow two possible answers to each question, the word and visual cues in each social story can help grow a child's vocabulary by putting it into a logical context. The game-like appearance of the app will reportedly help children stay engaged while learned valuable skills.
This new "autism app" was created using the advice of Dr. Vidya Bhushan Gupta, who is a member of the Society for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The WebTeam Corporation has created several other applications that assist individuals with autism. The Social Talks app will be available for Apple and Android devices.
The movement to use tablets and smartphones to aid communication in those living within the autism spectrum is gaining acceptance with doctors and in schools across the country. While some students in the past have relied on flashcards to help with picture communication, a tablet can hold thousands of picture communication cards in a single app, and can also hold valuable educational tools such as the Social Talks application.