Autism has received a lot of national media attention in recent years, largely because the number of children diagnosed has risen sharply. Whether this is due to better diagnostic testing or some yet undiscovered genetic or environmental factor is still to be determined. Either way, its increased prevalence has made it necessary for educators and parents alike to work hard and learn more about autism, from spotting the early signs to the best ways autistic children can learn and thrive. Keeping up with the latest news and information can be a full time job, but social media may prove one fairly effortless way to do so.
We’ve collected 60 Twitter feeds here that will help you to keep up with all the latest news on autism, from charities working to help diagnosed individuals to new discoveries by scientists and researchers — even some support and inspiration from parents raising afflicted children. No matter what drives your interest in autism, you’re bound to find some tweets among these feeds that will help you better understand and work with those who have the condition.
These feeds will ensure you always know the latest in autism research and news.
MORE HERE. Click to see #9 - #60 @ OnlineColleges.Net
- @theautismnews: This feed is a great follow if you want easy access to a wide range of news articles on autism and autism spectrum disorders.
- @autism_research: Check out this Twitter feed to find a great collection of articles that may be of interest to parents and professionals in the autism field.
- @autismbulletin: Make sure you stay in the loop when it comes to autism news by reading this regularly updated feed.
- @TheCoffeeKlatch: Geared towards parents, this feed is an excellent resource for practical articles on living with autism and the latest research being done.
- @asteens: Find some great posts about autism news and more, specifically dealing with the disorder’s impact on teens, through this organization’s feed.
- @autismtalk: Host of Autism Talk Radio, Steven Prussack, keeps this feed loaded with links to his show’s latest recordings.
- @anne_barbano: Anne Barbano hosts a radio show that focuses on autism and other disabilities. Check out her latest topics of discussion here.
- @thinkingautism: Here you’ll find links to some amazingly informative essays written by parents, professionals and those with autism.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Most of the stories about special needs apps have focused mostly on individuals with Autism (Asperger Syndrome) and Down Syndrome. But individuals with Cerebral Palsy and other syndromes can greatly benefit from a number of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) solutions available in the App Store.
Whether you're ordering food at a restaurant, describing your aches and pains to your doctor, or telling your spouse you love them, communication is vital in daily life. Most of us take the ability to communicate for granted, but imagine how difficult it would be if you couldn't talk. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of people face this challenge on a daily basis. Until recently, many of them used dedicated (and sometimes quite expensive) AAC devices to help them. However, the iPad and a number of third-party apps are helping to bring the cost down and make ACC more widely available and portable.
My favorite AAC apps ... http://www.iphonelife.com/issues/2011Sept-October/7GreatAppsSpecialNeeds
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
AAC iPod Applications
There are also exciting new applications for the iPod Touch and iPhone that can be used as AAC. Each is a little different.
- iConverse displays 6 different icons that represent a person’s most basic needs. When activated by touch, the icons give both an auditory and visual representation of the specific need or want. iConverse is $9.99
- iPrompts provides several easy-to-use, visual prompting tools (no audio prompts or voice output) to help individuals transition from one activity to the next, understand upcoming events, make choices, and focus on the task at hand. iPrompts is $49.99
- Proloquo2go brings natural sounding text-to-speech voices, up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, a default vocabulary of over 7000 items, full expandability and extreme ease of use to the iPhone and iPod touch. Proloquo2Go is $149.99
- mytalktools is a monthly subscription of $5.75 that you can cancel anytime that allows you to author personalized content.
Each requires the either an iPod Touch or an iPhone to use (not included in the costs listed above). More applications are being developed all the time so watch the iTunes App store for new programs and updates. To date, these are not covered by insurance and I haven’t found anyone get one covered by a school, yet. But given their low prices, (some AAC device can be thousands of dollars!) hopefully schools and providers will jump at the deal.
A Revolutionary Product Designed with You in Mind
In the fall of 2011 Intelligence, Inc. will be releasing a new robust AAC app for the Apple iOS platform that is unlike any other AAC device on the market today! It's called Avatalker™ AAC (pronounced 'ave-ah-talker').
What is Avatalker™ AAC
Avatalker™ AAC is an augmentative and alternative communication software solution designed for Apple’s iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod® Touch. It gives nonverbal children and adolescents the ability to build phrases and sentences pictographically, which are then converted to audible speech. It features a robust 2,000+ word vocabulary and proprietary graphics library that is EASY to navigate and use!
Customizable, Powerful, and Robust
Caregivers can customize Avatalker’s library, adding familiar names, words and images, or even complete custom sentences or phrases for easy access to frequently-used messages. Advanced features for grammar are offered, including drop-down menus for auto-conjugation, auto-morphology... and auto-syntax! Avatalker is SCALABLE, including three skill stages designed to accommodate low-to-high functioning nonverbal children and the ability to vary the size of the icon buttons for those with motor planning challenges.
A Great Product Starts with a Solid Foundation
Intelligence, Inc. is a leading inventor and developer of interactive communication technologies. Based out of Chicago USA, Intelligence, Inc. features a dynamic team of local developers and programmers with a passion for engineering the very finest tools and applications. Intelligence, Inc. has strong ties to the Autism community through our product designers who also serve on various non-for-profit boards, participate in online forums, attend conferences and seminars, and work in special education.
Founded in 2002 by two technology entrepreneurs who shared a vision for developing assistive technologies, Intelligence, Inc. boasts an impressive portfolio of software solutions with over fifteen thousand users in two dozen countries worldwide. Intelligence, Inc. is the only solution provider in this industry to offer true 24x7 user support. Learn more at www.intelligenceinc.com.
"App development has really caught the imagination of the autism community," said Simon Wallace, European director of scientific development for the advocacy and research organization Autism Speaks. Families, programmers and researchers are adapting smart devices for use by those with autism to enable support that's engaging, portable and often affordable.
In the past, non-verbal children with autism carried around bulky folders containing laminated pictures as a means to communicate, Wallace said. When speech therapists did introduce devices, they tended to be ancient, bulky and needed to be set up specifically for each use, says Pittsburgh-based computer scientist Ted Conley.