A recent study has shown that children aged 3 to 6 with autism spectrum disorders learned and retained more vocabulary with computer administered training than they did with one-on-one instruction with a teacher. The study also found that the students were more attentive and motivated when using a computer.
Moore,M., & Calvert, S. (2000). Vocabulary Acquisition for children with autism: Teacher or computer instruction. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
"Children with autism, Asperger Syndrome and other pervasive developmental disorders also learn in a variety of ways. But research has shown that for many children with autism and other disabilities, one way of learning- learning through seeing - is superior. Several studies have demonstrated that when children with autism spectrum disorders are given opportunities to learn with visual cues, they: learn more quickly reduce aggressive or self-injurious behavior decrease frustration and anxiety learn to adjust to changes at home and school complete tasks by themselves gain indendence" (Savner and Myles i).
"The main function of visual schedules is to clarify the sequence of social events. Schedules specify where to go, what to do next, and for how long and are typically presented in linear order. Visual schedules can be made with photos, pictures, photographs, or written language. Schedules clarify expectations and can increase independence in solitary and social activities" (Quill 156).
"When the schedule was not available, he engaged in moderately high rates of challenging behavior, compared with no such behaviors when the schedule was provided. Results such as this suggest that individuals with autism can learn to use pictorial or written schedules quite easily and that their challenging behavior may be reduced or eliminated dramatically when these supports are provided" (Weatherby and Prizant 345).
"One kind of preparation for your child's future that you can do right now is teach him to be more independent. If you look closely at your child's typical day, you'll likely find that your help is very much a part of it" ( Baker and Brightman 131).
"...children and adolescents with AS-HFA are often visual learners. Thus, providing as much visual input and structure as possible will help most students with AS-HFA" (Ozonoff, Dawson and McPartland 174).
"An effective way to help chain several activities together is by using a series of photographs of the events. For example, your child might have a small loose-leaf notebook that has photos of a puzzle, a sorter box and her doll, with a fourth picture being a cup of juice. These photos intended to help her stay on task are called playbooks"(Weiss and Harris 50).
"Visual schedules take an abstract concept such as time and present it in a more concrete and manageable form. As such, they can yield multiple benefits for children and youth with Asperger Syndrome who often exhibit visual strengths. For example, visual schedules allow students to anticipate upcoming events and activities, develop an understanding of time and facilitate the ability to predict change. Further, they can be utilized to stimulate communicative exchanges through a discussion of past, present, and future events; increase on-task behavior; facilitate transition between activities;and teach new skills" ( Myles and Southwick 86).
"One of the most widely used AAC input techniques is the use of visual schedules. The visual schedule enables a child with autism to understand the sequence of an activity through the visual input. The TEACCH program, developed and implemented in North Carolina for almost 30 years, has utilized visual schedules and protocols to promote independence, self-management, and task completion" (Schopler et al.,1983; Marcus et al.,2000)(National Research Council 60).
Baker, B. L. and Brightman, A. J. (1997). Steps to Independence: Teaching everyday skills to children with special needs. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. brooks Publishing Company.
Bloomquist, M. L. (1996). Skills training for Children with Behavior Disorders: A Parent and Therapist Guidebook. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Hodgdon, L. A. (1995). Visual strategies for improving communication: Volume I: Practical support for school and home. Troy, MI: QuirkPublishing.
McClannahan, L. E. and Krantz, P. J. (1999). Activity Schedules for children with autism. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.
Myles, B. S. and Southwick, J. (1999). Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage and Meltdowns. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Co.
National Research Council. (2001). Educating children with autism. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Ozonoff, S., Dawson G. and McPartland J. (2002). A Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Quill, K. A. (2002). Do-Watch-Listen-Say: Social and Communication Intervention for Children with Autism. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
Savner, J.L. and Myles, B. S. (2000). Making Visual Supports Work in the Home and Community: Strategies for Individuals with Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Co.
Weatherby, A. M. and Prizant, B. M. (Eds.) (2000). Volume 9: Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Transactional Developmental Perspective. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
Weiss M. and Harris S. L. (2001). Reaching Out, Joining In: Teaching Social Skills to Young Children with Autism. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.