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Applying Technology to Visually Support Language and Communication in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Abstract

The burgeoning role of technology in society has provided opportunities for the development of new means of communication for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This paper offers an organizational framework for describing traditional and emerging augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology, and highlights how tools within this framework can support a visual approach to everyday communication and improve language instruction. The growing adoption of handheld media devices along with applications acquired via a consumer-oriented delivery model suggests a potential paradigm shift in AAC for people with ASD.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Examples of consumer-level hardware running special-purpose software include personal laptop computers with Speaking Dynamically Pro ®, tablet computers running Clickit! and personal laptops with Pogo Boards.

  2. 2.

    Examples of consumer-level hardware running general-purpose software include tablet computers running Microsoft Word and personal desktop or laptop computers running Microsoft Powerpoint to present dynamic displays.

  3. 3.

    These authors are involved in the design and creation of the described software project but do not receive royalties for these activities.

  4. 4.

    These authors are involved in the design and creation of the described software project but do not receive royalties for these activities.

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Correspondence to Howard C. Shane.

Appendix: Referenced Technology

Appendix: Referenced Technology

Hardware

  • GoTalk: Special Purpose Hardware by Attainment Company

  • DynaVox V: Special Purpose Hardware by DynaVox Mayer-Johnson.

Software

  • Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro: Special Purpose software produced by DynaVox Mayer-Johnson.

  • Clickit!: Software produced by IntelliTools®, inc.

  • First-Then: Special Purpose application by Good Karma Applications, Inc.

  • Google Images: General Purpose software by Google, available at http://images.google.com/

  • iMovie: General Purpose Software produced by Apple Inc.

  • iPad AAC software applications: http://www.miasapps.com/icomm.html

  • iPhoto: General Purpose software produced by Apple Inc.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint: General Purpose software produced by Microsoft

  • Microsoft Word: General Purpose software produced by Microsoft

  • My Choice Board: Special Purpose application: Good Karma Applications, Inc.

  • MyTalk: Special Purpose application: 2nd Half Enterprises LLC, available at http://www.mytalktools.com/pDownloadMyTalk.htm

  • PicCalendar: Special Purpose application by INZENYR LLC

  • PogoBoards: Special Purpose software produced by Talk To Me Technologies, LLC, available from: http://www.pogoboards.com

  • Proloquo2Go: Special Purpose application: AssistiveWare, available at http://www.proloquo2go.com/

  • Picassa: General Purpose software produced by Google

  • QuickTime Player: General Purpose software produced by Apple, Inc

  • Steps: Special Purpose application by Adastrasoft

  • Windows Movie Maker: General Purpose software produced by Microsoft

  • Windows Media Player: General Purpose software produced by Microsoft

  • Viking: Special Purpose software produced by Viking Software

  • Visual Immersion Program (VIP)ALP Animated Graphics (AAG): Special Purpose software produced by Children’s Hospital Boston

  • Visual Immersion Program (VIP)Teaching Language Concepts (TLC): Special Purpose software produced by Children’s Hospital Boston

  • Visual Immersion Program (VIP)Video Observational Learning (VOL): Special Purpose software produced by Children’s Hospital Boston

  • YouTube: General Purpose software by Google Inc., available at http://www.youtube.com

Mobile Media Devices

  • Android: Smartphone currently owned by Open Handset Alliance (OHA)

  • Blackberry Storm: Smartphone developed by Research In Motion (RIM)

  • iPhone: Smartphone produced by Apple Inc.

  • iPad: Handheld media device by Apple Inc.

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Shane, H.C., Laubscher, E.H., Schlosser, R.W. et al. Applying Technology to Visually Support Language and Communication in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 42, 1228–1235 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-011-1304-z

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Keywords

  • Applying technology
  • Computer based instruction