Technology Impact on Reading and writing skills of children with autism: a systematic literature review

Abstract

Due to the recent fast-paced advances in technology and its potential in ameliorating the writing and reading skills of children with autism, there is a need to update the study published by Knight, McKissick, and Saunders (J Autism Dev Disord 43(11):2628–48) to survey the latest research on the topic. Hence, the objective of this paper is to assess the methodology and limitations of published literature that investigate the use of technology to teach reading and writing skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We conduct a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed studies on the impact of technology on reading and writing skills of children with autism for the years between 2013 and December 2017. We apply the criteria developed by Horner et al. (Except Child 71:165–178, 2005) and Gersten et al. (Except Child 71:149–164, 2005) to determine the quality of single-subject and group experimental research studies. We present seventeen studies that met the inclusion criteria. The studies examine 101 participants including 77 diagnosed with autism with the mean age of 8.7 years. None of the seven-reviewed single-subject studies meet the criteria for high or acceptable quality. The group-subject study does not meet the quality criteria. We conclude that the level of the impact technology has on helping children with autism improve their reading and writing skills is hard to quantify due to the high variability in the results presented in the surveyed papers. Overall, all studies report positive outcomes despite the lack of software applications adapted for children with autism.

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Correspondence to Hussein Al Osman.

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Abdo, M., Al Osman, H. Technology Impact on Reading and writing skills of children with autism: a systematic literature review. Health Technol. 9, 725–735 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12553-019-00317-4

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Keywords

  • Autism
  • Technology
  • Reading
  • Writing