At the Rich Center for Autism, we are dedicated to the discovery and implementation of proven methods of instruction and treatment methods. On the forefront of our most recent additions to our program is the introduction of 35 iPads into the areas of instruction and therapy for the benefit of our students. The iPad’s appeal to the child with autism is powerful. It is a device, which has attributes that fit squarely with the educational needs of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder: it is visual, aural, dependable, predictable, portable, and has software that loads very quickly.
It rarely needs to be charged, and has an incredible array of educational software and functional daily skills software available at relatively little cost. Apple’s App Store has grown in the area of autism treatment and instruction in response to the tremendous demand from ASD individuals using the iPad.
Here at the Rich Center, we have purchased over 300 software applications appropriate for use in the classroom as methods of instruction (primarily math, letter formation/handwriting and reading) and educational aids such as visual timers, reward charts, and other tools previously not available in computer format for children with autism. The iPad is also used by advanced students to do research and complete assignments.
The Rich Center has purchased 6 software applications which turn the iPad into a functional, dependable, and more attractive mode of communication as a Vocal Output Device than traditional and more expensive, less portable, less dependable devices. The software is easier and faster for the teacher/therapist to program, and the large touch screen of the iPad makes the device easier to use for children with visual or fine motor skill deficits in addition to their communication impairments.