How iPads & Tablets Can Support Autistic Learning & Play

Shannon Des Roches Rosa These iPads have been around for almost three years now, which is rather mind-boggling. Even though tablets no longer attract sideshow-level reactions with every mention, they are still wonderful tools for many autistic kids and adults, and exciting new approaches and apps keep emerging. I teach autism and iPads workshops all over the country (including a class at San Jose’s Morgan Autism Center on February 9th); the following is a general outline of what I’ll discuss, and my current take on iPads and autism. Tablets: Tools, Not Miracles My initial response to seeing my autistic son kick butt using an iPad was elation, 
because he was instantly able to learn and entertain himself independently. However, tablets are not for everyone. Evaluate tablets and apps before buying. Tablets encourage presuming competence by enabling visual and alternative communication and learning. Competence expressed and recognized increases self-confidence. Benefits:…


An AAC App and Autism Success Story

AAC, or Augmentative and Alternative Communication, provides many autistic people with communication options. We keep hearing how some of those same people are discovering new tablet- or app-based AAC options that even better suit their needs. One such person is Nathan, whose mother Lisa Valerio describes him as, “a 9 year old boy with autism who loves playing outside, swimming, jumping on the trampoline, painting, and putting together puzzles. He uses his the LAMP for Words app now to communicate.” Can you tell us a little bit about how you came to be an AAC family? My son Nathan has autism and verbal apraxia, and after many years of struggling to communicate (and intense SLP services) we determined he needed an AAC device — and became an AAC family. What kind of AAC technology has Nathan been using? How did you choose it? When Nathan was younger we started with…


The Attitude of Gratitude: A TPGA Xoom Giveaway

UPDATE 11/27: Our winner is Courtney W.! Congratulations, Courtney. Thank you to everyone who participated, and we encourage you to read the more than 100 wonderful comments left below. -SR —- The good folks at Motorola sent me (Shannon) a Xoom tablet to give away. No hidden agenda, no stipulations — they had simply heard how tablet computers can help people with autism, and they wanted to get two of their devices to people in the autism communities — one to my son Leo, and one to a blog reader. A blog reader who could be you! We TPGA editors had already planned to kick off the holiday season by seeding some positivity: putting up a gratitude post, and asking you readers to leave a comment about something that makes you feel happy or grateful — and we still hope you will. But now, if you like, you can…