Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder have a wide variety of special needs, most commonly in the area of language and communication. Thankfully, it is now 2022 and technology is ever-expanding and thriving, making the lives of everyone from children to adults easier and more meaningful.
Handheld devices for autism allow children and adults to communicate their wants and needs and hold expansive conversations with those around them. They are becoming less popular as applications and software programs are designed to work on their current tablets and iPads, however, handheld technology allows distraction-free learning.
Kids cannot switch to a game or YouTube on a device designed just for communication and daily activities.
As with all technology, not all devices are created equal. We’ve compiled the list of the top 5 devices that help children with Autism do everything from communicating to accomplishing everyday tasks independently.
- Lingraphica AAC devices come in 3 sizes and are designed to grow with your child. Easy to carry around, easy to use, and even easy to customize to your child’s everyday routine and environment.
- QuickTalker Freestyle is a handheld device is also a multi-sized device that has different speech applications available that allow parents to select the one that works best for their child and their learning style.
- Goally is a unique handheld device in that it helps with communication and routine. Parents can program daily tasks and even set up a token board so that their child automatically earns points towards your preset rewards with each task completed. Other features are AAC communication and routines.
- Tobii Dynavox is an elite, top-of-the-line handheld technology that can be controlled by eye gaze, hands, a head mouse, or switch scanning. They’re rugged and come with protective cases to protect your investment and some devices feature email, call, and text setup for additional methods of communication.
- GoTalk is a very basic, ruggedly designed device that can feature up to 32 icons/words/symbols for everyday communication. Also available in iOS app store.
Since we mentioned that applications for children with autism are on the rise and expanding faster than handheld devices, it is worth mentioning several effective online and application-based programs that are also available for families and children with autism.
- FaceSay is an internet-based software program designed to help children with social and emotional skills, such as facial cues and following someone’s eyes.
- ABC Mouse works well for kids with autism as they can work on skills such as letter tracing, phonics, and academic abilities
Assistive communication applications
- Life Skills Winner identifies and works on life skills to teach 10 daily habits
- Speech Blubs
Thankfully, technology has come a long way in helping children with special needs better communicate and interact with their loved ones and thrive in their futures. Many handheld devices are at least partially covered by insurance companies, even, so it’s worth a look for your autistic child if they need a boost in their language communication and development.
Communication and human interaction are significant to the human species and helping children with special needs achieve these goals will boost their confidence and allow them more autonomous, social lives.