New Innovation in Communication Technology for Autism
Posted: April 27, 2017 in General Autism News
What do autism, communication, and web technology have in common? The challenges in communication vary greatly among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and range from severe to mild. It is widely known that learning communication skills is essential for individuals with ASD to reach their potential—and in recent years technology has become more and more utilized to create various tools to assist individuals in overcoming communication barriers.
The Autixm Communication Toolkit is an innovative cloud-based and web-accessible technology that helps individuals on the autism spectrum to communicate using pictures and images. It runs on mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops too. The toolkit is offered by Calgary-based Autixm Learning Technologies and currently consists of two tools, Visual Language and Visual Schedules. A number of features and enhancements are in development and will be added to the toolkit over time.
Visual Language is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tool designed to let your child communicate using pictures. The tool currently accesses over 5000 pictures from the Autixm picture library, allows users to add their own pictures, and utilizes built-in text-to-speech technology. As the communication needs of your child grow, the tool is designed to allow for pictures to be re-arranged, added or deleted, and organized into increasingly larger vocabularies.
Visual Schedules can be used by verbal and non-verbal individuals alike, and are created by parents, teachers and caregivers using picture-based schedules for an individual with ASD to follow. Many types of schedules can be created using the tool including a shopping list, or an activity schedule to teach task sequencing, stay-on-task and independence skills. As with Visual Language, Autixm’s full picture library is available in this toolkit, and can be supplemented with the users own pictures.
Part of supporting communication for individuals with ASD, Autixm also wants to promote the social aspects of communication by enabling the toolkit to be used not only on your child’s mobile device but also on the tablets, smartphones, and laptops of all family members, therapists, supervisors, and teachers. Currently, Autixm is offering a free six-month license to families in the Calgary area.
Testimonial (Note –with permission to publish we’ve included the following excerpt from an unsolicited letter that was sent recently by a user of Autixm’s Communication Toolkit. To read the unedited version of the letter, please [click here].)
“I do not know how long it will take my daughter to learn to communicate independently – or if she ever will – but this new web based communication system put out by autixm.com has given me renewed hope and a way to channel my efforts toward helping her to communicate.
We are thrilled with the prospect of our daughter having the opportunity to learn to have some way to communicate thanks to this web based communication system.”