Digital devices and Platforms to assist learning and experience in students with Autism

By Angela Winstanley

The digital world of today can be ‘a sword with 2 sides’ - however for young people with Autism Spectrum Conditions there can be great benefits.

A google search into digital platforms for Education brings up a multitude of resources, which can be confusing to Educationalists and Parents, to know which suits best – and to ensure that the tool is meeting the child’s ‘individual’ learning needs.

Digital platforms across a range of applications can increase the likelihood that they are to succeed at school and in the community.

Although there are a few options for autism related apps, and children with autism continue to use digital devices and alternative communication strategies daily, there is still a huge need to be filled by technology.

Our project research so far has underlined the hypothesis that there is much scope for the development of digital platforms for students with Autism Spectrum Conditions. OK, so they are in existence, but across Europe there are few easy to access frameworks which are available to Parents and Educationalists, and which come with clear instruction and support.

Partners from the ISEC – ADE 3-year EU funded project aim to provide both a platform, and training in their countries to facilitate the delivery of digital resources which are designed through interaction and information from focus groups made up of Users, Parents and Educationalists.

Our partnership includes members from North Macedonia, Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria.

Over the next 3 years we will be working alongside local Parent and Education groups to develop, test and train, in order to provide an easy to access digital platform. The digital infrastructure/tool to be produced will be free, open access, web-based application, that can easily be embedded in national e-learning platforms or used separately.

The tool will can cover several areas of difficulties for learners with autism and intellectual disabilities: academic skills, social skills and behaviour, and communication. The tool will be piloted in each partner county and finalized based on the feedback from the piloting phase. Specifically, this phase will include feedback from all relevant users/stakeholders: teachers and special educators, learners with autism and people in their support circle (assistants, parents, caregivers).

The tool will be available in English and translated into the native language of partner countries and culturally adapted where applicable

Follow this site for updates and information about this exciting project.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.