Our lives are constantly revolving around smartphones, computers, and the internet. Whenever we want to talk to our best friends, we pick up our phones and send a quick text, but our tablets and phones aren’t just used for messaging and scrolling through social media feeds anymore. Technology can now be used to assist in applied behavior analysis therapy, or ABA therapy, and can help people on the autism spectrum. Here are some ways that ABA therapists are using technology to positively impact the lives of people with special needs.

Teaching and Learning

Downloading computer or phone apps can help the teaching and learning skills of someone on the spectrum. ABA therapists can use gaming apps that can show younger children how to match colors and shapes, count numbers, and match different symbols all while keeping them engaged with the content. These apps can also be used as a reward to promote positive behavior.

Teaching games can be used to show how to perform certain tasks such as chores and morning and night routines. Parents can also download these apps for at-home ABA therapy learning.

Communication Skills

The use of technology can help those who have autism who have trouble with talking or verbalizing their feelings. An ABA therapist can use words or images on a tablet or computer screen that a patient can point to in order to say something or reply to questions. This enhances their communication skills and can be used at home to have discussions.

This practice can be applied to social media. These individuals can talk to friends online without the pressure of a face-to-face conversation. Speaking to others online may help translate these skills to outside sources like school or work.

Task Management

Digital timers and visual schedules can be an easy way to keep special needs individuals on track for different tasks and duties. Digital timers can be used to recognize how much time is allotted for specific activities. Visual schedules on a tablet or computer can be easily decorated to the likeliness of the person so it can keep them interested and informed on what the day entails. The schedule can include either words or pictures and can be simple to understand. This can also help the individual become more independent because as time goes on, they’ll comprehend their schedule and shouldn’t ask for guidance on what to do next.

Overall, technology usage in autism and special needs patients can lead to an enhancement in their lives and become a gateway to becoming more independent in teaching and learning, communication, and management skills – all skills that can be positively applied to other factors in their lives.