Children with Autism get Great Benefits from Using Computers

Children with Autism get Great Benefits from Computers

Simon Baron-Cohen is professor of Developmental Psychopathology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Recent studies by Nottingham University and Carnegie Mellon University have shown the enormous benefits and functionality that those in the autism spectrum experience when using computers.

Children and adults with ASD struggle with both verbal and non-verbal communication, which affects their ability to learn in a traditional teaching environment. Many times parents and educators feel frustration or helplessness with respect to educating a child with ASD. While every ASD case is unique, studies have shown that computer interaction is one way those with ASD can learn and interact.

According to a new study by Nottingham University and Carnegie Mellon University, there are a number of reasons that computer learning is more beneficial for those with ASD.

  • ASD affects sensory processing, which for some limits writing ability but allows for typing.
  • The precision and predictability of computer-formatted information is very useful for those in the autism spectrum.
  • Those with ASD may require control over a variety of aspects, making classroom learning nearly impossible, but computer learning a good choice.
  • The sound effects and graphics that can be used through computers are engaging and stimulating for this in the autism spectrum.
  • Communication is processed in a simple and non-threatening manner that adds comfort to those with autism.

Professor Simon Baron Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre, acknowledged that the benefits for computers among this selection of users are profound. “We can use computers to teach emotion recognition and to simplify communication by stripping out facial and vocal emotional expressions and slowing it down using email instead of face-to-face real-time modes.”

The Apple iPad has been heralded as a wonder device for educating children with autism and helping them communicate.  Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices is trying to get iPads for our students to use. Please support our cause, or donate on our website.