Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Clinic Notes: iPad Apps for Children with Autism Redux

At the Children's Treatment Center I see 40 plus kids per week. Most of these children, 89-90%, have autism or some related disorder. The age range is 18 months to 12 years of age and ABA, behavior management; touch screen computer drills are the therapies we have employed. But, as I mentioned in a previous blog, the iPad has beena game changer. All children, but especially children on the spectrum, are drawn to the iPad and work better on the apps that they do live or with the touch screen computer. We just put out DDT Sight Words app in the store after testing it in our clinic for weeks. Just like DTT Colors, DTT Shapes, DTT, Letters, and DTT Numbers, the kids learned much quicker, stayed on task without being prompted, (most did not want to take a play break). If I had a wish for children with autism it would be their very own iPad loaded with apps--ours--amd the many other great apps that are out there. If you are a parent, teacher, or therapists check out this amazing technology. If you have an iPad and would like recommendations for apps let me know.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Clinic Notes: Gary James' App Party for Autism

As I've mentioned in previous blogs, Apple's iPad is a wonderful tool for children with autism. The children in our clinic have what appears an almost Zen like relationship with the iPad. They calmly work on drills on the iPad like Discrete Trial Training (DTT) with greater ease and prompting than they would with flashcards. The only downside is the costs of the iPad and the apps. This past weekend, Gary James who tests and reviews apps for children with autism on his website A4cwsn, helped out by throwing an app party. iPads were give away and leading app developers either discounted or gave away free apps. To help out, Dr. Gary Brown's Autism Apps gave away 3,100 FREE copies of the Autism/DTT Shapes app and discounted our other apps. If you are interested in learning about apps for children with autism visit A4cwsn. And while you are there thank Gary James for throwing a great app party!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Clinic Notes: Developmental Disabilities in Children Are Increasing

According to a recent article in Time Magazine by Meredith Melnick, developmental disorders in children are rising. She draws on a recent study in the journal Pediatrics which found that 15% of children in the U.S. were diagnosed with a developmental disability in 2006-2008 compared to 12.8% in 1997-1999. Autism and ADHD are the disorders showing the biggest increases with autism rates 4 time greater and ADHD going up 33%. The rates in male children were twice that of females. Children from low-income families had higher rates of developmental disabilities. According to the study authors, more preterm births, older parents, less stigma, better screening, more awareness among parents and child-care professionals, are possible explanations. Their study was based on CDC surveys.