A 100 book give away for Autism Awareness Month may bring autism educational apps to a lesson plan near you.
Educational Apps have been showing great success with many students with special needs and autism. They are motivating learning tools. Although, the numbers of users of mobile tablets are increasing by the hour, most educators and parents are struggling with where to start when it comes to choosing apps.
Companies like AutismClassroom.com would like to help. "The best we can do is share some of the apps we find useful in a learning situation," says S.B. Linton, owner of AutismClassroom.com, the online resource for parents and educators. Educational apps that have the ability to be linked to classroom discussions and classroom lessons are very useful since many school systems are buying tablets such as the iPad for their classrooms. "We developed our Autism Classroom app and our other mobile apps for educators and parents to learn more about teaching children with autism, however, we shop for apps that are educational for kids," she added. Parents and educators need to look for apps that have a high interest value to the student, are reasonably entertaining, and are appropriate for the child. Having the app match up to the theme or unit that the class is working on is an extra bonus.
AutismClassroom.com's book, Lesson Ideas and Activities for Young Children with Autism and Related Special Needs: Activities, Apps and Lessons for Joint Attention, Imitation, Play, Social Skills & More (2010), matches apps to the actual instructional lesson. The book already provided teachers and parents with over 100 starting points and beginning places for creating meaningful activities for pre-school and elementary-aged students with autism and related special needs. Each theme unit provided activity based ideas specific to Joint Attention, Imitation Skills, Communication, Self-Help Skills, Independent Skills, Pre-Vocational Skills, Social Skills, Play Skills, Sensory Involvement, Basic Concept Mastery, Vocabulary/Literacy, Fine Motor, and Gross Motor. However, just recently, the newly added "Apps" chapter highlights ten educational apps in each skill area. The over 100 highlighted apps can be easily incorporated into lessons and activities for young children with autism and special needs.
"Take the area of self-help, for example, to incorporate an app into a lesson, a teacher or parent teaching a lesson about going on a vacation or about summer vacations, can use the app My Little Suitcase by Moms With Apps. ™ The adult can have the students practice "packing" the suitcase on the app, then pack real items in a real suitcase," says Linton. "When you do this, you address communication skills, following directions, folding clothes, identifying items, and various other skills."
This April, in honor of Autism Awareness Month, AutismClassroom.com would like to give away 100 Lesson Ideas and Activities for Young Children with Autism and Related Special Needs: Activities, Apps and Lessons for Joint Attention, Imitation, Play, Social Skills & More (2010) books to families, community support personnel and school teams who are working with children with autism. According to the rules of the contest, 25 books each will be given to four school, organization or family teams. Teams can share the 25 books with other members of the school team and with student's families.
"As always, we want everyone, no matter how much funding their school or household has or doesn't have, to have access to fun educational ideas for students with special needs," said Linton. "We also want to make it easy," she added "to enter the contest, please go to www.autismclassroom.com, or send a letter or email with your return address stating why your group could use these supports." Please send requests by April 14, 2012, to AutismClassroom.com at P.O. Box 3234, Baltimore, MD 21228, or firstname.lastname@example.org .