How Does Assistive Technology Assist People With Communication Need? — Autism Connect

The frustration of not able to communicate or express their wants can have a negative effect on individuals with autism. They may tend to stay aloof, throw tantrum and indulge in negative behavior For autism, assistive technology can benefit individuals (of all age groups) in promoting communication and social interactions. Assistive technology refers to hand-held gadgets such […]

via How Does Assistive Technology Assist People With Communication Need? — Autism Connect

For school aged children, a caregiver can request the school district for an AAC assessment through the IEP process. Here is an example of how to request through…/uploads/2016/02/AT-AAC-Assessment.doc





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New and profound diagnostic terms are emerging that diagnose actual addiction in this area. It’s called “Internet Addiction Disorder” according to the diagnostic manual used by physicians and other healthcare professionals.  If you want the codes here they are:

IAD will display distinct habits. According to the journal Current Psychiatry ReviewsTrusted Source, someone with an IAD will:

  • have mood changes
  • focus on the internet and digital media
  • be unable to control how much time they spend
  • need more time or a new game to be happy
  • show withdrawal symptoms when not using the internet or technology
  • continue using the internet or technology even when it affects their relationships
  • neglect their social, work, or school life

How it is diagnosed is complex. Here is a link for you so consider your own habits and that of the medical community Can you list 25 things that you do each day that does not involve technology?  I asked a group of graduate students studying to become speech-language pathologists and they had trouble.  How about you?

There are good and unfortunate impacts that technology has had to date based on a variety of sources.  Think about the last time that you tried to talk to someone to find that they could not answerer you. They had earbuds in their ears, were not looking up at you – just at a machine and appeared to be in an entirely non-face-to face world.  The effect on communication in this century is both astounding and profoundly changing us.


The good news is that there are positive things that we can use computers for, as noted in an example of a few resources below. There are others if you search by grade level which yields similar listings so look at those as well.

28 of the Best Apps for Kids in the First Grade

American Academy of Pediatrics advises families is that used in moderation can be helpful.    History is repeating itself. The transition from oral to written language posed challenges for those living through that period.  We all need to embrace the change and recognize that things are not all bad with this new change in communication.

ADHD Cases on the Rise According to ABC News….Now What do we do???

ADHD Cases on the Rise – ABC News.

WOW….this is now being realized and you can read this article or search for others as they are being written in a number of publications recently.  That is not the point of this post.  Please read that I have your attention….let’s focus 🙂

Given this recent finding,  I think that it is going to be so important for people to know more from those of us involved in raising children with the problem, those of us who actually work with these individuals in our professional lives, those of us who may actually diagnose the condition and have to discuss the signs and symptoms to the adult or the parents of a child. I am not convinced that people truly understand this disorder.  Knowledge is power and if we empower others with more information about what makes the ADHD brain tick,,,what makes it unique and what struggles and strengths it brings to the lives of those who live with it day to day then it will make it so much easier for them.  I believe that this goes for most medical problems or differences with which a person lives.  The more you understand the easier a time you will have in life.  You will be able  to learn to compensate and perhaps even overcome the obstacles.  

With this in mind….

Please….. Tell – the parent, the adult, the child  who is old enough to understand…what the struggles will be that they may face.  Please – help them to understand the signs and symptoms of ADHD that may affect them in their day to day lives.  What resources are available to assist them.  What some of the conditions are that may potentially coexist with this such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, mood disorders, anxiety.  The impact of medication – including  its side effects is extremely important to relate.

I have heard comments like: I do not understand why my skin gets itchy if i put cream on it, why does this fabric bother me? he only eats soft spicy food….nothing else!  it is so hard to find foods that my son/daughter can eat because he is so fussy.  my child cannot fall asleep, “i have insomnia”, another says.  “turn off all the lights …it is too bright in here”, “i can’t eat this (maybe it is the texture of the food), “he won’t let me brush his teeth and washing his hair is a struggle because he pulls away”.  Educate people about the sensory integration and regulation difficulties like these.  Let them know that this is just a part of their make-up.   

Years ago I went with my son to the circus…..never again! He was overcome by the loud noise.  Neither the sensory overload during a vacation such as Disneyworld nor the quiet and peaceful setting where all slowed down on a dude ranch would work as vacation sites.  The predictability of a setting like Club Med – where the transitions from one activity to another could be planned in advance and known – no unexpected changes was a better fit…albeit not perfect.  A trip like a cruise may or may not work….yes it is predctable and there is a structure in place before you go; but, would the pace of getting from stop to stop during the vacation be too slow?  I do not have ADHD but would find this an issue.  Something to think about ….

For parents of children both camp settings and schools need to be considered.  A play ground of five hundred students waiting to start the day standing in line, then heading like a stampede, running up the staircases in a loud and echoing stairwell to the classroom…. by the time upstairs in the class, the ADHD student would be ready for time out to de-stress from the experience of even preparing for the classroom setting. There are specialized camps for children and programs for teens with ADHD.  Teachers at school and counselors in a camp setting need to understand the problems that may occur.  

College students with ADHD will have to advocate for themselves and also be aware that there may be better programs for them then others that may not be geared to the learning differences with which they come to school. Research the programs that are available.  Talk with organizations that cater to the person with ADHD and join a support group so that you can gain resources.

We need to be advocates – for ourselves, our patients, our children.  Please help…..

Father’s Day thoughts…How to Build Memories….

I keep hearing about Prostate Cancer Screenings this weekend.  Please go for one, even if you are not a father.  Every man should get one, regardless of whether or not you are a father.  I watched my father die from this disease, alongside his other problem.  Dad had Alzheimer’s disease too.  I miss him.  It took the very essence of dad away.  He floated away in mind, body remaining with a debilitating tumor that gradually spread throughout his body.

How do we honor our parents?  I would like to hear from you about what you do.  Please post a comment.

My son has no real memory of when his grandfather was well.  That is what he tells me and THIS makes me sad because they really DID do a lot of things.  I can list them and pictiure we have document them.  We went on vacations with both of my parents, both my brothers and I when we were children. My son and I had gone with them during his earlier childhood years. Events such as learning to fly a kite, playing chess, riding dune buggies in Cape Cod, Masachusetts, learning how to ride a horse in Lenox, Massachusetts are some of these events that we shared with both of my parents.  These memories are special.  When you are at home with your family on Father’s Day take photographs.  Put them in a book and/or create a “memory wall” of enjoyable events so you and your family can remember the happy times.

My memories of Father’s Day as a child bring me back to a family get together at my grandparent’s home-dad’s parents.  This was in Brooklyn. New York which is where they lived.  Grandpa and dad would make a barbeque.  We would pick fresh figs that were growing on vines against the house.  Grandpa would take “heavenly hash” ice cream out of the “ice box”. Isn’t it funny what we remember??

I have an annual tradition and perhaps describing this will help you think of something that you can do, so I post it here for you. I plant a “memory garden”. The origin of this annual traditon,since dad died three years ago,  is that my brothers and I would help my father with his garden in the backyard.  We would go to the local farm and buy manure at a nearby farm..ugh!  that stunk which is probably why this stands out in my mind.  We would buy vegetable and flower seeds. l got home from the store, dad took out his gardening supplies and we would plant everything.  I mean everything!  Over the years, dad would grow vegetables like carrots, eggplant, squash, string beans, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and a wide variety of herb plants.  the herbs were in the kitchen on the window sill.   I would go out and help dad weed.  Mom would make sure that I brought out something for dad to drink because he always got so hot tending to the garden.  One summer we went to the store and bought marigold seeds and he gave me a patch of earth outside the kitchen window. I would grow my flowers each year.  Dad also taught me to put beer in small tin cans -empty cat food containers.  We would bury the cans and eventually slugs would climb into the beer, rather than bother the plants and flowers. It was his natural extermination system!.

My memory garden – is my way of remembering dad and maybe this idea can jog your mind for ways that you can recall a father, grandfather who is not with us or how to build memories with one who is alive.  Part of having memories is making sure that you have time and opportunities to create them.  I always think that that was one of the special parts of growing up at home.  We as a family created memories!

So-tomorrow I am going to the store and buying vegetable plants, flower seeds, potting soil and perhaps a few pots.  Then – I will plant my garden and Father’s Day will not  just be one day; but, it will last all year long.  Actually – there is still a pepper that just budded on a plan that has been alive since dad died three years ago. He lives on…..