Using the Application Friendly Schedule on a Tablet to Promote Independence in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has increased in recent decades. The need to provide evidence-based practices in the field of ASD is also growing. The Institute for Child Development (IWRD) in Poland is offering science-based intervention to children with autism, based on the model developed initially by McClannahan and Krantz (1993) in the Princeton Child Development Institute, USA. Their research and clinical experience show that activity schedules are very effective in teaching people with autism many new skills. However, activity schedules in the “traditional” paper version could lead to stigmatization while used in
the social environment. It is essential to give people with autism spectrum disorder socially acceptable tools, which can help them to function more independently. The intensive development of modern technologies as well as an easy access to various types of mobile devices inspired us to implement tablets into our treatment.
Friendly Schedule is an application for children and youth with autism and related disorders, which was developed as a joint initiative of the Gdańsk University of Technology and the Institute for Child Development. The application was created as a “non-profit” project. The data from our research show that manual prompts are very effective in teaching children with autism to follow activity schedules on a tablet. All of our participants learned to use the application Friendly Schedule to complete five tasks independently. In the IWRD program the application Friendly Schedule is used to teach students with autism a variety of new skills, including verbal and social behaviours.
autism; activity schedules; application; assistive technology; manual prompts; independence
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