Pediatric activity ideas for Occupational Therapists

Archive for the ‘Autism’ Category

Developer Creates iPad App To Help His Autistic Brother

“Bringing Modern Technology To The Autism Community”, Jonathan Izak, founder and CEO of SpecialNeedsWare, LLC created AutisMate for the iPad to help his autistic brother.

I began developing AutisMate for my younger brother and first cousin who are both on the autism spectrum. My family and I saw the potential benefits that technology could provide for them, yet we became very disheartened by our experiences with the devices and apps available.

The interface designs were often too complex and not intuitive enough for autistic children, who tend to struggle with generalizing. The devices consisted of outdated hardware that sold for astronomical prices, even though they lacked the simplicity, functionality, and user friendly designs of the many tablet computers available today. The apps were difficult to use and surprisingly limiting. There was nothing that provided the required flexibility to help children with such a broad spectrum of needs… Until now.

AutisMate is an iPad app that takes full advantage of modern technology to provide an easy to use solution to help individuals with autism. It was designed in collaboration with numerous speech pathologists, therapists, parents, and teachers from a variety of backgrounds to promote:

  • Communication
  • Functional Skills
  • Social Skills

There is no single solution that will work for every person with autism and some may not benefit from computerized devices altogether. The last thing I wish to do is provide false hope that this app alone will suddenly alleviate the communication, functional, and behavioral obstacles you are dealing with. That being said, I truly believe AutisMate is the best therapy aide and communication solution that exists today for many people facing the challenges of autism.

Download here:


What Autism Symptoms Mean

Children with autism almost always have medical conditions that cause or make the symptoms of autism worse. Treating those conditions makes the child healthier and when they are in less pain, they learn better, have less aggression, communicate, and learn coping skills among many other improvements. Some children even recover from autism through the use of biomedical treatments used alongside traditional therapies.

Read more: What Autism Symptoms Mean – Talk About Curing Autism (TACA).

Apps for Autism

Lesley Stahl reports on “60 Minutes” on autistic people whose condition prevents them from speaking are making breakthroughs with the help of tablet computers and special applications that allow them to communicate, some for the first time.

Apps for Autism

Read more:;videoMetaInfo

Pushing for autism coverage in Michigan

Normal People Scare Me

Image via Wikipedia

MICHIGAN – Thousands of Michigan families are struggling to pay for autism treatment, since it’s not technically covered by insurance.

It’s an issue the State Senate has paid attention to, holding a series of public hearings throughout the state on a potential law that could change autism coverage. The last of those hearings was in Lansing Tuesday.

The treatment of autism is expensive, those Newschannel 3 spoke with on Tuesday say dealing with an autistic child can cost parents upwards of $50,000.
“I end up having to pay out of pocket for other services that my son needs,” said Tina Robbins, “and I have to pick and choose which ones I can afford.”

Robbins’ son has struggled with autism while she’s struggled with the expense. Her son is one of 15,000 children in Michigan dealing with the disease and the fact that it’s not covered by insurance.

“I work full time,” said Robbins, “and it’s difficult to take money out of my budget specifically for health care related things I feel should be covered by my insurance.”
A grassroots effort dubbed ‘Autism Insurance in Michigan’ is currently lobbying the State Senate to sign off on laws that would get autism treatment covered by insurance companies in Michigan, things such as diagnosis and treatment for children and adults, regardless of age.

Richard Malott, a professor at Western Michigan University, has researched autism and trains therapists at WMU. He admits the expense has hindered treatment for some.
“Generally early intervention has been for rich folks,” said Professor Malmott, “regular people have a hard time.”

Malmott does say that treatment can work.
“I don’t want to suggest it’s always a cure by any matter of means,” said Malmott, “but I would say essentially every time people use early intensive behavioral attention with these children, significant progress is made.”

Robbins says she’s used both paid and free services in the treatment of her son, but she knows many Michigan families aren’t as fortunate.

“Not everybody has access to those services at a discounted rate,” said Robbins.