Grants Awarded

I-Touch to Enhance Positive Behaviors and Curriculum Access

This project fosters academic excellence by improving behavior modification systems, which would allow students with Autism Spectrum Disorders learn to the best of their ability in the least restrictive environment. Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders often have difficulty organizing their thoughts or materials, regulating their moods and behaviors as well as operating these things independently. To successfully be included in the regular education, environment these students largely rely on the assistance of Applied Behavior Analysis trained paraprofessionals to cue, prompt, and record their behavior data. Though this system has been proven effective in increasing appropriate strategies and behaviors by data collection, this type of system can hinder independence in students. The implementation of the I-Touches and appropriate applications could remove the dependency on the paraprofessionals and foster independence of children with ASD as well as increase interest in behavior modification through technology. This independence could allow students with ASD to work in inclusion classes with less disruption, therefore allowing them to fully concentrate on the subject being taught. Further benefit will come from available time management tools built in. Students can access the calendar to record assignments and due dates. Reminders can be provided using voice, picture, visual or alarm cues. For students who have difficulty taking notes by hand, there are note taking and speech to text applications. Books can be downloaded and read for required reading, research, or pleasure. Math applications can reinforce learning number facts. Social communication, a specific difficulty for most students with ASD, will be enhanced through shared\activities and age appropriate technology interests.

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