On August 15th CEDES and Foundation Autism Aruba teamed up to present an educational workshop on how modern technology and Autism goes hand in hand. The workshop "Tecnologia pa Autismo"/ "Technology for Autism" featured guest speaker Mark Mautone, who brought over 18 years experience in Special Education. Mark Mautone is a lead teacher for a New Jersey School District in an Applied Behavior Analysis Program for Children with Autism. He is conducting a research at Caldwell College on using iPads with Children with Autism.
The keynote of his presentation was to provide comprehensive insight into how to use iPads to educate individuals with Autism Spectrum disorders in Schools and out in the Community. He also spoke about his current research on iPads, as well as selection and implementation of iPad applications across various educational domains. He said that parents should be aware that the iPads are an educational tool, and that kids needs to really use it in an educational way and parents can be part of that kind of education. Mr. Mark Mautone also shared some apps that can help in communications, social skills, categories, discrimination and structure, aspects that are difficult for kids with the Spectrum.
CEDES, Project Director for "Tecnologia pa Autismo"/ "Technology for Autism" answered some questions regarding the workshop:
How can this technology can contribute to the development of an autistic child?
Many autistic children have problems developing social skills, but often have an easier time with games and technology. Autistic children have been taking to Apple's popular devices, poking the screens, which are customized to their needs. Parents started noticing that their autistic children were attracted to the touch screen technology of the iPad, and word spread quickly between parents about this new use for the computer. There are dozens of programs touted by various experts in the autism community, some of which tell stories, others, which work on vocabulary, and then there are those for entertaining. This technology contributes to the development of an Autistic child because it takes advantage of their visual potential and high memory.
How would this information help parents, teachers and caretakers with a child with Autism?
The information presented in the workshop will help all involved with an Autistic child, because it will increase the initiative, attention, coordination, fine motor skills, academic skills, actions, sequence, discrimination, sorting, language, math, create a video reminder for special tasks, visual schedule, routines, social and sciences studies. With the orientation of parents and with the correct information, the Autistic child will find another way to learn and integrate into society, but is very important to be aware that, the iPad is just an education tool, very important at the moment, but the team work around the Autistic child school, therapies, family, friends, are the most important part of their healthy and educational development.
How can someone get additional information and assistance after the workshop?
The additional information will be posted our websites www.cedesaruba.com and also in www.autismoaruba.org , Mr. Mark Mautone email and website also will be available. Parents and Teachers will have the opportunity to contact him directly and resolve their doubts and get more apps (according with their particular needs ) to work with their kids.
Center for special education on Aruba (CEDES) is an educational model oriented to kids with special needs, Autism, Asperger and Cognitive Conditions. Their main purpose is to assist children reach their full potential at the Center, in their daily life and make a successful transition in different kinds of situations. Cedes is developing an instructional workshops for parents and teachers in Aruba, with some basic information about different topics related with the Autism Spectrum, and they are very happy that Foundation Autism Aruba was a part of this educational process.
Foundation Autism Aruba was founded in June 2005. Their mission is looking after the needs of people with autism and those who are connected to autism in either a personal or professional way.
For more information on CEDES and Fundacion Autismo, please visit the website www.autismoaruba.org and www.cedesaruba.com.