Supporting Autism Through Technology
Our program assists school-age children, teenagers, and young adults who live with autism. It is intensely focused on emerging evidence that technology – specifically the use of the iPad & its targeted applications – GREATLY improves communication skills & learning abilities for individuals with autism.
How it Works
A large number of children with autism have limited or NO verbal communication skills. We partner with schools, parents, and individuals to teach children with autism how to communicate, through technology.
We deploy & use iPads, directed applications, and “best practices” gained from our innovative collaboration meetings with teachers and administrators, so that children with autism can: experience communication, improve visual & cognitive skills, increase learning, and discover their individual strengths & talents.
"Here Me Now" Innovation
Eye Gaze Technology allows children with autism to communicate through the use of their eye muscles. It is geared toward children who have strong eye muscles and weak hand muscles. These children are precluded from using the typical tools their peers would use to communicate – such as iPads, which require strong hand muscles.
With Eye Gaze Technology, however, they are able to use a tool which caters to their dominant muscle so they can (at last!) achieve communication and increase learning, along with their peers.
Eye Gaze Technology also helps children understand the concept of “cause and effect” – a concept which is of huge importance to individuals with significant needs. As many children with autism rarely have the experience of “making something happen” or feeling powerful in social situations, the ability to be able to use technology to make decisions and share their desires and ideas with others is extremely empowering and life-changing.
In 2017, we provided our first round of Eye Gaze Technology to our partner school, Hagedorn Little Village School in Seaford, NY. Below is a testimonial from Jon Feingold, Ph.D and Executive Director of the school. His statement addresses the impact of the technology in the classroom:
“Eye Gaze technology can open the world of communication for students who are not able to utilizedirect select augmentative communication devices including communication apps on the iPad. For our students with poor motor control or for those who are resistant to access via touch, we have started training in use of the eye gaze with consistent results. The software available with this technology provides a hierarchy of games and activities that teach skills from simple cause-effect (look at something on the screen and something will happen) to tracking across an entire screen to maintaining a gaze for increasingly long periods. These skills will hopefully help students eventually access language boards on this technology for meaningful communication.”
(CTC) – This state-approved private school utilizes state of the art interventions to serve children with difficulties in relating and communicating, including autism spectrum disorders. The ultimate goal of the organization is to develop children who: Are Well Regulated, Have Healthy Relationships, Have Good Self-Esteem and a Positive School Experience, Have a Strong Sense of Self and Are Independent, Are Happy and in Touch with Their Emotions, Are Independent Thinkers and Problem Solvers, and Are Prepared Emotionally, Socially, Behaviorally, Academically and Vocationally to Live Successful and Happy Lives.
Comprised of two NJ State of Education private schools approved for the disabled, this nonprofit provides Preschool, Autism, and Behaviorally Disabled programs. The organization provides the highest quality educational and therapeutic programs for individuals with learning, language, and social/emotional challenges to achieve their maximum potential as responsible adults in society. The nonprofit also recognizes and values the individuals’ unique abilities, learning styles and differences, and serves as a leader in promoting innovative educational programs.
This school is committed to providing the finest educational and therapeutic programs to infants, pre-school and elementary school children with a wide range of developmental delays and disabilities. The school strives to help each child they serve achieve their highest potential – educationally, emotionally and socially – by creating a nurturing environment for the child and a supportive framework for families.