Autism and new technologies: a day to catch up

A day was held on 4 June in Montpelier for all those involved in the field of education (parents and teachers), teaching and therapy, concerning the practical use of digital tools.

Placed under the sign of research and clinical procedures, the day organised by the Autism Resources Centre in the Languedoc-Roussillon Department was an opportunity to catch up on the technological tools at the service of autism. More than 300 people gathered in the Pagézy room in Montpelier to discuss the role to be played by these tools in terms of learning and education.

The tablet, a learning medium

The day helped to highlight the use of tablets in teaching children with autism how to read. Professor Réné Pry emphasised the usefulness of tablets as a multi-modal medium, involving the use of eyesight, touch and hearing. In addition to the fun side of using a tablet, it also offered the possibility of consolidating existing knowledge. "The 4 pillars of learning depend on attention, intention, the correction of mistakes and consolidation by repetition. Tablets corresponded to these four pillars and were well suited to the learning process", added Professor Pry. In fact, numerous educational and attractive applications are being developed, such as Kirikou and the extraordinary children. In addition to shaping the learning process, some applications measure children’s progress.

Adapting to the abilities of people with autism

Although digital tools are proving to be of great help in the field of education, those involved want to see their use properly accompanied and adapted to the person: "Tablets are a very effective learning tool. Experiments done until now show that there must be a plan that fits with the abilities of the person and their life plan", insisted Pascale Paturle, manager of the corporate sponsorship for autism at the Orange Foundation. Firstly defining the base abilities of people with autism helps to correctly assess their progress.

The accessibility of digital tools for people with autism holds further promise for the development of support for the learning process.

The presentations can be seen on the site of the Centre de Ressource Autisme du Languedoc Roussillon.

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