Using Technology To Improve The Lives Of Children With Autism

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is being used to improve the lives of children on the autism spectrum at Texas A&M’s Center on Disability and Development. A middle schooler with autism is communicating with the use of a tablet computer — it looks cool, as opposed to pointing at a picture board. “They have difficulty with social interaction skills and that really impacts a lot of other areas like behavior and learning in the classroom,” says Jeni Ganz, professor of special education in the Department of Educational Psychology. “It’s exciting to solve these problems and see these new skills, to see them functioning better at home and being in regular classrooms.” Ganz and her staff of dedicated students and faculty are helping people with autism spectrum disorder find their voices by developing new technologies and interventions.