Tags: autism | phone | app

App Aids Learning in Special Needs Kids

Thursday, 13 December 2012 05:07 PM

Spanish scientists have developed a mobile phone app that has been shown to dramatically improve learning — including math, language, and social skills — in children with autism spectrum disorders or Down Syndrome.
The so-called Picaa app, created by University of Granada scientists and available free from the Apple App Store, proved to be an effective learning tool for 39 special needs students, according to a study published in the journal Computers & Education. Tests of the application showed it helped the students make significant gains in vocabulary acquisition, phonetic and syntactic performance, eye-hand coordination, and a variety of other academic and life skills.
Álvaro Fernádez, the main developer of the app, said it is designed for children and teenagers with cognitive, visual, or hearing disabilities to be done in class. It can be used on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Since its release, it has been translated into several languages and topped 20,000 downloads from App Store
To test its effectiveness, the researchers conducted a study including more than three dozen special needs students from 14 facilities in Spain. After four months, the researchers found virtually all the students had “significantly improved skills” in a variety of academic and social areas.
“We associated developmental improvements in these children with the use of our application,” said Fernández. The researchers also observed: “The use of electronic devices and multimedia contents increases their interest in learning and attention.”
To learn more, visit the Picaa website at http://asistic.ugr.es/picaa.

© HealthDay

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Scientists have developed a cellphone app that has been shown to boost learning in children with autism.
Thursday, 13 December 2012 05:07 PM
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