Assistive technology (AT) is broadly defined as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities". (Lewis, Rena B. 1993 Special Education Technology Classroom Applications, Brooks/Cole Pub Co, California).
For example, students who struggle with writing using pen and paper have a range of alternative assistive technology options to explore such as small and large keyboards, note takers and specialised software that offers various supportive features and functions.
AT can be useful for students with ASD to:
- supplement, assist or expand expressive communication
- provide assistance with organisation, sequencing and prioritising skills
visual supports such as schedules or timetables, cue cards, story based interventions, lists, checklists and visual reward systems
- support the understanding, development and application of social skills and emotional regulation
- support attention and engagement with the curriculum and others
- support decoding and encoding text that is: text to speech and speech to text.
- support access to and application of specific curriculum content
- support students to demonstrate knowledge and application of specific curriculum content.