Hands up if your child loves using digital technology? Hands up who loves a laminated visual timeline, but despairs the time it takes to make and maintain?
This was the starting point for our journey. Visual timelines were a total blessing, reducing stress and meltdowns and helping my son plan and understand what tasks and activities lay ahead. The problems came when we didn’t have a symbol for an event, or the symbol was missing, or deemed too “worn to be acceptable”. Frantic printing and laminating to make a symbol was a total waste of time and money. As my son loves all things digital, it made me think ‘surely there was a cheap and easy to use app?’
Amazingly there wasn’t, leading to picturepath being born. Users can now make symbols quickly and easily, change a timeline on the go (no more carrying bags of symbols round wherever you go) and we can see what is planned for his school day, whilst the school can see what is happening at home. It’s free to download from the apple and google play stores for parents, and the school version also has the functionality for teachers to manage multiple pupils and classes.
The National Autistic Society have carried out a lot of research on the topic of digital technology and they discovered that when using technology, children on the autism spectrum:
– Can learn new skills
– Are often more motivated
– Often show better concentration
– Often initiate more contact with those around them, such as talking to their peers, or showing teachers and parents what they have done.
– Can be an expert, make choices and direct their own learning and play
Whilst we all worry about the amount of time we are in front of a screen, using technology can definitely help make everyone feel happier and calmer.
Download the app and see if it can help, or contact picturepath for more information if you’re interested in a free trial in your school.