Certain components of language, like prepositions and verbs, are difficult for children with autism to learn, according to Howard Shane, PhD,director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center for Communication Enhancement and founder of the Autism Language Program (ALP), which aims to help children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) communicate and learn more effectively.
The ALP recently developed two new software programs designed for children with ASDs. Teaching Language Concepts (TLC) is an interactive program that teaches action verbs, prepositions and descriptors. Children create a sentence on a computer screen by choosing images that correspond to the words they want to use. The selection of a logical sequence of graphic symbols (composed of language elements) leads to an associated video clip.
The second software is ALP Animated Graphics, a set of graphic depictions for action verbs and prepositions that can be used with TLC. "By using this software, children with autism can visually see how a sentence plays out," says Dr. Shane. "We’re building a visual language, as spoken language is really not understood by these kids."
Contact Dr. Shane: 617-355-6466
More information: childrenshospital.org/alp