Working with Non-Verbal Students - AUTISMATE PART 1

Working with non-verbal students is often very challenging to say the least. Several of my students on the autism spectrum have been students with no verbal skills at all or extremely  limited verbal skills.
Finding ways for them to communicate with me and their peers in a classroom setting always proved very challenging.
There are many good options available to work with students with little or no verbal skills.
My goals when working with non-verbal student is that I always want to make them as independent as possible, and give them the tools they need to make them an in integral part of the classroom.
One of the tools I have found that meets all these criteria is Autismate. Autismate is a program by SpecialNeedsWare that is available for use on iPhones and iPads.
Being able to use it on devises such as these makes it extremely convenient to use across multiple environments such as school and home, or even community.
This program is so immense in what it can do for people with disabilities!  I have used it with a student in my class for 2 years, who has good receptive language with extremely limited verbal skills. I have created personalized schedules, stories, and communication boards specific to his needs. It helped him learn to complete his arrival morning schedule when entering the room totally independently. It helped him progress from having someone behind him at all times verbally prompting him to having him carry around the mini iPad as he completed each step to being able complete his arrival procedures all by himself.
Today I would like to share with you a little about this wonderful program. What I share today is just the tip of the possibilities that can be done with this program. In order to get a more in-depth picture of what this program can do, please be sure to visit, AUTISMATE . Here you can download a 14 day trial.
One of the first things I did was create a choiceboard for my student so he could get use to using the iPad as a tool and not a game board. Through some generous people and DONORS CHOOSE I was able to secure the funds needed to purchase a mini-iPad for use with Autismate so that it was a tool and not a toy to the student.  The iPad was a favorite item of this student  and proved to be easier than I thought to teach him to use one iPad as a tool or instrument and others as a reward.

The first  activity I set up was a board for my student to select his choices he wanted to work for when finishing a work task. I started with his most preferred item and  put only that item on the screen. This gave me time to teach him how to use the program.
Every time this student wanted to use the trampoline, he had to ask for it using his iPad. The picture I used was a photo of him jumping on the the mini-tramp and verbalized, I want to jump on the trampoline.
Over the course of a month, with consistent implementation, he learned to use the program and at the end of the month was able to get the iPad independently, open  the Autismate program and select his choice board option.
Thanks for joining me today for this first part of a series of posts on Autismate and other ways to work with nonverbal students. Join me next Wednesday for another segment


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