Autism spectrum disorder, which affects millions of children worldwide, can make verbal communication a challenge. With support from a local interest group, Hotsource ESD developed a mobile device software that can enable individuals with autism to communicate more effectively. This app is called Flashables50.
Because people with this disorder tend to process information visually, educators and therapists have adopted various approaches to teaching communication skills to students with autism through the use of picture cards. Flashables 50 makes use of a system called the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) which is a form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) that uses pictures instead of words to help children communicate. PECS was designed especially for children with autism who have delays in speech development. When first learning to use PECS, the child is given a set of pictures of favorite foods or toys. When the child wants one of these items, he gives the picture to a communication partner (a parent, therapist, caregiver, or even another child). The communication partner then hands the child the food or toy. This exchange reinforces communication.
The cards also help parents, teachers, and others to ask questions or give instructions to someone with autism.
1. Tap GO! to see the full deck of cards
2. Tap under the CARDS section to select a particular card
3. Option RANDOM COLORS creates a deck of colorful cards
4. Option SPEAK CARD features a voice audio speaking the title of the card