In fact, in today’s world, I am probably very technologically-challenged. From the outset, I have refused to buy into the ‘i’ shenanigans and jump on their bandwagon. But I have caved in and got an android phone. Even so, the only apps on my phone are the blogging related ones or the twitter app.
However, even technologically-challenged me can see the importance of technology and the manner in which we are all becoming dependent on it. And while I fear for the future with regards to some aspects of technology, I must grudgingly admit that there are other areas I am glad are being developed.
One such area is apps. No, not just our basic twitter or facebook or blogger apps. But rather, more useful ones.
Being a psychologist who assesses children’s learning and developmental abilities (in addition to mental health), I tend come across a number of children with learning disabilities including reading disorders, expressive and receptive language disorders, mathematics disorder, pervasive developmental disorders and autism spectrum disorders. When I diagnose learning disabilities, I tend to provide recommendations to schools and parents about what can be done to better help the child. Sometimes though, I feel like I fight a losing battle because schools may not have enough funding to actually help a child with a learning disorder. As a result, those with reading disorders, language disorders and maths disorders do not always get the help they need.
However, with the improvements in technology, hopefully this will soon be history. Hopefully, parents will be able to help kids in their own homes and teachers won’t necessarily have to depend on teacher’s aides to come in and help these kids. Some apps I found useful in this regard through Intel AppUp are the following:
1. The ANTILO app
This is an app to help individuals with expressive language problems. So while it assists someone with an expressive language disorder, it can also be used by individuals with an autism spectrum disorder as they tend to have expressive lanaguage problems, and adults with expressive language difficulties following strokes or due to dementia. This app helps the user translate text to speech, uses images to better help understanding and expressing onself, and also helps the user practice listening and communicating. I can think of at least a couple of clients of mine who would greatly benefit from this app. One has a severe expressive language problem and finds it hard to communicate what happens at school and as a result gets very frustrated when others don’t understand. This app would help him express himself better, thereby reducing that frustration and anger at himself.
Individuals with a reading disorder more often than not have a problem with phonology i.e. understanding the sounds of letters. Hence, generally after being diagnosed, they are recommended to get more assistance with phonics and phonological awareness. However, more often than not, in order to do so, parents have to shell out money to see a speech pathologist. But right here with this program, learning phonics becomes fun and cheaper and something that can be done at home. All parents would have to do is purchase the app and then spending an hour each day with their child to learn the basic phonological skills and test them too. The main aim of this app appears to be that learning should be fun. And for a child who is has difficulty with learning and therefore loses interest easily, learning needs to be made fun!
Similar to the previous app, this one too is a brilliant one for kids with reading disorders. Teaching them the basics of phonology in a fun way is what is needed and what better way than having Zachary Zebra and his team teach them!
I can learn to use technology a bit more if this is where we are headed. Hopefully in the future, there will also be more apps to assist individuals with an autism spectrum disorder understand social cues and nonverbal messages. And who knows? There may be an app for anger management so that kids can use that to help them before they blow up and get into trouble. After all, with the next generation being more tech-savvy, that’s where my client base is headed.
And it is only sensible if I keep up to date with the apps.
But for the time being, I know I am going to be recommending the aove apps to some of the parents.
So is there going to be a therapy app?
You just never know!
This blog is an entry to the “My Favorite PC App” contest. Check out numerous apps for PC/Netbooks available at the Intel AppUp Center. If you are looking for an opportunity to build and monetize your applications, check out the Intel® Atom™ Developer Program.
Until next time,