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Autism help through PowerPoint

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Keywords: autism, PowerPoint, colors, letters, animals
Subject(s): Technology, Autism, Early Learning, Special Needs, Photography, Service Learning
Grades 6 through 12
School: Margaret Buerkle Middle Sch, Saint Louis, MO
Planned By: Cathy Helfrich
Original Author: Cathy Helfrich, Saint Louis
Like many schools in the U.S., Buerkle and itís family has been hit hard by the autism epidemic. Iíve seen first hand how many children on the spectrum seem to do things on a computer that they canít or wonít do otherwise.

With this in mind, our students are learning to create advanced PowerPoint presentations. These presentations have someone (a person with special needs) choose a specific item from a field of 3. If the person doing the PowerPoint chooses correct, the icon spins, makes noises, changes color, & takes them to the correct page. If they are wrong, it just blinks & makes them try again. Topics include, colors, numbers, letters, size, shape, food, action, animals, and many more. When our projects are done, we are going to invite some of our early childhood students, teachers, and parents to view our work & have copies.

The digital cameras are so we can take pictures of things around our homes and schools to include in the field of 3. The voice recorders are so my students can record themselves modeling the correct way to say the item and include it in the PowerPoint. For example, ďClick on the yellow birdĒ. Our hope is to help children with special needs grow while my middle school students learn advanced PowerPoint and learn to understand other people.
Choosing from a field of 3 items on a computer helps many students on the autism spectrum. My students would love to help them.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
An even more advanced idea might include social stories.
The projects will be shared with teachers of children with Autism and other special needs.
Materials: Point and Shoot, Digital Voice Recorders, Microphones, Batteries, Memory Cards, CDs and DVDs, Headsets, Autism