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Centers for Increasing Learning Capability & Engagement for students with Autism

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Keywords: Technology
Subject(s): Social Skills, Autism, Early Learning, Special Needs, Speech and Language
Grades K through 5
School: Cape Fear Middle School, Rocky Point, NC
Planned By: Laura Weber
Original Author: Laura Weber, Rocky Point
Rationale: Students with Autism generally learn best one-on-one. The primary factors that impact their learning is attention and motivation. The computer is an excellent tool to keep students with Autism engaged and therefore learning.
Scheduling: Each child has a visual schedule. As part of their programming, each of the following modules would be utilized throughout the day but placed on each student’s schedule at a different time allowing all students to move through a variety of centers including those with each module on a daily basis.
Students: Elementary grades K-5. Students are in the classroom throughout the day in addition to times outside the EC class for inclusion opportunities. Primary instruction is received in the EC class.

1. Group one: Computer Modules for K-1 and low verbal students:
• Sound Beginninings - Making Sounds: Communication is often difficult for individuals with Autism. Many do not learn to speak until late preschool age or elementary school. Students who are low-verbal would utilize this program on a daily basis to increase verbalization and to encourage communication.
• Musical Leaps and Bounds: Students with autism have difficulty with listening and concentration which negatively impacts their ability to learn. Students would utilize this program daily to improve listening and concentration.
• Smart Alex : Students with autism have significant difficulties with identifying and understanding emotions. Smart Alex laughs, talks, cries, and does many actions. Alex can also do over a hundred faces, expressing many different emotions. Students will utilize this program to learn about facial expressions and emotions.
• Matching Skills: This program would be a learning tool for students to learn to identify attributes of pictures and objects as well as early classification skills. The program can be played with numbers, words, or pictures, plus each activity screen provides full audio support. Teacher options can be used to configure timing, font and background colors, pointer size, difficulty levels, and activity selection so that each student can work at his/her own level.

Group 2: Computer Modules for Grades 2-5 and higher verbal students:
Older Students would utilize the following programs to work on concepts of time, sequencing, emotions and understanding idioms.
• Sequences • What's the Time Mr. Wolf • Smart Alex • Idiom Track

Group 3: Modules for Exploration and Reinforcement (for all students):
• Bucket and Spade •Touch It Gardens •Tool Factory Beep! • First Class Music

Materials: Flip Video
Other Items: 1 ToolFactory Autism Bundle, $522.99 each, total of $522.99