iPad Apps in Teaching Programs for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Cátia Rosa

Master’s thesis, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 2015

Supervisor: Alberto Sardinha

iPad Apps in Teaching Programs for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract:

From day to day, the use of technology as a teaching tool has grown. The presentation of educational exercises through electronic devices reveals itself as more attractive and captivating to the user when compared with traditional methods.
The objective of this thesis was to develop an attractive mobile application that would make the development and acquisition of learning skills easier to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. With that in mind, we researched about autism, its impact on children and traditional teaching methods available and used. Also, we researched how technology is used as a teaching tool in order to understand what are the methods and techniques most successful in an application of this kind.
After the research was done, and after we concluded that the possibility of customization was one of the keys to success, we designed and architect one first version of this application. This version was then tested and submitted to several changes based on the feedback of a professional specialized in Special Education and Rehabilitation. The last implementation stages of this application were submitted to tests with a user diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, in order to test and enhance its efficiency.
The results of the evaluation met our objectives given that they show that there is in fact an improvement in reading skills.