Online Safety

What are some considerations for online safety?

  • Individuals with ASD are just as interested, if not more, in the Internet than their peers due to the access to information and as a means for social communication (Autism Speaks, 2011; Benford & Standen, 2009). Online communication also helps reduce discomfort and anxiety faced by individual with ASD (Bagatell, 2010).
  • Individuals who have difficulty learning or have a disability are 16% more likely to be persistently cyberbullied over a long period of time (Department of Children, Schools and Families, 2008).
  • Individuals with ASDs are more likely to develop compulsive Internet usage than
    individuals without ASDs (Finkenauer et al., 2012).

Source: https://ed-psych.utah.edu/school-psych/_documents/grants/autism-training-grant/Internet-Safety.pdf

Teens and Screens: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Additional Resources:

Technology

What Are Assistive Technologies?

Assistive technology (AT) device is “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (Technology Related Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988). Such technologies can be “high” or “low tech” (from canes to voice recognition and speech generation devices). More information on different types of AT can be found at https://at.mo.gov/information-resources-publications/documents/Autism.pdf

AT for Communication Skills

Some individuals with ASD may be non-verbal or have difficulties understanding social cues or conversation. Speech generating devices may help such individuals. This can be a standalone device or specialized software installed on a tablet of phone.

Learn more at https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/assistive-devices-people-hearing-voice-speech-or-language-disorders

AT for Social Skills

Social skills is often a challenge for individuals with ASD. There are many applications to help individuals with ASD develop social skills that range from teaching facial expressions, to academic and social learning, to helping deal with stress and maladaptive behaviors. You can find some examples at https://informingfamilies.org/assitive-technology/

Daily Living Skills

Daily living skills, such as hygiene, organization skills, and recreational skills, are important for individuals with ASD to master on their path towards independence.

You can find some examples at https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Assistive_Technology_in_Education/Life_Skills#Software_Offering_Functional_Skill_Content

Where to Find Information on Such Devices

You can check out the following recources:

Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs: https://www.ataporg.org/

AbleData: Tools and Technologies to Enhance Life: https://abledata.acl.gov/

 

Sexual Health Class Research Survey

Individuals with ASD rarely get sufficient and/or reliable information about healthy sexual behaviors from traditional sources, like at school or from parents/caregivers, which often results in an increased risk of becoming victims of sexual crimes or perceived offenders (Brown-Lavoie, Viecili, and Weiss, 2014). Reviews and research related to the sexual health curriculums used within schools or educational settings for individuals with ASD is sparse with some indication of the absence of any existing or adapted curriculum in regular use. Removal of these students from sexual health classes means they are left to obtain information from unmonitored sources.

This brief survey is designed to gain insight from a variety of stakeholders (i.e., family members/caregivers, teachers, school admin, or individuals with a disability) regarding sexual health knowledge and the programs provided within an educational setting for students with disabilities.

As a thank you for your participation, you will receive a PDF info sheet with practical strategies for providing resources and skills teaching materials related to sexual health as a step towards preventing sexual abuse or victimization of individuals with disabilities. Please consider sharing this survey with friends and colleagues alike.

Please contact Naomi Swiezy, Ph.D., HSPP, Director, HANDS in Autism® Interdisciplinary Training and Resource Center at nswiezy@iupui.edu or Tiffany Neal, Ph.D., Assistant Director, HANDS in Autism® Interdisciplinary Training and Resource Center at nealtiff@iupui.edu with any questions, concerns, or additional comments.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

On this page, you can explore the following topics (click on the topic of interest):

What is ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is a research-based philosophy of working with individuals of different abilities, not just individuals with ASD. ABA encompasses a range of strategies and methods based on standard behavioral principles designed to address reduction of behaviors by encouraging positive or desired behaviors and discouraging negative or unwanted behaviors in order to improve a variety of skills. Behaviors are considered to be a form of communication that can be addressed by teaching appropriate skills to support the reduction of undesired behaviors across settings.

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Examples of ABA methods include, but are not limited to:

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  • Incidental Teaching: Creating a learning environment based on an individual’s interests or motivations

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  • Social Stories™: Using words and/or pictures to describe what to do in various situations that may challenge or provoke anxiety within an individual (developed by Carol Gray)

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Additional Resources

Autism Speaks: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/treatment/applied-behavior-analysis-aba

Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB): About Behavior Analysis www.bacb.com/about-behavior-analysis/

HANDS in Autism® Interdisciplinary Training & Resource Center: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). What is it? HANDSinAutism.iupui.edu/autism.html 

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ASD: Assessing Needs for Information and Training in Indiana

HANDS in Autism® at the IU School of Medicine has been invited to conduct an analysis of the current resources and services related to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Indiana. The results of this analysis will help to inform the comprehensive plan for collaboratively and strategically strengthening the supports among systems for families and individuals with ASD.

One component of this analysis involves the completion of a comprehensive needs assessment. We are seeking input from all perspectives, whether as a family member, individual with ASD, medical provider, school personnel, justice system employee, or other community service provider. For this assessment to be representative of the many stakeholder groups that support individuals with ASD as well as reflective of the needs of individuals with ASD themselves, we need participation from as many people and from as many viewpoints as possible. All responses will be confidential and only summary data will be shared with the state and as part of the report and recommendations provided to the state.

Please take a moment to complete the survey and feel free to also share this information with others who may provide insight. The survey will take approximately 10- 15 minutes to complete. If you are interested in completing a hard copy survey or know of others who may be interested in completing a hard copy version of the survey, let us know as hard copies are available upon request.

To complete the Indiana Autism Needs Assessment, click on the following link:
English Version – http://tinyurl.com/autismneeds
Spanish Version – http://tinyurl.com/spanishautismneeds