In a new book from Wiley Publishers called Universal Usability: Designing Computer Interfaces for Diverse Populations (click on this link to order the book) by Jonathon Lazar, TeachTown has a chapter written by myself, Dr. Lars Liden (our CTO), Dr. Brooke Ingersoll (now with Michigan State University), and Sven Liden. In Chapter 9, TeachTown highlights the development process and research for producing TeachTown: Basics. The chapter briefly reviews the literature on treatments for autism and computer-assisted interventions, it also emphasizes the importance of using evidence-based practices and implications of computer instruction is discussed along with future research directions of TeachTown and other technology-based autism companies.
ABSTRACT FROM CHAPTER 9 (Whalen, Liden, Ingersoll, & Liden)
EVIDENCE-BASED COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUCTION FOR AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
Current trends in treatment and education for children focus on the importance of using evidence-based practices (e.g. Reichart, 2001). Because of the numerous treatment and education options available for children with autism, many of which are not supported by research, the use of evidence-based practices is particularly important (Perry & Condillac, 2003) and many schools are mandating these practices. With recent advances in computer technology, there has been a strong interest in the use of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) in the treatment and education of children (Parkin, 2006). Due to the unique characteristics and learning styles of children with autism, the interest and need for CAI is especially strong (e.g. Goldsmith & LeBlanc, 2004). In this chapter, evidence-based practices for autism, particularly Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), will be reviewed as well as the research on technology and computers for this population. The importance of developing evidence-based technology for children with autism and other special needs will be discussed along with the implications for designers and researchers.