Technological help still needs the human touch

A US-based startup is developing educational mobile applications that can be used as instructional tools to help people with special needs learn new or difficult skills.

The company's first product is named Literacy Labels. It facilitates the learning of new words through by scanning QR codes on printed labels and teaching related expressive and receptive language skills.

We are heartened and encouraged by the increasing use and advance of technology that helps those with special needs cope and learn better.

Nonetheless, we urge that this use of technology occurs concurrently with human interaction and not be a substitute for the human element in treating and helping those with special needs.

Ultimately, those with special needs, in particular autism spectrum disorders (ASD), need to pick up the use of different language skills (like expressive and receptive) as a means for better communication and interaction with their peers and those family and closed ones in their lives.

Therefore, the human element should almost always be there so as to better carry over the language skills picked up across different situations and people that those with special needs and ASD may find themselves in.

In applied behaviour analysis (ABA) therapy, this is known as generalisation and is a key element in helping the child with ASD cope with different circumstances and conditions that turn up in life.

In particular, ABA/VB - ABA therapy with an emphasis on Verbal Behaviour - puts an even greater emphasis on the teaching of functional language in natural environments (like the outdoors and the park) so that the child would find it easier to respond in different situations.

For a more detailed comparison between ABA/VB and traditional ABA, and the greater advantages of ABA/VB, please refer here:

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