Technology for Autistic children in Kenya

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Autism is a brain disorder characterized by difficulties in social interactions, verbal and non-verbal communications and repetitive behaviours. This affects many children in Kenya and the challenge in Kenya is school placement for autistic children.

While there is no cure for the condition, there is new evidence that the use of technology improves their communication, assists in the development of social skills and enhances their ability to learn. Though technology cannot provide a cure for children, it motivates them and increases their attention span and ability to interact socially.

Researchers in the Autism Support Centre in Kenya found out that most autistic children exhibit signs such as lack of communication, poor direct eye contact and lack of eye skills. The development of gadgets such as computers, laptops and smartphones is a plus for autistic children. Autistic children have different characteristics hence, when deciding on technology options, it is very important to consider the individual needs of a child and the ability of the gadget to meet their needs. The Autism Support Centre in Kenya found out that children with autism are visual learners hence they do better with the use visual senses in Kenya.

The Chairman of this support Centre also suggested that if the government rolls out the laptop programme for the class one pupils to help them in their primary education, they should also do the same for children with autism as it will help develop their communication among other skills. The major problem in Kenya for the children with autism is how many families can afford electronic gadgets as most are expensive to acquire and for them to access them.

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