This week, the company that brought us Zac Browser announced a new autism resource website – www.autismadvisoryboard.com. The objective of this resource according to it’s president and CEO John LeSieur “…is to unite the expertise of people around the world and make it freely available to anyone in touch with autism…our goal is to provide important information and ways to better work with professionals.”
The Autism Advisory Board is comprised of over 90 volunteers from around the world including individuals with ASD, parents, teachers, therapists, advocates and leaders in business. An expert or parent moderates each discussion topic and topics include: New to Diagnosis, Parenthood & Siblings, Behavior Support, Communication Skill Development, and Technology.
The site is brand new and as such, the information currently available is limited at the time of this writing. The site is in English with goals to have it available in Spanish and French in the near future.
LeSieur’s grandson Zachary was diagnosed with autism. He saw the challenges Zachary experienced with using the school’s computers and Internet, and he designed a more user-friendly experience for Zachery. With Zachery’s success came the desire to share it with others through the development of “Zac Browser.”
“Zac Browser” is the first web browser specifically designed for children on the autism spectrum. The technology company called People CD Inc also developed http://www.tweenbrowser.com, which is described by its developers as “The first fully secured environment for Tweens online.”
It is encouraging and exciting to see how technology is developing and being used to help children on the spectrum. See my previous blog on the i-pod if technology resources interest you.
It’s easy to get enamored by the technology and I don’t want to take away any of the value that technology can offer, but, I hope that we don’t lose sight of everyday experiences that we share with our children away from technology. Walks outside, listening to music, playing with pets, reading a book together, going to the zoo, sharing in activities or games that are enjoyed by our children. I know there are some children who will enjoy the computer more than any of these activities, but I hope we provide the balance of many experiences for our children.