- Published on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 09:46
|There have been many studies over the years indicating that many behaviors exhibited by individuals with special needs, specifically autism, may be related to hyper or hypo-reactions to sensory input. These individuals have difficulty registering, modulating and integrating sensory stimuli and could result in self-stimulatory behaviors and irregularities in arousal levels.|
|Having an occupational therapist (OT) on the care team for such individuals is very common and a very good idea. An OT’s program involves promoting skill development and independence in all daily activities. For an adult, this may mean looking at the areas of self-care, home-making, leisure and work. For children, this may include playing in the park, licking a popsicle, washing hands, going to the bathroom, cutting with scissors, printing at school, running, jumping, sitting at circle time and taking swimming lessons.|
|OT’s are trained in “task analysis” for the teaching of new skills. This technique is very important when we teach dressing, feeding, and toileting skills. With sensory integration difficulties, OT’s teach these new skills by accommodating for sensory problems or impaired motor planning.|
|We’re pleased to have teamed up with Dr. Covington, OTD who will presenting some of his lectures and presentations through our Webcast series. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be posting different topics relevant to sensory therapy for self-help skills, communication and behavioral skills.
We hope you find them useful and look forward to your feedback.
- Published on Monday, 13 May 2013 06:09
The current update to TalkingTILES is definitely a milestone release that we’re excited about! This latest release includes a feature that we’ve been asked about many times – “grid customization.” Grid customization enables you to modify the number and size of Tiles on a page. You can have a single large Tile displayed or a maximum of 24 Tiles. In version 2.0 – set to release in June 2013 – we’ll be extending custom grids to support smartphones (iPhone, Android and Windows Phones) since the page views can be modified to fit the mobile phone screen in a more usable format.
Here are some examples of how TalkingTILES can be used in different ways beyond just AAC:
These are just some examples of what custom grids will allow users to do. We will continue to build on this fundamental feature by building more advanced features such as different image and font sizings and label-image placement in the upcoming releases.
- Published on Thursday, 02 May 2013 05:11
Have you ever walked out of your therapists office thinking “What on earth did he just say?” If so, you aren’t alone
|Dr. Frederick B. Covington, OT, of Maryland, has been putting together a series of short videos to help clients better understand what they are hearing from their therapists. He takes topics, such as Sensory Diets, Visual Memory, and Executive Functional Disorders, and breaks them down - he gives the medical definition, then explains in an everyday manner what they mean. He will often provide scenarios to further demonstrate.|
We will be featuring Dr. Covington's video series, Ask the OT, on our website starting in May 2013. Dr. Covington has been a practicing Occupational Therapy for 10 years. He has been working in the areas of pediatrics, school based intervention, autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and dysfunctions, technology, and geriatrics. He understands that not all patients and their families understand what different medical terms and treatments are; he strives to provide the information to make treatment planning and understanding easier.
We’ll begin posting Dr. Covington's videos later this month for you to watch. To view them, simply login to your My Mozzaz account and click on the Events button where you will find "Ask the OT" postings.
- Published on Monday, 06 May 2013 00:22
Advances in Assistive Communication Technology Continue to Raise the Voice of Non-Verbal Speakers
Talk about a new way to communicate - if we take a look back in history at autism and technology, it is astounding to see the major impact in just the past decade that has happened.
Lenovo’s infographic, The Power of Touch, helps us to understand the progress during the last century. It was just over 100 years ago that the term Autism was coined, and it took about 40 years for doctor’s and therapists to start using ‘assistive technology’ with their clients. In the 1950s that ‘assistive technology’ was not anything like we think today in terms of tablets and computers. Flash cards, toys and chalkboards were used to help children with Autism communicate with those around them.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that speech generating devices emerged that voice was given to the words they structured together. Leap forward another 20 years and the first commercial dynamic display speech generator was available, meaning now that autistic kids could explore more complex ideas and express themselves creatively.
As computers and devices become more mainstream and affordable, more families and individuals were able to access them. In just the past few years, the options for assistive communication technology have exploded with the introduction of AAC apps for tablets and other mobile devices. Particularly useful was the adoption of touch screens to computers and devices allowing for users to touch directly on what they want, rather than having to rely on - and understand - the connection between the computer screen, the mouse, and the cursor. A study in 2011 revealed that people with Autism have enhanced visual detection centres, which helps to explain why visual programs are so helpful and effective.
As technology continues to change and grow, the possibilities are endless on the developments of assistive communication. Apps like TalkingTILES that work with touchscreen and internet technology are the next generation of AAC - combining an effective tool for user’s needs and the ability to remotely connect with therapists is just another beginning of progress of creating better solutions for those in need.
- Published on Monday, 22 April 2013 06:20
One of the great features of TalkingTILES is the ability to back up your speech pages on the Mozzaz CareFUZION cloud, which allows for you to access the same speech pages on different devices.
Backing up your speech pages is easy!
To begin, enter your edit mode by hitting the edit button in the top right hand corner three times. This will put you into edit mode.
From here, select the SP Admin button – the third button in from the left side of the screen. This will open up your “Device SP View” screen. Here you will see a list of all the speech pages you have on your current device.
Select the speech pages you wish to back up by clicking on the speech page name – you can select as many as you want at one time – and then click the “Upload button.” You will be redirected to the “Select A Customer” page where you can choose where you want to upload the page to. Your name (or the user’s name) will appear here, along with Public folder. Click on your name and hit “Upload.” A confirmation prompt box will appear where you select “Upload” again.
You have just successfully uploaded speech pages! Now when you access TalkingTILES on other devices, you can download these speech pages onto them.
And guess what….it’s just as easy to download pages as it was to upload!
Follow the same first couple steps as above – go into edit mode and select SP Admin. On your “Device SP View” page, click on the “Click for Cloud SP” button in the top left hand corner. This will take you to the “Select a Customer” page. Click on your name/the user’s name, and then click “View Cloud SP.”
From here, you will see a list of the all the pages you have saved to the cloud. Select the pages you wish to download to your current device, and then click the “Download button.” Confirm on the confirmation prompt box.
Voila! You have just synced your devices!
Here’s an extra tip – to access readymade pages in the public folder, follow the same steps listed above for downloading, but instead of selecting your own name, select “Public.” Browse through the page listings and download any that you want.