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Top Tech for Kids with ADHD

Top Tech for Kids with ADHD

Written by Jane Sandwood

Experts in education are increasingly reminding us that far from being a mere distraction, technology is actually a useful tool in helping children manage their struggles with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD poses specific challenges for school-age children, who can find it harder to concentrate, organize, or retain the information they need to complete assignments and tests. Technology, including apps that up the fun factor in learning, can go a long way towards helping children memorize and structure their studies. It is also an excellent way to steer their attention towards one activity.

Smartphones and Tablets

These devices can be used above all to remind children of tasks to be completed. Alarms, for instance, can be used to partition the time allocated to each homework tasks. Built-in cameras can be used to take pictures of the board, or of an interesting Pinterest idea or page in a book they cannot take home. By looking at their gallery at the end of the day or week, children can find all their ideas for a project or an essay, in one convenient spot. Parents can support these technologies with an adequate home design. After all, a smartphone will not sufficiently arrest a child’s attention if the environment around them is cluttered, messy, or littered with toys. Research shows that home design is vital to promote peace and calm in children with ADHD – this means that personal spaces (such as study rooms or bedrooms) and common areas (such as bathrooms and bedrooms) should be minimalistic in design, clean and tidy, and divided into separate spaces for each activity. A learning space, for instance, should contain everything a child needs for their homework – including pens, paper, and educational technology.

Language and Development Apps

Memory retention can be incremented considerably with apps such as CommunicoTool 2, a tablet app which offers a gallery of images, pictograms and sounds to help children learn, express themselves and interact with the world around them. This fully customizable app comes with various modules, including the Communication Module, which includes colorful labeled images that allow children to create their own pictograms. They can use this to help them memorize words related to anything they wish. The Timer Module, meanwhile, is customizable, so you and your child can agree upon a specific time by which they should complete a set task.

Smartpens

Children with ADHD can find it challenging to process information and take down notes at the same time. Smartpens allow users to take notes while recording the classroom discussion. By tapping anywhere on their notes, the pen will play back what the teacher was saying. This enables them to fill in any gaps in their notes, enabling them to learn all they need to for their tests and other assessments.

Far from being a bugbear for parents, technology is now proving to be a fantastic way for children with ADHD to organize and retain information and to fill in the blanks via apps and smartpen technology. Although children also enjoy simply playing on tablets and smartphones, these devices can help them succeed academically and overcome many challenges posed by ADHD.

Jane Sandwood, Freelance Writer & Content Editor

CommunicoTool 2

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From Digital to Paper, Start Printing CommunicoTool Icons Now

From Digital to Paper, Start Printing CommunicoTool Icons Now

We value all of our CommunicoTool users’ opinions and sincerely use your feedback to take our app to the next level. Although a small addition, we believe that this feature will benefit all and change the interface of how you guys will use CommunicoTool 2.

So after much anticipation, we’ve added a printing option where you can print symbols, pictograms and photos found in the app. Directions below:

Print pictograms

  1. Go to the “Settings” page
  2. Then click on “Print PDF”
  3. Click on the empty boxes to fill them with relevant pictures either icon or real life situation
  4. Finally, click “Print”

 

This new feature will also have a “Reset” button to efficiently remove pictures selected. We hope that being able to print the icons and pictograms in CommunicoTool will open up the endless possibilities CommunicoTool can take you and your family outside of just the tablet!

CommunicoTool 2

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Sneak Peek into New CommunicoTool Developments Coming Your Way!

Sneak Peek into New CommunicoTool Developments Coming Your Way!

Since the beginning of our journey, the goal has always been to positively impact the lives of everyone with special needs through the means of technology. CommunicoTool was inspired through one little girl with autism and has helped us see that we can help not just the autism community, but others with special needs as well. Thus, we are excited to announce that we are expanding CommunicoTool to include a range of new development starting with the addition of our upcoming application known as CommunicoTool Advanced!

Like our original app, Advanced will also assist people with speech and motor impairments. The main differentiation between our original app is that Advanced aims to enable users to compose a message through a speech-to-text system with the development of our word prediction engine, Mind2speech. It calculates the words needed by the user at every step of the message composition. With more frequent use, Mind2speech will learn to adapt to the user’s sentences over time minimizing the amount of gestures required by users with motor impairments.

The predicted words are presented to users within a list. If the list contains the word, then only one gesture is required to select it. Otherwise the list of predictions will adapt based on entered characters just like the quicktype suggested words that pop up when you’re texting someone. Advanced can also save sentences made by the user so that commonly spoken sentences or even emergency messages can be retrieved quickly.

Besides the text-to-speech aspect of the app, it can also help compose e-mails and text messages. CommunicoTool Advanced will contain two different accessibility modes where users can either interact with the touchscreen or with the help of a scanning switch. Available by this March and only on Apple tablets, the app will be able to help those with ALS, muscular dystrophy and locked-in syndrome through the head eye tracking tools used within the app.

We will remain active in research and development as we want to continue to expand our technology to benefit anyone with speech and motor impairments at all different age ranges. So be sure to check out our 1001PACT campaign to support these initiatives!

CommunicoTool 2

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ATIA – 2017 conference – Meet us Booth #207!

ATIA – 2017 conference – Meet us Booth #207!

The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) conference is the place to learn about advances in assistive technology for k-12 special education issues and ideas. Back for its third annual event, ATIA brings together the entire assistive technology community to network, learn and share all the advancements that have taken place so far to help enhance the lives of people with disabilities.

It’s one place where attendees and exhibitors within this niche field will be able to gain important insight. Attendees will see a range of assistive technology products available and then be able to indicate which ones are more aligned with their personal needs. While exhibitors, like CommunicoTool, will be able to meet firsthand families, parents and teachers to help answer questions on best practices and find more ways to improve our technology.

ATIA 2017 will be hosted in Orlando, Florida at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center where the conference will span between January 17-21. We will be participating and showcasing CommunicoTool 2 and the latest expansion to our line of assistive applications featuring the upcoming CommunicoTool Advanced app, which will be released March 2017!

If you will be attending ATIA or are in the Orlando area, please come visit us at booth #207! Our CEO and founder, Frederic Guibet, will be available throughout the week to discuss any matters relevant to CommunicoTool, our future developments and more. We will also have Charlotte Roze, a natural language processing PHD and creator of CommunicoTool Advanced, at the conference to also answer any questions within our growing industry. Hope to see you guys there!

CommunicoTool 2

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CommunicoTool Launches 1001Pact Campaign to Support Plans for Future Development

CommunicoTool Launches 1001Pact Campaign to Support Plans for Future Development

 

After celebrating a victory at the MedStartUp Awards 2016, we at CommunicoTool have embarked on a journey to reach a bigger global audience and become the household name within the autism community. To accomplish this, we are channeling our efforts on two main priorities — expanding our research on cognitive disorders and gaining the international manpower to accelerate CommunicoTool’s commercial development. These objectives have prompted our latest crowdsourcing campaign on the 1001PACT platform, where we are asking for the support of the public in realizing this vision with a goal of 200,000 .

Unlike other crowdfunding platforms, 1001PACT is certified by the AMF and all companies within the platform were carefully selected based on their ability to generate a strong social or environmental impact. In this case, CommunicoTool has demonstrated potential to make an everlasting and positive social change. For added security measure, 1001PACT has also partnered with S-Money and Universign to secure your investment with complete transparency so you know exactly what you’re investing in, while receiving tax exemptions.

Currently CommunicoTool is available in its second version, Communicotool 2, which helps nonverbal and Autistic children interact with those around them and simultaneously develop their language skills. New features also include the Schedule Module and the Core Vocabulary Module. We designed these two modules while working closely with the Brooklyn Autism Center (BAC). These modules were made specifically for the BAC’s students needs, the teachers and the parents. This collaboration will allow both parties to gain critical feedback in order to compile a comprehensive case study.  

Beyond autism, CommunicoTool assists many other disabled populations including Alzheimer patients, the intellectually disabled, along with victims of head trauma, stroke and brain damage. These people make up a large fraction of society which goes unheard and are often misrepresented, so it is our mission to help them claim their voice. Check out our 1001PACT page today to join a growing community of global investors making this project a reality!

CommunicoTool 2

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Give Thanks the CommunicoTool Way

Give Thanks the CommunicoTool Way

thanksgivingHolidays can be a stressful time for families who have children with autism; daily routine is interrupted, families may travel long distances and of course the constant social interactions that occur during Thanksgiving. So we’ve come up with some helpful tips to help your family have the least stressful and most joyous Thanksgiving yet!

 

For the sanity of you, your family and everyone else involved, it’s important to prepare your child for Thanksgiving day to minimize stress and help the day run as smoothly as possible. So the day before Thanksgiving, create a dialogue of how you’re anticipating the day to go. The Sequence Module within CommunicoTool is a great way to show some simple and typical Thanksgiving routines your family does every year. This could be showing how to prepare one of the many Thanksgiving dishes, which includes the timer on how long it’d take to do so. Since it’s completely customizable, you can use the same sequence for future Thanksgivings to come with pictures from the past. The Thanksgiving Social Story is also another great way to build your child’s schemata.

Then the day of Thanksgiving, make sure you have several arts and craft projects on hand so your child is completely occupied during the time you’re preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Print out this free I Spy Fall Harvest template to engage their visual sensory, or even a few of these other simple projects:

Have a Happy Thanksgiving filled with great food and even better company. CommunicoTool is thankful for this supportive community and we hope to continue to share this journey of growth with you guys as you have with us 🙂

 

 

CommunicoTool 2

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Download and get a 1-month free trial period