Autism Unlocked

November 23, 2013, 12:00 am

How does Autism Unlocked work in the classroom and at home? 

Autism Unlocked was created by me, an ASD teacher, who had one goal in mind.  Autism Unlocked was designed to meet the needs of students who have limited speech skills or are non-verbal.  I became frustrated because I couldn’t find language/communication programs that could meet the needs of my students.  I could find programs that would come close to meeting my student’s needs, but the programs often would move to quick and become too difficult.  I set out to design a program to teach basic language skills AND I wanted the program to be flexible so it could meet the diverse needs of my students.  The result is a conversation game called Talk to Learn and a website called Autism Unlocked. 

Today Autism Unlocked has hundreds of members from around the world.  Autism Unlocked members feedback shows members love the program and are seeing the benefits of using the program!  So what benefits will get from of using our program?  Users will learn how to type or improve typing skills, it’s the only typing program on the market that offers the flexibility our students need.  While students are learning or improving typing skills, they are practicing conversation exchanges.  The difficulty level of the conversational exchanges can be increased or decreased to optimize learning.  Not only can difficulty level be customized, users earn “reward time” by completing learning.  Users LOVE playing our game because they are rewarded and are motivated to complete learning.  The amount of learning vs. reward time can be customized.  Customizing learning vs. reward time gives teachers and parents the flexibility to increase or decrease the amount “reward time.”  The ability to manipulate reward time is very powerful because as the user increases their ability, the game can be customized to be more challenging.  Talk to Learn has been so successful because of its flexibility to meet the needs of our diverse users needs.   The flexibility of manipulating reward time and the difficulty of the conversational skills is why Talk to Learn stands out among other language products.     

So how does Autism Unlocked work in the classroom?  Teachers can use the program as structured learning time because students are learning typing skills, conversation skills, and learning how to work for a reward.  Depending on the students ability teachers or teachers assistants can sit 1:1 and help students complete learning.  As students learn more skills teacher support can be faded and eventually students can sit and play independent.  Once students are independently participating teachers are free to work with other students.  A student working independently on a structured learning activity is what Autism Unlocked is all about!  Ideally, Autism Unlocked can be used 2-3 times per week in the classroom and before you know it students will be asking to play! 

Our students need A LOT of repetition, so it’s important that students are practicing skills not only at school but at home.  Autism Unlocked is a great structured and FUN activity to use at home.  Instead of students sitting and stimming off You Tube, they can get some structured learning!  Parents can set up our program and know that their sons and daughters are learning valuable skills.  While on the program parents can even get some time themselves!? 

 Thank you for taking the time to read about Autism Unlocked!  Please consider becoming a member and help spread the word about our wonderful program!  

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