Using Assistive Technology & BridgingApps to Improve Social Cognition in High-Functioning Teens with ASD

Kelly Kaleta, Parent Night Out Coordinator from Easter Seals Greater Houston, presented on using BridgingApps within a group respite environment to help improve social cognition in high-functioning teens with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Kaleta reviewed the process of selecting applications, implementing group “itherapy” and the resulting outcomes of the 6-week study. Kaleta reports that 8 out of 10 teens improved in at least 3 out of 5 diagnostic criteria. This study proposes that BridgingApps can have an important and positive impact on social skills training, and that group respite is an ideal opportunity to offer the BridgingApps program.

The 2014 16th National Lifespan Conference, “Get in Tune With Respite”, was a huge success. Organized by both the Arch National Respite Network and the Tennessee Respite Coalition, hundreds of therapists, social workers, caregivers and service providers gathered in Nashville to exchange ideas on improving respite within our communities. Easter Seals had a strong presence at this conference, with representatives from Colorado, Washington, D.C., Florida, Texas and Washington state in attendance.

Keynote speakers at the conference included Sharon Lewis, a leading expert on disability policy, Leisa Easom of the Rosalynn Carter Institute, and Edgar Cahn, founder and chair of TimeBanks, USA, a new, groundbreaking economy that offers equal-opportunities for the disenfranchised and those with disabilities. Other important speakers addressed current issues such as the impact of stress on brain pathways of caregivers, respite agency best practices, caregiving through the eyes of the Hispanic community and many other relevant topics.

Kaleta’s full presentation can be viewed at http://www.arch.memberlodge.org/2014ConfProgram and clicking on the hyperlink for session C5.

Click here for a list of apps that Kelly’s uses in respite: http://staging.bridgingapps.org/list/?id=46396

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