Prayas -technology based OER helps reinforce potentials of individuals with autism
In the recent past, technology has brought in lots of hope for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Computers, i-pads, i-phones, i-pods and some other assistive technology based devices like Alpha Smart, go-talk etc. along with some software, have made life easier for people with autism and their families. Working towards this end the Autism Society of India in collaboration with the Spastics Society of Karnataka with financial and technical support from Sap Labs India Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru, has come up with ‘Prayas’, an affordable, accessible and adaptable and an indigenously developed technology based Open Educational Resource (OER) also called Reinforcing Potentials.
Prayas is a mission to reinforce potentials of individuals with autism spectrum disorders towards quality education and livelihoods through technology based early intervention. Prayas has been implemented as an evidence based project,where a process curriculum is followed. The focus area has been cognition and communication while building skills on computer. Preventive aspects of sensory defensiveness are implemented along with the presence of parents which helped in creating a comfort zone. A simultaneous emphasis is given to the need of parents empowerment. The training is done every day which addressed the importance of continuity and consistency.
“General notion for people with Autism is that they are usually dependent on others throughout their lives. It is widely believed that they lack the necessary skills of life and hence cannot be employed by the corporate houses. But if people with autism are provided with proper training and guidance, there are certain type of jobs for which they can be as competitive and job-ready as others in the market,” said Ms. Kavita Sharma, Centre Head, Prayas.
Equating with technology the project – Prayas has been able to discover the unique potentials of persons with autism spectrum disorders like attention to detail, photographic memory, association to events, facts and unerring focus to name a few. Currently, Prayas has about 450 lessons on the portal which is accessed by around 900 registered users from across the globe and is available at www.learn4autism.com.