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Autism Resources and Community (ARC)

Welcome to the Autism Resources & Community (ARC)!

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      Winner of the Feedspot Top 50 Blogs on Autism Award

      Action Behavior Center's Top 25 Autism blogs of 2020

      Study.com Top Homeschool Blogs for Special Needs Resources

      Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide 30 Best Autism Blogs 2019

      Autism Technology

      Autism Treatment Options

      Autism and Physical Spaces

      COVID-19 Emergency Response

      10 Best Practices for Providing Teletherapy for Children with Autism

      How to Provide the Most Effective Teletherapy Possible for Children with Autism

      As schools around the world prepare for learning to continue in the fall, educators and service providers are wondering how to best tackle the possibility or reality of virtual learning for the foreseeable future. Many educators are concerned about the steep learning curve that comes with teletherapy and wonder how they might most effectively reach their students. For special education teachers and therapists for students with autism, teletherapy presents a unique challenge as many learning platforms are only geared towards typically developing students. 

      Updated on 7/26/20 1:35 PM

      Updated by Madeline Burroughs on 7/26/20 1:35 PM

      Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities

      Autism Technology

      Choosing iPad Apps for Children with Autism

      The explosion of apps available on tablets like the iPad has been an exciting opportunity for children with autism. It may come as no shock to parents and educators that in general, children with autism prefer and are more engaged during app-based interventions than traditional interventions. And while in the past some have feared that technology could lead to social isolation, a recent study found that a group of children with autism spoke more sentences per minute together while using iPad apps than without iPads.

      Updated on 10/14/18 3:10 PM

      Updated by Emma Shanahan on 10/14/18 3:10 PM

      Autism Technology

      Interactive Bridging Books for Early Literacy: Research White Paper

      This White Paper was written by Consulting Services for Education in order to better understand the learning impact of the newest Stages Learning product: Link4Fun Books.

      These "bridging" books are designed to support early literacy using innovative new technology and research best practices in order to pair the advantages of traditional print based books with the interactivity available on an iPad. This report can also be downloaded as a PDF. (link)

      See Link4Fun books for more information.



      Link4Fun Books are printed children’s picture books that are placed next to an iPad or other digital device to provide synchronized interactive content. As the young reader turns a page the action triggers the device to display digital content that compliments the content of the physical book and provides an interactive and engaging learning experience.

      Updated on 11/14/16 8:59 AM

      Updated by John Richards, Ph.D. and Leslie Stebbins, M.Ed., MLIS on 11/14/16 8:59 AM

      Autism Technology

      Autism & Career Options

      A New Education: Teaching Coding to Students with Autism

      Although many students with autism possess incredible talents and abilities, especially related to spatial reasoning, only about 10 to 20 percent of adults with autism are employed (Born, 2011; Kavilanz, 2016). Providing code education to students with autism is not only critical for providing these students with a fulfilling and enjoyable educational experience, but also for their success as adults.

      Updated on 10/27/16 8:28 AM

      Updated by Irina Uk on 10/27/16 8:28 AM

      Autism Technology

      Stages Learning Serves as Incubator for New Harvard Graduate Student Interns

      Back-to-school energy was in the air at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s (HGSE) Fall Intern Fair where Stages Learning staff met and recruited eager and passionate new students who are excited about working with the autism community and are curious about how to leverage innovation and technology to reach young learners.

      Updated on 9/13/16 8:50 AM

      Updated by Rebecca Pagitt-Mungai & Kristen Nichols on 9/13/16 8:50 AM

      Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Autism Technology

      Using the Free Language Builder App and Language Builder Cards Together

      Lesson Overview:

      Students will use Language Builder cards with the Language Builder App to practice similar matching in both a digital and physical setting.

      Updated on 10/1/15 10:11 PM

      Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 10/1/15 10:11 PM

      Language Builder App

      Autism Technology

      Language Builder from Stages App Updates!

      The Language Builder from Stages app was released earlier this year to high praise from long-time Stages Learning Materials customers who were looking for a digital companion to the paper flash cards they love. The app has now been used in classrooms, clinics, and homes throughout the United States, and teachers, therapists, and parents have provided us with invaluable input about improvements to make the Language Builder app even better. Stages Learning Materials is happy to announce that version 1.1 has just been released for both the Basic and Pro versions with this customer feedback in mind! The latest version of the app has some great new features, including unlimited student accounts and record keeping capabilities to track student progress, and the Pro version now offers the ability to create your own flash cards. Your favorite language builder app has been updated and is now better than ever!

      Updated on 12/7/14 3:03 PM

      Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 12/7/14 3:03 PM

      Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Language Builder App

      Autism and Language

      Autism Technology

      Using the Language Builder App with Picture Bingo

      Lesson Description

      Students will use the “Picture Identification” activity within the Language Builder app to call out the bingo prompt.  

      Updated on 8/30/14 4:51 PM

      Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 8/30/14 4:51 PM

      Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities

      Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans

      Language Builder App

      Autism and Language

      Autism Technology

      Using the Language Builder App and Language Builder Cards Together

      So you’ve just downloaded the new Language Builder app. That means you can throw out all your paper flash cards right? NO!! As you may have already realized through our previous blogs, we are big proponents for blending hands-on and digital learning. There are so many ways that you can combine both digital and tangible resources to support deeper engagement.

      Our intent with the app is to complement, rather than replace, the physical products. We will begin a new blog series demonstrating ways to use your physical language builder cards and other Stages products in conjunction with the app. 

      Updated on 8/30/14 4:49 PM

      Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 8/30/14 4:49 PM

      About Autism

      Autism and Language

      Autism Technology

      NEW Language Builder Software

      I am happy to report that Stages Learning Materials has finally taken the leap into the 21st century!

      The Language Builder cards have become a staple in autism and speech therapy programs across the country, and even abroad. I regularly attend conferences where parents and therapists alike tell me that they use the cards every day at home or in their practice. The other thing I hear at every conference I attend ... "When will the Language Builder Cards be available in a software program I can use on the computer?" That day has finally come!

      Updated on 8/30/14 4:45 PM

      Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 8/30/14 4:45 PM

      Teaching with Pictures

      Language Builder App

      Autism and Language

      Autism Technology

      Flash Cards vs. iPad Apps: Which is Best?

      All over the news, we see stories about kids with autism and their iPads. Rookie reporters tout the devices as The Next Big Thing, even going so far as to refer to them as cures. I’m sure we would all agree that the touch screen tablets are amazing, for little and big kids alike. But where’s the research backing their use for educational purposes for our students? In one word, nonexistent. As a doctoral student at Montreal’s McGill University, I aim to change that.

      The focus of my upcoming thesis is on developing a rigorous and research-based understanding of using iPads to teach children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I have been extremely fortunate to meet with the Stages Learning Materials staff, and receive their support to use the Language Builder Picture Cards and the newly created Language Builder from Stages app to test which method results in better and faster learning of receptive and expressive language.

      Updated on 8/30/14 4:23 PM

      Updated by Hayley Vininsky, M.S., BCBA on 8/30/14 4:23 PM

      Language Builder App

      Autism and Language

      Autism Technology

      New Features Added to the Language Builder App

      On March 10th of this year, Stages Learning Materials released the Language Builder from Stages App, and we have had an amazing response! Hundreds of parents, therapists, and teachers are now using the Language Builder App to teach 6 early ABA activities to children with autism. But we are far from finished adding features to the app!

      Updated on 5/21/14 8:19 AM

      Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 5/21/14 8:19 AM

      Early Childhood Education

      Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities

      Autism Technology

      Using Apps to Support Fine Motor Development

      Most early childhood classrooms are stocked with blocks, crayons, puzzles, and many other tools that support fine motor development. With the iPad becoming ubiquitous across all subject areas in the classroom, does this mean that the manipulatives and toys we once loved no longer have a place in the classroom and will begin to collect dust? One big question continues to pop up: should we replace traditional fine motor development activities and exercises for iPad apps? 

      Updated on 4/17/14 11:55 AM

      Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 4/17/14 11:55 AM

      Autism Technology

      Autism Technology

      Over approximately the past 2 decades, with the rise in the prevalence of autism, an entire industry has grown up around treating and teaching children and adults with autism, as well as easing the challenges and improving the quality of day-to-day life for individuals on the autism spectrum. Within this growing market, the past 10 to 15 years has seen the adaptation of many new technologies to the particular needs of individuals with autism.

      Updated on 4/15/14 7:51 AM

      Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/15/14 7:51 AM

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      We want to know what you think! Please share your questions and comments about our articles or let us know about other topics you would like to see covered in our blog. --Angela Nelson, CEO, Stages Learning Materials and Editor, Autism Resources & Community