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New Autism App Gives Kids Ability to Learn

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Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) recently announced the release of Autism Learning Games: Camp Discovery, which houses a growing suite of educational games designed to teach children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) new skills. The app incorporates the evidence-based behavior principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) used in the comprehensive CARD curriculum for over 20 years. It offers fun learning opportunities for children with ASD, ages 2 and older, to learn lessons thoroughly by matching, sorting, and completing receptive tasks. Camp Discovery is available at no cost for iPad and is coming soon for iPhone, Android and Kindle devices.

Camp Discovery is voice narrated and requires little to no adult supervision. The interface is user friendly, with all responses requiring only dragging and dropping or touching flashcards to be successful. The teaching procedures used in Camp Discovery were designed by experts in the field of ABA and are grounded on evidence-based teaching principles. For correct responses, players receive both visual and auditory reinforcement to keep them motivated and engaged. If a player responds incorrectly, a unique prompting system guides the player to answer correctly. Although Camp Discovery was designed for children with ASD, all children can benefit from the carefully planned teaching procedures.

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ABA is the only scientifically validated treatment for ASD, and research shows it is most effective when delivered early and at a high level of intensity. Camp Discovery is an innovative tool created by CARD to increase access to treatment resources through technology. The app gives families the ability to supplement their child's treatment program from home and also may be used by families waiting to start services.

"Camp Discovery incorporates preference assessments, which sets it apart from other children's learning apps. The component is used in behavioral intervention to deliver preferred rewards as reinforcement for correct answers," said Dennis Dixon, PhD, chief strategy officer at CARD. "The app addresses the demand for mobile educational solutions that use proven techniques."

Preference assessments take place before learning trials begin, and rewards for correct responses are personalized for each player to maintain the child's interest. Camp Discovery also offers mini games that serve as rewards for completing rounds and keep children motivated to learn. The app gives parents and caregivers the ability to track a child's progress across games with automated graphs. Multiple settings may be manipulated to personalize the player's learning experience.

For more information, visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/camp-discovery-objects/id585678823?mt=8 or contact Daphne Plump at d.plump@centerforautism.com.


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