Autism iHelp – WH Questions

This Autism iHelp – WH Questions app also includes:

Who, what, when, where, and why questions are often the questions that teachers use to foster engagement, verbal communication skills, higher-order thinking, and hopefully, a deeper understanding of the world. This tool is geared toward fostering competence in verbal communication and answering direct questions. Children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) oftentimes have difficulties with verbal expression and need many supports in developing a functional, expressive vocabulary.

Pre-K - 6th English Language Arts 26 Views 7 Downloads
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App Overview

What The App Does:

The app provides a series of who, what, when, where, and why questions for children to answer. Questions request children to choose the one picture out of four that best answers the question posed:

  • There are three main categories: Wh? 1, Wh? 2, and Wh? 3
  • Wh? 1 offers three sets of who, what, or where questions
  • Wh? 2 provides a series six sets  of 'wh' questions that relate to specific themes:
    • Animals
    • Colors
    • Community
    • Where (location)
  • Wh ? 3 offers six sets of  questions  that combine all of the ‘wh’ questions
  • Click on, Who, What, Where, When, or Why to access the related set of questions

What The Child Does:

  • The child clicks on the set of questions they’d like to practice
  • Four cards appear along with a ‘wh’ question at the bottom at the screen
  • A voice asks the question and the child taps on the best answer
  • To progress to the next question the arrow key must be tapped
  • This continues for all six to seven questions in each set

Options:

  • Choose to randomize the questions
  • Audio can be turned on or off
  • A male or female voice can be selected to ask the questions
  • The activity can be scaffolded by providing 2, 3, or 4 cards in each set
  • The question text can be turned on or off
  • A progress report is provided to show how the child is progressing toward his goal
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Instructional Ideas

  • Use during independent or one-to-one practice time
  • Send the app home or suggest it to parents to provide additional vocabulary practice
  • Have children move away from using the app by asking them the same questions but in a verbal format
  • Have two children play a game where instead of tapping to answer each question, they verbally respond. This will build expressive language skills in a way the app cannot on it’s own.

 

Classroom Considerations

  • Best used along with verbal or spoken communication.
  • Good as a supplementary way to provide basic vocabulary development
  • Verbal and expressive communication skills must include person-to-person exchange. The app can help foster initial vocabulary development but must then be removed to provide the child with interactive and spontaneous communication development.

 

Pros

  • The visual images are clear and relate to real life
  • The questions are clear and engage higher-order thinking
  • The tool could be used to build vocabulary

 

Cons

  • Only single-word answers are required
  • The app does not meet the the four functions of expressive language as outlined by B.F. Skinner; The Mand, The Tact, The Echoic, and The Intraverbal. This means that while vocabulary will be fostered, it will not be fostered in a way that helps the child with ASD express his needs verbally or under a variety of conditions
  • Several of the questions could potentially be answered in two ways, which makes the tool less effective, unless the child has a way to explain his answer