An annual scientific meeting, the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), was held this year in Salt Lake City, Utah (US) from 11-14 May. One of its key priority is to promote exchange and dissemination of the latest scientific findings and to stimulate research progress in understanding the nature, causes, and treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Associate Professor Maureen Frances Neihart from the department of Psychological Studies in NIE had researched and developed a prototype in technology, based on an OER project on “The Use of a Mobile App Training Program to Improve Functional Communication in Children with Autism”.
At IMFAR, the team spoke to a group of 100 scientists with a demonstration of the mobile technology as a platform to improve behavioral health care services and shared with them the findings that indicated the increase of parents' knowledge on the principles of language intervention from using the mobile application. Their children also showed an increase in spontaneous word use.
The results showed that mobile applications are promising means for improving efficiency and effectiveness in disseminating evidence-based practices for autism intervention. Mobile platforms will close the research-practice gap, multiply intervention resources in both developed and developing countries for individuals with autism, and provide prompt intervention without delays.