Page 1

By Rhoda Sutton

A Publication from Rhoda Sutton Copyright 2011 Š Rhoda Sutton All Rights Reserved Page layout, illustrations and design by Ari Sutton:

Table of Contents 1. The Possibilities


2. Autism: What is it? How to Educate?


3. Assistive Technology: History and Law


4. Technology, Students, and the Classroom:


• What to use and way to use it


• Robotics


• SMART Board


• iPod Touch/iPad


5. Financial Implimentation


6. The Future: Teacher education and training


7. Parent and Author Reflections


8. Works Cited


Technology, Autism and Purpose

e Th ss Po s:

tie ili ib


ducators struggle how to meet

programs. These programs aim at cre-

the needs of children with varied

ative, or non-traditional ways to assist

exceptionalities. The growing focus

teachers in their quest to facilitate

on the relationship between autism

learning for students with learning

and use of technology in the classroom

differences. Autism is a learning chal-

demonstrates how technology can

lenge that inspires teachers, psycholo-

enhance educational opportunity and

gists, and other educational profession-

access. The law demands that all chil-

als to create new ways to encourage

dren, regardless of disability, are given

and foster learning. Technology is

an equal opportunity to learn. Educa-

offering new possibilities for children

tional access and equity is not readily

with special needs. The enormous posi-

achieved when working with students

tive impact of technology on classroom

who have cognitive, neurological, and/

learning is most apparent when exam-

or learning differences. This quan-

ining the response from children with

dary creates a continuous prolifera-

Autism Spectrum Disorder. ยง

tion of new and creative educational 4

Technology, Autism and Purpose

Autism: What is it? How to Educate?


he National Institute of Health

Although ASD varies significantly in

defines this spectrum disorder in

character and severity, it occurs in

the following way:

all ethnic and socioeconomic groups

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is

and affects every age group. Experts

a range of complex neurodevel-

estimate that six children out of

opment disorders, char-

every 1,000 will have an

acterized by social

ASD. Males are four


times more likely


to have an ASD


than females.

and restricted,

(National Insti-

repetitive, and

tute Of Health,



patterns of

School districts,

behavior. Autis-

educators, parents,

tic disorder, some-

and advocates all

times called autism

struggle to determine

or classical ASD, is the most

the best teaching methods,

severe form of ASD, while other con-

and school/classroom settings that

ditions along the spectrum include a

will provide a conduit to the larger

milder form known as Asperger syn-

academic world. The question is: how

drome, and childhood disintegrative

can educators facilitate learning with

disorder and pervasive developmen-

students whose world defies social

tal disorder not otherwise specified

convention, and whose primary neuro-

(usually referred to as PDD-NOS).

development is characterized by social 5

Technology, Autism and Purpose

and communication dysfunction? “Technology in the classroom is the way to go. It really allows teachers to differentiate instruction.” (Stroud, 2009, p. 18) This sentiment was echoed by E. Tiegerman executive director of the Glen Cove, NY based School for Language and Communication Development, a school that specializes in meeting the educational needs of children with autistic spectrum disorder. Assistive technology combined with the principles of universal design offer hope to narrow academic and social inequalities for students with ASD (University of Washington).§


Technology, Autism and Purpose

Assistive Technology: History and Law


he historical development of assistive technology, and the related legislation, illustrates the enormous value

assistive technology provides in the education of a disabled child. During the late 1980s through the 1990s there was a new call for greater human rights. There was somewhat of a renaissance, or a renewal of social movements, from gay rights to the rights of the disabled. (Domhoff, 2011) The 1980s and 1990s social movements once again reminded the American public that access doesn’t necessarily imply equality. Students with disabilities need and deserve to have access to a meaningful and authentic education. Two significant laws were passed in that era that still impacts both the implementation of special education, and how related services are provided. • The Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (Tech Act), which was modified in 1998 as the Assistive Technology Act of 1998. • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.,1990 and 1997 “Although the Tech Act first defined AT devices and services, it was IDEA in 1990 that first outlined the school district’s responsibility to provide AT to students with disabilities.” (University of Buffalo , 2005, p. 6) The Individualized Educational Plan gives parents and teachers an opportunity to review goals and objectives. It allows a team 7

Technology, Autism and Purpose to review objective and subjective criteria to determine how a child with special needs can be best offered a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive setting. (University of Buffalo , 2005) When a team reviews

“When a team reviews the needs of a student against the utility of various technologies, it is important that the focus should be on long-term potential, and not just short-term or immediate successes.”

the needs of a student against the utility of various technologies, it is important that the focus should be on long-term potential, and not just short-term or immediate successes. Sometimes students with Autism may seem so self involved that there may not be an immediate social or educational response to any type of remediation. However, it is clear that everyday children with ASD respond differently, and in their own time. Assistive technology can help a student find their voice, and open a world that is full of social and academic possibilities. (Sicile, 2010) A perfect example of the usefulness of technology to diminish the social and academic divide is Jeremy Sicilie-Kira, a young man with ASD. He wrote his speech independently, and delivered it using “voice output technology.” He spoke about how his only regret was that before he was “reached” he was lonely, and didn’t make as many friends as he would have liked. He said it is important to support autistic students in the mainstream so they can be with their peers. Jeremy’s successes and 8

Technology, Autism and Purpose comments illustrate the point: “…it is evident that technology can play an important role in the social inclusion of children with disabilities” (Singh, 2010, pg. 78). The implementation and proper use of technology in an academic setting can free a student with ASD. It provides the means in which they can finally interact, and engage their teachers and peers. What a delightful possibility since interaction and engagement are the very hallmarks of any authentic learning experience. It is important to understand that learning is a process that is primarily done through communication. Therefore an IEP should be created seeking out the most appropriate forms of technology that will diminish social isolation, and empower the child with ASD. “Education is a potential enabler for social participation of all individuals in society…certain groups get neglected in the process; here technology could be great help” (Singh, 2010, p. 78).§ 9

Technology, Autism and Purpose

Technology, Students, and the Classroom: What to use and why to use it.


he burgeoning technology industry has provided sweeping options for students

with significant neurological, communication, and cognitive delays. Schools can optimize learning options with more than the old status quo of reasonable accommodations. Today, reasonable accommodations, when including assistive technology, offer a student more than just access to their school day. Rather, new technologies and universal design principles offer an opportunity to narrow some of the inequalities hoisted on special education stu-

dents. The disparity experienced by an exceptional needs student, such as s child with ASD, includes social isolation, and diminished learning experiences that are often void of subjects such as art, music, history and literature. Today an IEP team can offer a teacher and students educational solutions by providing an iPod Touch, iPad2, Video-Modeling, robots, SMART Boards and even older products such as the AlphaSmart (a battery operated word processor that assists students with graphomotor limitations). Each device offers a unique solution for a child with ASD, and each one will have a unique impact on classroom learning and classroom engagement. For the purpose of this paper the focus of technology in the autism classroom will review four distinct products: The potential of robotics, the functionality and successes of the SMART Board/interactive whiteboard, and the utility and flexibility of Apple Corporation’s iPod touch and iPad products.§ 10

Technology, Autism and Purpose Robotics


atharina Boser (2011), a Ph.D. in Developmental and Cognitive Psychology from

Cornell University, created a website called Welcome to the Learning Technologies for Autism Site! The website provides a summary of options about how to best integrate universal design and best practice. It offers a curriculum map that illustrates how to facilitate the learning of autistic students with the use of assistive technology. The University of California/MIND Institute supports her work. (Boser, 2011) The UC Davis MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) is a collaborative international research center committed to the awareness, understanding, prevention, care, and cure of neurodevelopmental disorders (UC Davis Mind Institute, 2011). The field of robotics is an innovative science that utilizes multiple aspects of scientific principles and fields such as, but not limited to, engineering and computer design. This field focuses on how to enhance human functioning via a machine with human design for inspiration. By definition … “to qualify as a robot, a machine has to be able to do two things: 1) get information from its surroundings, and 2) do something physical–such as move or manipulate objects” (The Tech Museum, 1994-2010). Now, there are preliminary studies being completed that review the potential to improve social function for those with autism—specifically children. The premise is if a student could generalize their social connection and interaction with a robot, it will allow them to transfer that to the wider social population. This would enhance a child’s ability to participate in the classroom, and to socialize within their school environment. Currently David Feil Seifer, 11

Technology, Autism and Purpose a graduate student of Dr. Matarić at

emotional harm. However, robotics

the University of Southern California

can offer unique possibilities for those

Center for Robotics and Embedded

with ASD, and has real potential for

Systems, is currently working to create

future use in the classroom. It may

a robot for children with autism. This

prove helpful for teachers to be asked

project and test pilot program at Chil-

to contribute to scientific research and

dren’s Hospital of Los Angles is the

development of robots for students

combined effort of Seifer, Mataric, and

with ASD. It would be instructive to

Peter Mundy, a professor of psychology

better determine how robots could be

and autism expert.

utilized in an excep-

“Mundy hypoth-

tional education

esized that the ‘robot

classroom. Could the

would be a central

use of a robot help

medium to build

keep students safe,

joint attention,’ since

or focused on a task?

many children with

Due to the nearly

autism are able focus

unrealistic expense

on objects in a way

for the hardware,

that they are unable

this aspect of robot-

to do with other

ics has not yet

people” (Mundy as cited in Groopman,

been adequately explored. “The Indi-

2009, pp. 35). Critics are concerned

vidual with Disabilities Education Act

children with autism will not general-

requires schools to provide assistive

ize learned social skills into their school

technology to children…(maybe) there

day, or home life. Worse, if they do form

will be a little more open-mindedness”

a social relationship with the robot, and

(Groopman, 2009, pp. 33).§

yet fail to make the leap to generalize those newly found social and communication skills, it may cause significant 12

Technology, Autism and Purpose



mart Tech, a company based in Canada, has been an innovator of an interactive whiteboard that comes complete with its own software, and access

to professional development for educators. (SMART Tech, 2011) It allows students to interact and become physically part of their classroom lessons. A critical feature for any assistive technology for all students is its potential for engagement (Center for Implementing Technology in Education). This is a key requirement when educating autistic children whom have persistent, internal, and external distractibility. The development and breadth of the Internet has expanded the scope and function of the SMART Board technology in the classroom (Welch, 2009). Exceptional education teachers are using this technology in their classrooms as integral element of their curriculum. It is helping students improve daily life skills, or tackle more challenging academic skills. It is an accessible technology that is making a difference in today’s classroom. This is changing the old assumption that technology in the classroom will one day be a real or viable option in the future. However, meaningful, integrated, and authentic educational experiences for a student with ASD are already a reality. The future is here and happening daily in classrooms around the United States. The Aurora, Colorado Public Schools created an informational video in 2009. They provide it for viewing on This video demonstrates students calmly interacting with their environment, and gaining access to academic skills ( A classroom teacher for the Aurora Public Schools, Ms. Sarah Garneau, further explains during her video interview that 13

Technology, Autism and Purpose

prior to the introduction to

environment for children

the SMART Board, the stu-

with autism, or neurolog-

dents had a number of nega-

ical disorders. The goal

tive behaviors. Those negative

is similar to the study

behaviors improved, or were

done out in California

eradicated with the introduc-

with the use of the robot:

tion of assistive technology. She

that the students would

felt it was a direct correlation

learn to generalize their

to the students being positively

interactive skills within

redirected, engaged, and inde-

a human social context.

pendent. In addition to facili-

Over a two-year period,

tating learning, the SMART

the students gained

Board also gave autistic stu-

the ability to general-

dents a much-needed emotional

ize icons, pictures, and

boost. Autistic students need

social cues (Welch,

to know three things: “What is

2009). The most aston-

happening now? When will it

ishing improvement was

end? What will happen next?”

seen by a 12-year old girl

(Aurora Public Schools, 2010).

with the primary diagno-

In another study done early

sis of autism who had “…

in 2006, the Spaulding Youth

a history of aggression

Center in Northfield, New

when confronted with

Hampshire introduced interac-

nonpreferred activities,

tive whiteboards with the hope

such as school” (Welch,

of creating a social learning

2009, p. 32). She learned 14

Technology, Autism and Purpose iPod Touch/iPad


he Apple Corporation released their first Ipod

Touch in the fall of 2007. It

to generalize new

was branded a really “cool”

academic skills,

media device, better than just

such as positive

an mp3 player, because it was

social gestures,

device that would be interac-

and gained a

tive without a stylus, could offer

new sense of self-

movies and television shows,


as well as access to a new idea

and indepen-

“apps”. It is truly the innova-

dence. The most

tive concept of apps being a

important lesson

unique conduit to all types of

learned with the

virtual content that made this

utilization of

device the perfect item to be

the interactive

co-opted by educators for chil-

whiteboard in

dren with ASD. Fast forward to

this class was,

2011. This past academic year

teachers with the

special education has begun

right tools were

to utilize Apple’s more recent

enabled to “…

innovation the iPad. This is

create an environ-

similar in design to the iPod

ment where autis-

touch, but it packs more power

tic students could

and with a bigger screen, yet

become engaged

the weight remains under two

and active in

pounds. Dr. Shane from Boston

learning” (Welch,

Children’s Hospital explains

2009 ,p. 32).§

that he utilizes the iPad in his 15

Technology, Autism and Purpose

department, Communication for

of this segment illustrated the

Enhancement. “We’re not curing

positive impact, and educa-

autism, but we’re offering a tool

tional value the iPad has in

that improves the potential of

the classroom setting. Cur-

the person with autism. It gives

rently, in the New York City

them more opportunities to be

school system autism program

better communicators, better

at Public School 176 they are

understanders and better learn-

using the iPad to bring music

ers. The iPad is clearly the next

education to the students, to

step it’s a gamechanger” (Apple,

meet occupational therapy


goals, and more (PBS.Org,

The PBS News Hour created a

2011). The most striking aspect

multiple part video essay on the

of this documentary is not so

various implications of autism

much the utility of the iPad, but

hosted by Robert McNeil. Part

rather the recognition and affir-

four of this news special pro-

mation of how important tech-

vides a specific focus on the

nology is for meeting the needs

IDEA, which guarantees all

of children with ASD.

children with disabilities to a

Apple’s products, such as the

free and appropriate public edu-

iPad touch and iPod, are becom-

cation. The educational focus

ing an intrinsic part of autism 16

Technology, Autism and Purpose

education. Their ease of use, comfortable design, and limitless potential due to the constant production of education apps, make these devices the discussion of countless blogs, autism support websites, and more. The next step will be the development and integration of a seamless curriculum that utilizes these devices as intrinsic part of a student’s day. One day the use of an iPad in a classroom for children with autism will be analogous to the use of pencils in a classroom for typically developed children.§ 17

Their ease of use, comfortable design, and limitless potential due to the constant production of education apps, make these devices the discussion of countless blogs, autism support websites, and more.

Technology, Autism and Purpose

Financial Implementation:


he Assistive Technology Act of

States are given extra money from the

1998 guarantees funds for a child

federal government to help meet the

to receive assistive technology to facili-

costs of educating students with dis-

tate learning, and equal access to the

abilities, but in turn they must agree

general curriculum. Yet, programs

to comply with the terms of the law.

describe the lack of resources to prop-

The IDEA and FAPE allow states

erly staff, and provide for

and school districts to fund

students with assistive

this mandate in manner

technology needs.

that is deemed appro-

Public School 176,

priate. However,

an autism educa-

a very there is an

tion program in

important legal

New York City,

case parents must

describes the

be aware of when

response, and utility

requesting to their

of the iPad. Although he

local school district for

doesn’t fully understand it,

Assistive Technology for their

the Education Policy Director, Jesse

disabled child.

Mojica, from the Bronx, NY, also

Twenty years ago, in Hendrick Hudson

testifies to the power that technol-

Central School District Board of Edu-

ogy has when engaging students with

cation v. Rowley, the United States

exceptional needs, especially those

Supreme Court held that FAPE

with autism. Though technology may

requires services that provide students

provide access for those students, PS

with “some educational benefit.” [2]

176 only has 23 iPads for over 700

Rowley is undoubtedly the most impor-

students (PBS.Org, 2011).

tant and influential case in special 18

Technology, Autism and Purpose

education law (Johnson, 1999-2011,

Plans. It means by interpreting accom-


modations as appropriate as basic

A family wanted a classroom American

access, school districts can decline

language sign interpreter to facilitate

to provide the necessary assistive

their daughter’s learning. This is a

technology, or resources to a disabled

type of assistive technology that is

student. However, post the Rowley

powered by a human. None-the-less

case, the wave of what is an adequate

this court case is a very relevant and

education is still a persistent argu-

analogous situation when asking for

ment between parents, advocates, and

any assistive technology to facilitate

the finance committee of local school

learning. Due to the ambiguity in the

districts. “Some courts have held that

word “appropriate” with no objective

an adequate education is a minimal

test, the courts made a decision. The

education. While other courts have

court rendered the idea that an appro-

held that an adequate education is not

priate education doesn’t necessarily

a minimal education” (Johnson, 1999-

imply the “best” education. (Neighbor-

2011, pp.26). New Hampshire State

hood Legal Services, 2003) So, the case

court is an example of a court that has

leaves school districts in the position

rendered such a decision in the Clare-

to diminish, or build less than high

mont v. Governor Case. Mere compe-

quality Individualized Education

tence in the basics--reading, writing, 19

Technology, Autism and Purpose

and arithmetic--is insufficient in the

citizen and parent. Teachers can make

waning days of the twentieth century

recommendations, but are at the same

to ensure that this State’s public school

mercy of a dysfunctional, and often

students are fully integrated into the

confusing financial and legal system.

world around them. A broad expo-

It allows the funding for programs for

sure to the social, economic, scientific,

special needs children to become politi-

technological, and political realities

cized, and to even seem optional by

of today’s society is essential for our

manipulating the very law that serves

students to compete, contribute, and

to protect. Federal laws trust the states

flourish in the twenty-first century.

to implement them fairly, and yet, no

(Johnson, 1999-2011) These types

one really seems to know what “fair”

of court decisions, though slow, will

means in this context? So what is fair

advance the educational possibilities

and equitable when educating disabled

for children with special needs. Most

children? If sides need to be taken, do

importantly, brave renderings such as

we side with the cash-strapped schools/

these will also set valuable precedents

districts, or do we side with the rights

for families to utilize as they fight for

and needs of a disabled child/student?

educational services in different states.

This is a rhetorical question that begs

The matter of funding is complex, if

for a new paradigm, rather than a con-

not overwhelming, for the average

trived or recycled response.§ 20

Technology, Autism and Purpose

The Future: Teacher Education and Training The SMART Board and Apple corporations both provide professional development workshops to educate teachers about how to best use, and integrate their products into the classroom. So it is comforting to districts that the money invested to the programs and equipment will be supported. It is an essential relief to educators that they will be supported in learning the full usefulness of the products in their classroom, and they will be shown how to apply the new technology to their established curriculum (Apple, 2011; SMART Tech, 2011). However the big game changer is when universities and colleges create new programs that will bring a higher level of utility and imagination with the use of these devices. One most striking program is the MA in Instructional Design and Technology with a concentration in Autism Studies at Seton Hall University. “The M.A. in Instructional Design and Technology with a concentration in Autism …combines the benefits of a certificate in Autism Studies with an instructional design and technology program that will increase … knowledge, strategies and skills of both assistive technologies, and the integration of new technologies into a variety of special education settings and inclusive classrooms” (Seton Hall University, pp. 1). This type of professional development will encourage educators to become more than just competent with assistive technology, but to become creative. It will encourage and foster a curriculum that will allow technology to be an intrinsic part of autism education instead of augmentive.§ 21

Technology, Autism and Purpose

Parent and Author Reflections: Summary Shannon Rosa, a parent,

the lives of their

exclaims it is miraculous. This

autistic chil-

is the word she uses to describe

dren. It would

her young son’s interaction

benefit children

with the iPad. She sees it that

with special

way because now he can self-


direct, and be independent.

cially those with

(Apple, 2011) That is one of

autism—if such

literally hundreds of testimo-

a full-study were

nials on YouTube and on the

completed. Educational success

Internet from parents with

isn’t always something that can

children with autism testifying

be objectified in a student’s test

about how they feel about the

scores, especially for children

use and function of the iPad.

with autism. Learning how

I shared the video “The iPad

negative behaviors decrease,

is a game changer for children

and functional behaviors

with Autism” on my Facebook

increase because of technology

page. Friends of mine who are

could really help in the fight for

educators, all immediately had

funding more powerful tech-

same responses as Ms. Rosa.

nology-based special education/

However, that is only a small,

autism programs.

non-research-based survey

My youngest son, nearly six-

of how parents feel about the

years old, lives with autism.

value of assistive technology in

He struggles to regulate his 22

Technology, Autism and Purpose emotions, voice, and often his

tantrum with little prompting

own body. He suffers from obtuse

or issue. Yet, that only gives

fears, most of which he doesn’t

a partial perspective of my

have words to describe. When in

Sammy, and is his relation-

line at our local McDonalds, he’ll

ship to his family and the

panic if someone is sitting at

world. Sammy loves technol-

his table, or standing behind us.

ogy. Sammy has hyperlexia,

That fear even transcends

but struggles to write. He

to car rides. He also needs to constantly know what we are about to do. He will start his sentence with “We are going________”. I always need to create a plan, and if there is a change, to forewarn him as early as pos-

can surf the web typing

“His utilization and success with technology has led him to be able to generalize the independence he has found with his computer or iPad to traditional academic skills.”

sible. His daily life

in topics of interest into with great ease. Sammy recently acquired the skill of copy and pasting, so he loves to make beautiful pictures. “Look what I made for you Mommy” he exclaims several times a day. I have

skills are slowly improv-

daily experience with

ing, but years behind a typi-

how technology gives him

cally developed child. He cannot

access to the world. Sammy is

toilet train, nor can he brush his

deemed moderate-to-severely

teeth without assistance. Sammy

autistic. Technology gives him

will stim when he is overloaded,

the freedom to learn. He cannot

he has strong and myopic inter-

access typical art projects

ests (corporate logos), and will

without great assistance, due to 23

Technology, Autism and Purpose his poor fine-motor skills, and

he happily recalls that success,

low gross-motor issues. During

and almost always obliges. He

art projects without direct 1:1

cannot sit for long periods of

assistance he will stim with the

time, but he is making huge

crayons, or any other aspect of

progress. Sammy’s academic

the project that is in multiples.

skills are much higher than his

The iPad allows him to draw,

peers, who are older than he

and practice writing, all in very

is, and his teacher believes it

independent manner. Sammy’s

his exposure to technology bal-

love of books has

anced with

not taken him

literally of

away from tra-


ditional forms of

of books

play. His utiliza-

he can call

tion and success

his own.

with technology


has led him to be

ogy helps

able to general-

my Sammy

ize the indepen-


dence he has

sense of

found with his

the world.

computer or iPad to traditional

It gives him real access to

academic skills. Sammy will

ideas, places, and more, which,

sit and practice letters, or do a

to me, is the very definition of

work sheet about the planets.


With one prompt from his teacher, “Come on Sammy, one

I learned from my graduate

page—it is just like sitting at

student research that the

the computer or with the iPad,”

Common Core Standards 24

Technology, Autism and Purpose initiative, high stakes exams,

we need to advocate for our

and the like can never really

students, and to promote their

be relevant in the lives of

needs to the general public.

autistic or other profoundly

Technology offers students

neurologically-impaired stu-

with autism access. Technol-

dents. If the goal of those

ogy offers students the chance

educational initiative are to

to learn real content in a

diminish educational inequi-

manner that makes sense

ties ,or to offer the possibility

to them. As studies are con-

for self-determination and

ducted about assistive tech-

community participation,

nology, and successes become

then assistive technology and

apparent, they may very well

related educational technolo-

provide the proof that technol-

gies must be offered. If we

ogy has real purpose in the

value education as the cor-

autism classroom.ยง

nerstone of our democracy, we cannot just decide who is worthy of getting the best education. It simply must be provided, and creative funding must be established. Of course, it is still essential that as educators we think of new and unique ways to impart information, and assess what we have taught. However, equally important as designing and implementing new and sophisticated curriculum, 25

Technology, Autism and Purpose

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Technology, Autism and Purpose

About the author Rhoda Sutton is an education consultant, and a mother of children with autism spectrum disorder. She is also a master’s degree candidate in Education from St. Joseph’s College of Maine. Her undergraduate degree is a bachelor of science in general studies with concentrations in sociology and counseling. She has additional training from the Center for Pastoral Care, and the National Institute of Mental Health (Autism Spectrum Disorders certificate). In January she will be pursuing a certificate for Pastoral Care Specialist from the Oats Institute in affiliation with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Rhoda has been a lecturer, consultant, writer, job coach, curriculum developer, and a teacher. She is a great resource for families who have children with disabilities, and schools that are in need of creative curriculum suggestions for special needs classrooms. Rhoda is currently in the process of developing an interfaith chorus for children with special needs. The hope is that the non-profit organization will be providing additional activities and services for children with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities. For more information about Rhoda Sutton or any of the projects she is involved with please email to


For more information contact Rhoda Sutton at

Technology Autism and Purpose  

This paper was written by Rhoda Sutton. Magazine format and illustrations was created by Ari Sutton