Autism and Voice Thread

How Voice Thread is helpful for Autistic children.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Autism presents itself through behavioral, developmental, cognitive, and psychological manifestations. Behavioral issues are present, such as inappropriate social interaction, poor eye contact, compulsive behaviors such a repetitive body and hand movements. Children with autism can inflict self harm, have repetative body movements (tics) and verbalize repetitive words and sounds. Developmentally, Autistic children may suffer from learning disabilities or speech delays. Children with austism also have intense fixations with a limited number of things and struggle to pay attention.
Psychologically, children with autism may be unaware of others' emotions and suffered from depression. Other symptoms include sensitivities to light and sounds, change in voice and severe anxiety.

Autistic learners face many challenges in an educational setting. Many of the traditional forms of presentation and group projects place extreme barriers in the way of Autistic students, requiring eye contact, voice projection, talking in front of their peers, face to face communication and concentration. Voice Thread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos. One can navigate through slides at their own pace and collaboratively work on projects or provide comments in a variety of ways. Additions can be made via voice (with a mic or telephone), written text, inserting an audio file, or video (compatible with webcams and device cams). VoiceThreads are easy to share with teachers, friends, students, parents, and colleagues. Even after the project is shared those viewing can also post responses and feedback. Using this tool can help Autistic students by allowing them to view projects repeatedly, add sound and video when they are calm and comfortable. Review classmates' work and provide feedback without having to make eye to eye contact. Presentations can be played for the class which eliminates the challenge of face to face interaction, voice quality, repetitons and controlling distracting bodily movements while presenting. Voice Thread is a tool that can be helpful to all learners, especially those with Autism.
Mayo Clinic