PITTSFIELD, Mass. Aug. 13, 2014—Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. (HEC) has been awarded $5,000 from The Pittsfield Cooperative to purchase iPads and speech and language applications for the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Residential Program to help ASD children learn and communicate with teachers, staff, family members, peers and conventional students and to reduce the self-injurious behaviors exhibited due to frustration.
New applications for the iPads are being developed everyday for nonverbal people. A few of the new applications are Grace Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal People and iAssist Communicator. Grace Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal People is a simple picture exchange system developed by and for non-verbal people allowing the user to communicate their needs by building sentences from relevant images. The app can be customized by the individual using their picture and photo vocabulary by taking and saving pictures independently to the app.
The iAssist Communicator was designed for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Unlike other iPhone or iPod Touch applications, the iAssist Communicator is specifically focused on the needs of young learners and individuals on the autism spectrum and others who are more cognitively challenged. With the unique needs of these individuals in mind, the application incorporates photos rather than more abstract drawings, larger images and functional language.
These programs put learning at children’s fingertips in an easier way than conventional computers and turning iPads into communication devices that can be kept with students at all times helps excite students to learn.
About Hillcrest Educational Centers
A top Berkshire County employer Hillcrest Educational Centers is a private not-for-profit organization, providing therapeutic treatment and special education to children and adolescents with unique psychological and learning needs, in Berkshire County, Massachusetts and the Northeast. Campuses include a day student academy and three residential schools. They are also a resource for a broad range of psychological services, counseling and evaluations for individuals, families and schools in Berkshire County through Hillcrest Community Support Services. Hillcrest also operates Hillcrest Dental Care, Inc., a complete general family dentistry practice. Hillcrest Dental Care is the largest provider in Western Massachusetts of oral healthcare services to MassHealth recipients and special needs patients. In 2010, Hillcrest formalized an affiliation with Berkshire County Kids’ Place and Violence Prevention Center, Inc., a fully accredited Children’s Advocacy Center for child abuse victims and their non-offending family members. Visit our Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn pages under Hillcrest Educational Centers.
Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc.
Director of Communications
413-499-7924 ext. 114