The famous autistic designer Temple Grandin once said that teaching an autistic child to cross the road might involve taking the child to many different roads, and repeating the same instructions over and over. This is because autistics have trouble generalising from experience, applying a lesson learned in one situation to a different situation. A related difficulty is in ‘transposition’, expressing (or understanding) the same meaning in different forms. That’s why the watch diary (pictured below) from Connect Design may appeal to some autistics; because it doesn’t require them to transpose between two different ways of marking the time, on a watch that’s actually running and in a standard diary where times are listed vertically and don’t change. The watch diary has a real watch in the centre, and events are written around the watch face. So an autistic person can immediately see what’s on in ‘real time’, right there on the page. Maybe that’s why, as an autistic, I find it intuitively appealing.
Livescribe Echo Smartpen
Multi-tasking is a challenge for anyone, but especially for many autistics. Some have problems listening and taking notes at the same time. That’s where the Echo Smartpen comes into its own. It records the audio as you take notes, and syncs the recording to the notes. Simply tap in a section of your notes, and the Echo will play what you heard when you wrote that bit. The Echo requires special dotted paper, but you can print it out yourself or buy from the affordable range of Livescribe notebooks.
“EVERY high school and college student with learning disorders involving processing speeds, slow writing, Asperger’s Syndrome, or attentional issues should have and use this product.” [Customer Review]
Keeping organized is a struggle for many autistics, either because of cognitive weaknesses in planning and organizing or the opposite, an obsession with tidiness. Either way, autistics may find the Wonderfile personal workstation useful for storing and organising documents they work on regularly. When using the corner pocket, it may help to keep documents in folders so they don’t fall out when the bag is shut. Here’s a review by a user with ADD:
I am very pleased with WonderFile. I have ADD. This product is the first to really help me. It is uncomplicated, folds easily and has room for my tablet if I want to carry it. It’s light weight but fabric is tough and the handle is sturdy. Great value for the cost. I use it for things that are pending which used to be scattered or lost. Now my husband puts the mail in the fold and I organize bills as I open mail. I also use it for receipts. I keep travel planning and relevant tickets, maps and coupons. The best slot is my troubleshooting. It helps me prioritize actions we need to take. I get emails for the most part and put them in order giving me a timeline. I used to feel overwhelmed wondering what might be falling through the cracks and anxious when finding unopened mail. No more wondering with WonderFile. I’ll buy another if they give us new colors. I think you would be pleased with this product.