According to the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-407), an assistive technology means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, off-the-shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Technology supports can be used for alternative and augmentative communication, or as a motivating teaching tool or strategy designed to increase both skills and to increase independence. Smart technologies such as the iPad and iPod are helpful for students with higher functioning autism.

Assistive Technology

A resource explaining how various types of assistive technology might be used for students exhibiting symptoms of ASD can be found at:

The Wisconsin Assistive Technology Institute (2009) provides a manual to help professionals in gathering information to choose useful assistive technology for a particular student; and provides an environmental observation guide, a decision making guide with directions, and a tools and strategies section. This resource can be located at

From MA DESE Eligibility and Assessment Guidelines (Draft)