The use of assistive technology in mental health has gained an increased interest over the last decades. A growing number of studies have investigated diverse applications of technological interventions for rehabilitation of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. This article presents a map of the technological devises applied as therapeutic instruments.
The research question of this review was which technological applications could be referred as an educational instrument for the management of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), intellectual disability and attention deficit disorder. The articles included in this review were collected after a structured literature search in electronic databases using keywords such as “Assistive Technology”, “technology devices”, “robots”, “Autism Disorder”, “Intellectual Disabilities” and “Mental Retardation”.
Assistive technology with the most up-to-date devices and applications helps children with intellectual disability and ASDs enhance cognitive skills and improve challenging behaviour, social communication and academic performance. Different technological tools are used to foster attention span and improve time management skills in children with attention deficit syndrome.
It is important that therapists choose the instrument that will offer the best approach towards the goal that is set. Future research could provide evidence based data, evaluating each specific methodology and tailoring each therapeutic approach specifically to a case. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Technology creates environments in which children could practice and learn in a safer, more predictable and pleasant manner. Assistive Technologies provide the opportunity for better acquisition of selfhelp skills and the power of social interaction for individuals with disabilities. By mapping out the wide array of Assistive Technology that is available today, future applications for rehabilitation of children with neurodevelopmental disorders could help extend therapeutic strategies out of the clinical and school settings and into the home, thereby incorporating the family and emphasizing personalization. Future studies could develop a model for the choice and use of each tool, tailoring each therapeutic approach specifically to each case.