Every week, Katie shares the ongoing struggles and triumphs that often come with parenting a child with special needs. Today, she shares a cool product for kids with autism.
I recently discovered the Zac Browser (Zone for Autistic Children) and it's AWESOME!
It's a full-screen web browser that pops up and has icons for music, games, TV clips, stories, and more. What makes this even better is that these aren't strange games and songs that no one has even heard of; they're familiar characters like Dora, Clifford, and the gang from Sesame Street.
There's a "Whiteboard" (basically a less complicated and more kid-oriented version of Paint), where kids can draw and color. The Zac browser even works with the Wii remote. All of the material in the browser was chosen specifically for children on the autism spectrum.
The ease of use is the BEST part. For kids with delayed fine motor skills like my son Brody, clicking a mouse is even a little bit complicated, but with this browser, he can click only one time on a large, specific icon and get where he wants to go. It's almost like an online version of PECS.
According to the site, the Zac browser is the first Internet browser developed specifically for children living with all variants of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, PDD not otherwise specified, and PDD-NOS, also called atypical autism.
"Zac Browser is software that allows your child to access games (a lot of games) activities (based on diverse interests) along with videos (that allow a stimulating experience and encourages children to talk). All games, activities and videos are specifically chosen for their positive effect on children suffering from autism."
And guess what? It's free. You can download the software (for both PCs and Macs) at Zac Browser.