My name is Karl Smith, founder of Accelerations Educational Software, and I have a son with autism. My wife and I have been through the emotional roller coaster of trying to find out what was happening to our child and what could we do about it.
A lot has been learned on how to educate children like my son. It takes a lot of intensive work but these children can learn. The good news is that there are rapidly evolving methods to help individuals with autism and other learning disabilities. The bad news is that the methods require a lot of costly staff time. This is where I believe technology could help. Software and computers could deliver part of the education inexpensively if the individual could use the programs independently. Unfortunately, for the most part this software did not yet exist.
I founded AES to create software to especially help educate people with moderate to severe learning disabilities. These individuals have various learning issues and therefore software must be configurable to accommodate each learner. We design our software to be highly configurable which accommodates individuals that need virtual one-on-one instruction to individuals that are typically developing. We also design our software to allow even very low functioning individuals to usually become independent learners. We incorporate behavioral principles from psychology to motivate, engage, and support our learners.
Our first product is the DT Trainer. It is a large package of hundreds of content programs for individuals that are developmentally between 2 and 9 years old. The content programs cover receptive language, early academics, and life skills. The current content ranges from basic matching and identification programs to math, time, and money, and up to math word problems. Data is collected and kept on each trial to verify effectiveness and to facilitate adjustments.
So many products in special education are either very expensive or are very limited. As a father I want our software to be affordable so that most children with special needs can have access to it. We sell this package for an unbelievably low price of $199 for home or a single student or $499 for single computer unlimited students. We provide low cost trials for home use or free trials for institutional and school use. We provide such a large product for such a low cost since our mission is to maximize impact and not profit. AES plans to continue to expand this package and create other programs to cover a wider range of developmental levels, subjects, and skills. Due to the range of content, the configurability, and the pricing, school districts generally use the product far beyond our target student. In fact we are now used with far more individuals that do not have autism then with those that do. The program is even being used with typically developing but young children.
The DT Trainer has grown from a tool originally created to help my own son, to a program used in hundreds of school districts and other educational institutions, and many homes. We now have special relationships with behavioral psychologists and centers of excellence in ABA. We use feedback from speech and language pathologists, ABA professionals, academics, teachers, and parents. A community now helps to guide the continued development of the product.
Thank you for your consideration. Your support enables us to create effective and affordable software for your use.
Best Wishes, -Karl W. Smith Accelerations Educational Software