SOURCE: Accelerations Educational Software

September 16, 2008 09:35 ET

Father Uses Engineering Background to Help Children With Autism

COLUMBIA, SC--(Marketwire - September 16, 2008) - After receiving his son's autism diagnosis in 1997, Karl Smith began searching for educational software that incorporated established teaching methods for autism. However, Smith soon realized that these effective teaching methods were not substantially used in software at the time. As a result, he created his own program and founded Accelerations Educational Software (AES), a South Carolina company that develops special educational software for children with autism and other special needs.

Smith's first product, the DT Trainer, was developed to increase the independent learning of children that needed one-on-one instruction. The product is now used by over 220 private schools and service providers, 800 school districts and thousands of families.

"I developed the DT Trainer incorporating the methods that my son's therapists were using from behavioral psychology," said Smith.

"These are the same techniques recommended by the Surgeon General and the National Academy of Sciences, but I found that almost no educational programs were using them," he added.

Smith also found intensive Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services to be very expensive, so he wanted to create a tool where children could learn independently at least some of what they needed to know. The goal was to price the software so that most parents or schools could afford it.

Most recently, AES has released the Activity Trainer, a program that makes video modeling teaching practical for the classroom and home.

In creating AES, Smith put his extensive software development background to use, which includes projects for AT&T, NCR, Sandia & Los Alamos National Labs, Tennessee Valley Authority and the United Nations. The cumulative experience and working with autism experts resulted in the creation of innovative programs that improve learning of individuals with autism.

"In reaching out to various experts, I found that the research on teaching children with autism had also not made it into educational software," noted Smith. "I founded my company as a way to make a difference for children like my son."

Accelerations Educational Software has grown steadily since its inception and currently employs 10 full-time and part-time staff. Smith's goal is to improve educational services through technology and improve the quality of life for individuals with autism and other learning disorders.

For more information, visit or call 803-233-0541.

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