Tassomai for people with autism
This article was written by Tom, a “Tassomai graduate” who has been an enthusiastic user and advocate for the program since taking his GCSE exams in 2017. When we launched our blog, Tom got in touch and offered to write an article about his personal experience of using Tassomai as a student with autism. Our writers worked with Tom to put this article together.
When I opened my results and realised I had passed my GCSE exams with amazing results I literally had a smile on my face for the whole day. My grades were better than I expected, (in science I got B) and I believe Tassomai helped me to make my aspirations a reality.
For anyone who's stumbled across this article and doesn't know much about Tassomai, it's an intelligent, quiz based online learning program - find out how it works here. It’s an amazing program that worked for me because when I took my exams I felt very little stress, being confident that I knew all the facts I needed to know.
After using Tassomai I left this comment which then appeared on their website. “Tassomai is revolutionary! It has changed my attitude towards science and it took the stress out of my exams.”
Being a student with autism, I know that there are some things that autistic people really appreciate, such as structure and visual aspects that show progress. I suggested this article to the Tassomai team to help people understand more about autism and because I believe that Tassomai ticks all the boxes for people on the autistic spectrum, I have explained why in more detail below.
What is autism?
You may not be aware of what autism is so here’s a brief description of it and how it affects people.
Autism is a lifelong disability that affects how a person communicates with and sees other people, and how they experience the world around them. It’s called a spectrum disorder because everyone has different levels of it. Some people have it mildly and have very few issues in life and some people have it quite seriously and have many difficulties - in some cases they may not even be able to talk.
Lots of people have autism and I want to tell you some numeric facts about it: 1 in 100 people have it, 34% of children on the autism spectrum say that the worst thing about being at school is being picked on and only 16% of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time paid employment.
It is often harder for people with autism to work in typical working environments as their communication skills can mean that working with a team is more difficult and they find it much easier to work independently. I personally find group work slightly more difficult meaning that I often find it easier to work on my own. However, I have had the right support meaning that I have overcome this and group work is easier than it was before, which shows that with the right support people can find it easier to manage their difficulties.
People with autism often like a wrong and right approach to things rather than a subjective one as in many people’s minds they can have a very black and white approach. They often enjoy subjects like science and maths as there are set answers. English is often more challenging as it involves opinions and not every answer is right or wrong in every case.
They often have problems with communication skills and the different senses like touch, taste, sight and sound can get people quite nervous and get them on edge.
It is important to note that everyone has different problems relating to their autism meaning that something that may affect some people may not affect other people around them for example one autistic person may not like loud music at a concert however the person next to them who is also autistic may be having a whale of a time and it doesn’t bother them.
With the right support people with autism can learn to manage their issues so that it doesn’t cause them as many problems in the future. Because it is a brain disability you may see that they have problems and you may just think that they are being silly when there is an underlying issue with them which you could help them overcome.
Why Tassomai works for people with autism:
You can track progress… I believe that Tassomai works well for people with autism because the visual aspects are very popular and autistic people like seeing how well they are doing. With Tassomai, it’s very easy to see how you’re progressing, you can see what you’re good at (and not so good at) and you’re set a target which you can feel proud of when you achieve your goal. You can also set your own personal goals and targets - which is something I would do - and I would continue to work until I met them.
People with autism are often committed people who do what it takes to achieve their goal even if it will involve lots of hard work. They are not often afraid of working hard!
It’s either right or it’s wrong... I really enjoyed Tassomai because I like multiple choice answers. These work really well for me because like many autist people, I like things which are right and wrong, this really fits well with my brain and the way it works. I can sometimes have a black and white approach which made Tassomai perfect for me.
Revision is less daunting… I found from revising for my other subjects that using Tassomai encouraged me to work harder because for example if I was revising for history I would get out my textbook and see lots of questions to answer which is often daunting and puts you off revising. With Tassomai you may answer the same amount of questions or spend the same amount of time on it, however you would feel more happy to revise as all the questions are hidden away from you and you see each question in front of you one at a time rather all the questions in front of you.
Taking the next step
Since taking my GCSEs, I’ve been lucky enough to visit Tassomai’s head office in London and meet the people who helped me to achieve my potential, it allowed me to see how passionate they are about their amazing product and how passionate they are in supporting young people to revise for important exams.
I found out some useful information about the product and It was really interesting for me to hear about the different roles in the company, particularly on the programming side as this is an area I’ve recently been studying.
I have now finished my first year at college doing IT which I have really enjoyed and I have learnt a lot about creating websites, computer coding languages, databases, spreadsheets and loads more. I finished the course achieving a grade of D*D (same as A*A*A at GCSE) which I was really happy with.
My next step is to continue to study IT at College doing a Level 3 qualification which I believe will set me up perfectly for a job in the IT industry in either computer coding/programming or as a website developer, maybe I’ll even end up working on a future version of Tassomai!