This video segment discusses the benefits of using iPads for children with autism. We know the pain and frustration Josh’s mom felt when she couldn’t understand her son’s wants and needs. She expressed it this way, “Josh was a computer and I was computer illiterate.” She teared up as she discussed the power of getting to hear her son’s “voice” for the first time and the amount of frustration it reduced for Josh.
We like this segment because it validates what we parents have said all along… that our children are incredibly smart, but they are locked in their own bodies and find it challenging to express all that they know. It’s wonderful that children who are not able to speak are able to express themselves, their interests and curiosities for the first time. We also love that teachers are having their eyes opened about how much these children have been underestimated.
We suspect that the reason iPads are so successful for some children with autism is because they are predictable and able to be controlled by the child. We feel that the connection between autism and anxiety is often downplayed and misunderstood. iPad applications use the same voice, same pictures, in the same order every time. When anxiety is reduced for these children they are better able to learn.
Our final opinion to offer up on this piece is that we believe iPads should be used with caution for younger children on the spectrum because we don’t know the effect an electronic device (like the iPad) can have on a developing brain. As the saying goes, “all things with moderation”.