I-pads for Autistic Children

Kenneth G.
Kenneth G.                                                                                        622            Did you know that the world famous I-pad can be used for more than just entertainment? Experts say that I-pads can be used to help special-needs children, specifically autistic children. I-pads can help communication; make learning fun, and help develop social interaction skills.    I-pads should be bought for and used by autistic children.Communication and Language Skills            Firstly, I-pads can help autistic children communicate. They can, and will, if the correct programs are downloaded. One test was posted on http://www.autismspeaks.org . It said “To measure the additional benefit of a speech-generating device, the researchers used it with half the children from the very start of therapy.  (Speech-generating devices come in many forms, including I-Pads with special apps.)  At the 3 month mark, the researchers measured the children’s progress. Those who were gaining language skills continued on course. The researchers added the communication device to the therapy of children who were responding slowly without it. Those who were progressing slowly even with the device received an extra hour of therapy per week.”I-pads can help the child learn faster. This is because I-pads can make learning fun. The children will want to play, not realizing that they are actually learning. At first, my brother could speak only a few words.  But after a week of using “First Words Sampler” he was able to speak almost all the words within the program. According to http://www.autismspeaks.org  At the end of the six months, all the children in the study had made gains in language and communication. They used words more often and engaged in more communication with a social partner.”Social Interaction Skills                I-pads can help autistic children develop social skills. One example is “Model Me Kids”.  This program shows children how to act at certain events, places, and with other people. According to http://www.examiner.com/article/how-the-ipad-changed-the-autistic-worldA tablet has the ability to store a radio, television, DVD player, books, flash cards, and much more in a tiny package. The versatility and portability of this technology has allowed children with autism to thrive at communication and social interaction in ways that were never before thought possible.”The Downside            However, some citizens criticize letting autistic children use I-pads. They say that the children will only play and refuse to use the informational apps. The website, http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/03/ipads-are-not-a-miracle-for-autism-geekdad-opinion/Says, “An iPad may engage a child with autism, and help calm them down, but that does not necessarily mean it is providing any developmental opportunity. It is being used like so many of us use our devices from time to time — as a babysitter.” This says that many people do not believe that autistic children do it to learn, they do it to comfort themselves. Personal experiences dictate both.

            In conclusion, I believe more autistic children should have access to I-pads in order to help them learn about daily living skills and academic subjects that are taught in school. Programs like “Model Me Kids” and “First Words Sampler” are just two that I know of, but there are more useful programs and apps that exist.