CBS’ 60 Minutes re-aired a story about how the iPad was helping autistic children and adults this weekend. They also put it on their website. If you haven’t seen it, it is practically a must-watch. The amount that just a simple program can do for them – not to mention the people around them – truly earns the ‘magical’ tag oft applied to Apple products.
For these autistic people the iPad was a lifeline to their parents and caregivers. With streamlined, audio-visual communications programs, the device enabled them to express ideas, feelings, wants, and concerns far too complicated for them to even attempt before. For a few, the transformation was practically night and day.
What makes them communicate so well when using the device? How are they able to use it to express themselves where previous methods and systems failed? There’s something going on here that not even Leslie Stahl can answer, but studies are underway. What the report does offer is how some academics are now looking at the autistic brain as having an essentially different verbal centre. How the iPad succeeded will undoubtedly be tied to that some way.
It’s hard not to be empathetic with the struggle of the parent of an autistic child. It’s hard to even try to describe their experience in words. For these reasons one can’t help but applaud those who, however intentionally or unintentionally, have made their struggles a little bit easier.
Thanks, from Kiddology.