Technology has enhanced the communication and learning processes for children all over the world. With the innovation of the iPad, autistic children now have greater opportunities to effectively improve their behavior and develop their skills, too. This is mostly because iPads offer greater portability and flexibility than traditional computers and laptops and they come with bigger screens than most smartphones, making them more interactive and entertaining.
So, how can these functions be optimized to help children with autism? Let’s find out.
iPads facilitate communication
Many children on the spectrum struggle with both verbal and nonverbal communication and have trouble expressing their feelings and thoughts, forming comprehensible sentences, and effectively communicating in general. This is where iPads come in handy. With the help of specially designed communication apps for autism that relies on imagery rather than words, an autistic child can easily communicate by creating sentences, or even stories, using a series of images and symbols. With this, iPads can help break the communication barrier between autistic children and their caregivers, therapists, and family.
Moreover, studies show that simple, carefully designed games and programs enable autistic children to communicate more readily because the software is tailored to be more predictable than regular human interaction. Children living with autism tend to be confused and scared by randomness and unpredictability, so when they can communicate through customized apps that give them the expected response more often, they’ll feel more safe and comfortable, encouraging them to communicate more.
They can aid in therapy
Unlike other children, autistic children aren’t as motivated by rewards or by the need to please others. So, for therapy to work, inconvenient tools have to be used to motivate them. Studies show that using iPads during therapy sessions to engage children in games and exercises is particularly effective because, in addition to being simple and predictable, they’re also engaging and visually appealing.
iPads provide various learning opportunities
iPads can easily be tailored to every child’s specific needs which makes them more effective than traditional learning devices. Because of their optimal design, iPads are significantly more accessible than other devices for autistic children dealing with learning or coordination difficulties.
Children with autism respond better to iPads than other digital devices because the tapping and sliding motions required to use an iPad are much easier than typing or using a mouse. Plus, since the children don’t have to take their eyes off the screen to use the apps, specially tailored programs can be utilized to increase their attention span and deliver information simply and effectively. Because iPads offer greater portability and flexibility, autistic children can use them anywhere and anytime, which opens the door to various communication and learning opportunities on the go.
As you can see, iPads can help children with autism improve their motor, communication, and cognitive skills. While the aforementioned benefits have contributed to the growth of this technology’s popularity in autism treatment in recent years, it is important to note that the technology’s full potential is yet to be unlocked. With this in mind, we hope that more parents, researchers, teachers, and therapists dealing with autistic children will begin to utilize this technology to help children on the spectrum live their best lives.