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Author Topic: Helping autistic children with iOS devices  (Read 439 times)
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« on: August 20, 2010, 03:00:13 am »

Helping autistic children with iOS devices

Autism is a developmental brain disorder that, in some manner, plagues one out of every 110 children (according to the Centers for Disease Control). It's usually discovered by the time the child is three years old. Varying medical and scientific authorities characterize the condition in different ways, but scientists generally agree that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) manifest themselves in social, communication, and behavioral challenges. The SF Weekly recently wrote about a number of families with autistic children and how the iPad is proving to be quite useful in helping them.

A number of studies have been done on the use of iPhones and iPods as aids for the autistic. One such study was titled  iPod Therefore I Can: Enhancing the Learning of Children with Intellectual Disabilities Through Emerging Technologies, and it tracked the progress of 10 autistic children who were using iPod touches in Australia.

The results were quite encouraging. In one case, a child who could not wash his hands was exposed to photos (combined with voice-overs) of a child doing it successfully. Through this method, the correct behavior was reinforced, and in short order, the child was able to wash his hands by himself. About 60 percent of the goals of the study were achieved.

The results of this and other studies have been encouraging, but a major problem for 60 to 80 percent of autistic children is poor motor skills, including poor motor planning, which makes using the small buttons on an iPhone or iPod touch quite difficult. Because of the larger size of an iPad, it can be much more accessible to a larger number of autistic children.TUAWHelping autistic children with iOS devices originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Wed, 18 Aug 2010 14:00:00 EST.  Please see our terms for use of feeds.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
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