As many of those with a child on the spectrum know, technology is one way to help kids with a variety of
issues related to autism. Technologies like the iPad have apps aimed at teaching social situations and other lessons in a way that is easier for a child to understand. Every day I connect, it seems as if I see a story on Facebook or Twitter that talks to the benefit of technology and autism therapy. How an iPad
app can help a child find his/her voice or simply understand the non-verbal queues of a facial expression is simply amazing. I think back to a scene in the movie Temple Grandin where her Aunt Ann is taking pictures of Temple with a variety of facial expressions to help her understand the outward appearance with a variety of emotions. To take a line from Apple, well,“there’s an app for that.” Yesterday I saw a news story about how a new computer program and device that helps a child or adult who needs speech therapy to improve their speech in a much shorter time. What a gift!
One of the best things that we have found in the autism community is the desire to get kids on the spectrum the help they need. The generosity of many organizations has been fantastic and many of these gifts have been an iPad. There are many great organizations out there such as A4cswn (Apps for kids with special needs) and iPadsforautism who can both be found on Twitter, who are working hard to provide an iPad to kids who really need it. Our family, specifically our son, was the beneficiary of an iPad from the Weber School District Foundation who received a very generous donation from an anonymous
donor. This has been a terrific gift and one that really humbled us when we heard the news. It is our hope that at some point, hopefully in the very near future that through F.A.A.S.T. we can “pay it forward” and do the same for a child and family who can really benefit from this technology.
Technology is such a large part of our lives today it’s hard not to find it in every aspect of our life.
Although too much of a good thing is still too much, we are hard pressed to not have to utilize technology in one way or another day in and day out. About a year ago I was fortunate to attend a workshop where former Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke and one of the comments he made was to “find a way to embrace technology. It’s coming whether you like it or not, so embrace it.” We have a great opportunity with the tools we’ve been given, to give our children a way to feel connected, to feel as if they have something in common with others when they may feel disconnected because of their autism. Technology is a wonderful tool they can use to find commonality with their peers and show that despite their differences, they really are more similar than we may have thought. Technology can help a child find their voice, improve their dexterity and uncover their passions; by embracing technology ourselves we set the example to our children and in the end our kids will probably end up teaching us more than we teach