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Clinic Notes: Children with Autism and the iPad

Posted Dec 16 2010 3:38pm
Apple's iPad is causing a lot of excitement in the autism community. Many parents of the children with autism who I see in my clinic have asked me if they should buy one for their child. So I thought I would blog about what I have seen in the app testing we are doing. First of all, I read an online article about a mother who won an iPad in a raffle and handed it to her child with autism. When she came back a few minutes later he had turned it on and was navigating through the different functions without having ever seen one or being instructed in how to use it. I thought this seemed farfetched so I handed my iPad to a child with autism who comes to our clinic. He looked it over and then proceeded to turn it on and navigate through the different functions without having seen it being used or given any instructions. So it is true--many children with autism have an intuitive feel for the iPad. I have even heard a rumor that Steve Jobs invented the iPad for children with autism, which he denies. In next weeks blog I will review some apps and tell readers the best way to use the iPad with a child with autism.
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