Computers have always provided excellent ways to facilitate learning and communication for children living with autism. Now, with the innovation of the iPad, children with autism have even greater opportunities to improve their communication, motor, and cognitive skills.
Nonprofits like the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, a national organization that provides direct support for families living with autism, have developed iPad programs that donate this amazing tool to autistic children to promote learning and communication.
iPads offer portability and flexibly that a traditional PC or laptop cannot provide to a young child. Since it utilizes a touchscreen, the iPad is more accessible for children who have learning or coordination difficulties. Most children who use the iPad find that tapping and sliding motions are much easier than typing. iPads can also go wherever the child goes, which means they have ways to calm, focus, and learn while on-the-go.
iPads and Communication
iPads are a great tool for education and communication, which is one of the many reasons why ASDF supports and donates them. Since iPads have customizable options, the iPad can be tailored to the child and his specific needs, which make them more attractive than traditional learning devices. In fact, many children can master the use of an iPad faster than adults.
The world for an autistic child is full of imagery, rather than words. On an iPad, an autistic child can create a sentence or even story using a series of images. By doing so, the child can communicate with parents, caretakers, and instructors without frustration. Since the iPad is mobile, children with autism can take this communication tool wherever they go.
Benefits of Using the iPad for Learning
The iPad itself has a lot of benefits, but for the autistic child the iPad offers many distinct advantages:
- A direct touchscreen so no mouse or stylus is required
- A digital parallel to books or papers
- Not having to move their eyes from a keyboard to a screen
- Apps are easily organized, predictable, and accessible
- Apps help break learning down into discrete chunks and topics
- A child can enjoy independent learning and leisure time
The only drawback to the iPad is the cost. Parents of autistic children can expect to spend anywhere from $400 to over $800 for their child’s iPad. Nonprofits like ASDF have helped parents get the iPad their child needs for endless learning possibilities. Through donations, the foundation is able to provide autistic children with the learning tool they need to not only make learning easier, but to better communicate with those around them.
About ASDF: ASDF is a charity that supports children with autism spectrum disorders by providing education, information, and financial assistance to their families and relevant community service organizations. Funds donated to ASDF are used to address any and all kinds of issues in assisting children with autism and their families.
To see how you can get involved with ASDF’s iPad For Kids Program, visit www.myasdf.org or call 877.806.0635 for more information.