Academic journal article Science and Children

iPads Help Late-Speaking Children with Autism

Academic journal article Science and Children

iPads Help Late-Speaking Children with Autism

Article excerpt

The iPad you use to check e-mail, watch episodes of television shows, and play games may hold the key to enabling children with autism spectrum disorders to express themselves through speech. Recent research indicates that children with autism who are minimally verbal can learn to speak later than previously thought, and iPads are playing an increasing role in making that happen, according to Ann Kaiser, a researcher of education and human development.

Kaiser found that using speech-generating devices to encourage children ages five to eight to develop speaking skills resulted in the subjects developing considerably more spoken words compared to other interventions. All of the children in the study learned new spoken words, and several learned to produce short sentences as they moved through the training.

"For some parents, it was the first time they'd been able to converse with their children," said Kaiser. "With the onset of iPads, that kind of communication may become possible for greater numbers of children with autism and their families."

Augmentative and alternative communication devices--which employ symbols, gestures, pictures, and speech output--have been used for decades by people who have difficulty speaking. …

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