Autistic children with Down syndrome benefit more from the iPad than from technology for the disabled

The father of an autistic child with Down Syndrome says an iPad with a voice app has made a difference in his son’s life much more than a more expensive dedicated device offered under a state program.

The article highlights the gap between what will benefit children with special needs the most and what healthcare and education activities they are willing to provide …

David Perry tells the story of his son in an article Edge.

My son is 15 years old. He is also an autistic boy with Down syndrome. From its inception, wise experts, honest parents and marketers have been advising a whole universe that technology will answer many of the problems we face. […]

Technology can provide wonderful new tools for people with disabilities, but only – as with many other types of innovation – when combined with systems that consider our complex and diverse humanity. […]

My son’s most important need is speech. By the age of three, it was clear that he would not initially use oral speech, even though he was learning to communicate in a variety of ways. His speech therapist at the time quickly sent us to a world-class facility to evaluate the best way to use technology to speak on his behalf.

All they expected was a $ 250 voice app and an iPad to run it. What they got was three thousand dollars of the lowest technology you could imagine.

We tried a variety of devices, but because he had the easiest operating skills in his hands for which the state would pay. A few weeks after we set it up we had a plastic box where you could literally cut a piece of paper and glue it with words and pictures and then use your voice to record the sound which could force my son to play a loud voice. It was more than a foot long. It costs more than 3,000 […]

We wanted Proloquo2go, one of many programs capable of reproducing words or phrases from an infinitely customizable menu. It cost $ 250, which we didn’t have, and had to stay on an iPad, which we couldn’t even afford. The price would have been much lower than our universally funded art and craft box, but then the system did not pay for medical programs on non-medical devices.

Fortunately, one donor resigned to provide iPads and apps. Not only does this give teenagers the much-needed voice app they can use at school, but it also gives them access to much-needed visual and auditory stimulation for the autistic child.

Like many teenagers, he watches YouTube or streams music on Amazon. Her favorite videos include The Music and Video Just dance Games and its whole body Sesame roadThat’s it Ernie and Bert, which are surprisingly short explorations of emotion, language, humor and everyday life. Sometimes he sees them in German or Dutch. He used to watch superhero movies, but recently moved to the animal feature stage, where he found snippets of monster fights. Jurassic Park And King Kong Franchise He can of course stream movies, but he likes to skip good times and watch them again. Either way, she likes to dramatically re-enact as well as watch her favorite dances, fights, and puppet skits around the house. […]

As I write this, my son is watching a YouTube video below. When we eat dinner, he plays music on an iPad, typing the title of the song in the app’s search box, either from memory or from the list we wrote (at his insistence) on paper.

What other things have helped the most? Straw, velcro, rubber band and a $ 3 hand mirror so he can see the shapes of his tongue while working to form the sound.

Perry says there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to communication challenges, but an iPad and an app have obviously achieved much more than the more expensive but ridiculously unrefined device on offer.

You can read the full article here. Perry chose not to name or photograph her autistic child for this piece, so the image above is a stock image.

Photo: Emily Wade / Unsplash

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