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Technology And Autism

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one out of 88 children will, by the age o...

Technology And Autism

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one out of 88 children will, by the age of eight, have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD. Fortunately, educators have recently discovered pairing technology with autistic education produces startling academic results.

 

Autism’s Debilitating Effects

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder denotes a range of cognitive development disorders, typical symptoms of which include:

  • Social deficiencies

  • An inability to communicate

  • Undue dependency on routine


It cripples the ability to differentiate between people and inanimate objects, and hinders the ability to recognize the value of regular social interactions.

 

People with autism have trouble interpreting body language and facial expressions. They have difficulty sympathizing with their peers—particularly in terms of comprehending the meaning behind expressions. Instead, they put undue focus on the literal definitions of words.

 

 

Technology’s Unforeseen Impact on ASD

 

Children with autism deal with intense stress as they try to integrate with a society they can’t understand. In an academic setting, this can cripple an autistic child’s educational development. Fortunately, recent research suggests there is great potential for technology to sidestep this stress through the use of devices like an iPad or other tablets.

 

Researchers have discovered that education which integrates these devices can actually foster self-expression and encourage social interactions. In fact, a far greater than anticipated amount of interaction from autistic children is likely to occur whenever the use of tablet technology is involved.

 

Shockingly, the technology we so often assume will isolate future generations is having profound effects connecting children with associative disorders.

 

When considering the average autistic patient, they usually err on the verbally deficient side of the communication spectrum, but even competent communicators feel high levels of anxiousness when communicating. Autistic children tend to prefer predictable situations that are organized and orderly, and they are almost always highly visual learners. Using tablet technology seems to appeal to these sensibilities and translates to a medium they can easily and comfortably relate to.

 

As ASD becomes more common, such research offers potential strategies to minimize the issues faced by autistic children, and points to a very hopeful future where they can learn and communicate on a normative level with their peers.

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