The iPad is definitely a well-liked gadget, and now parents with autistic children have one more reason to like this handy little tablet: it may help reduce the number of violent meltdowns their children experience each day. According to experts, the iPad actually can reduce the symptoms of the disorder by helping kids deal with life's sensory overload.
The Holmquist family can tell you first-hand what the iPad has done for their autistic 3-year-old son Hudson. After a school therapist suggested the family buy an iPad, the Holmquists decided it was worth a try. Now that the family has been using the iPad for a little while, they'll tell you it is a miracle device.
Hudson was diagnosed with autism in 2010. Before the iPad, he had several violent meltdowns a day. Now, after using the iPad, he has fewer violent meltdowns. According to mother Laura Holmquist, "The iPad has given us our family back." She continued saying, "It's unlocked a new part of our son that we hadn't seen before, and given us insight into the way he connects with his world."
You may be surprised to learn that autism experts aren't surprised by this. In fact, the iPad has been gaining recognition for helping autistic children since it first came out in 2010. Certainly part of the attraction is the number of child-friendly educational apps available. Another key reason why the iPad works so well for autistic children: it lacks a keyboard and mouse. Without these peripherals, there is less distraction for the children.
Given the fact that other tablets have similar functionalities (and lack of peripherals), we have to think other tablets could help autistic children as well. Could it be that we'll see more tablets in schools and other educational environments? Time will tell.