Autistic children helped by iPads

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 6:19pm

One of the hottest new computing gadgets, the iPad, may hold the key to helping autistic children learn faster and make fewer mistakes.

Behavior analysts already have seen results in just the couple of years the device has been on the market.

Dr. Anthony Cammilleri says the iPad's touch screen helps children who have a hard time using their hands.

"The iPad can provide immediate feedback for a child's response,” states Cammilleri. “It removes the disconnect between the mouse and the computer screen."

The Tossell family bought an iPad five months ago. Mom and dad say their autistic, 7 year-old twin boys have made big improvements in class.

Tossell says, "What used to take them, say, a minute to figure out, now they're actually doing in a matter of seconds."

Ryan and Dylan are perfecting their handwriting, identifying shapes, and even playing musical instruments.

The father goes on to say, "Knowing that kids really need to get comfortable with technology and seeing that they can do it with the iPad, it really gives me encouragement for the future for them."

Tossell is helping to fund new educational apps for students. He hopes others will also donate apps to help kids overcome the hurdles of autism.

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