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iPad a great success with autism suffering kids

Autism is a serious problem for many families who are dealing with a child who suffers from the condition. According to the latest reports, Apple's iPad is helping some of the kids into interacting better with their surroundings.

CNN have a story published which details the life of autism sufferer Sharia Siddiqui. She was unaware of the world around her and often stood in front of the television transfixed by the images. She was no verbal and would only communicate through crying.

Her father said “What the iPad has done has given her a sense of control that she never had before. She knows when you touch it, something is supposed to happen. She knows she doesn't need to cry, she needs to point.”

Sharia started to watch movies on the iPad and then played some games. Experts got involved with her case and she was introduced to applications such as Proloquo2Go, First Words, ABCs and Me and Puzzle Me. She learned to put sentences together and to express herself via the tablet.

142 Autism oriented applications were released for the iPad this year alone, with around 764 available via the Apple App Store. The Apple tablet is proving a very useful tool in helping these children interact in new and exciting ways.

CNN add “he accessibility of online stores as a platform for apps has opened a new avenue for parents. Those with the know-how are able to create apps based on their child's specific needs.

Tricia Estrada of San Diego has developed apps for her son, Evan. The app and website Wonkido has a series of animations, each about four to five minutes in length, depicting various social skills such as “asking to play” and “going potty.” By watching, kids acquire a database of episodes to draw from for future social situations, she said.

Estrada said the most appealing facet of the iPad is its mobility. Before, when Evan needed to learn a new concept in the middle of soccer practice or while at a restaurant, she had no way of showing him until the therapist gave him a card or bought a DVD weeks later. With the iPad or iPhone, it's immediate.

“I think (the iPad) is revolutionizing the augmentative communication field,” said Dr. Oliver Wendt, assistant professor of speech, language and hearing sciences at Purdue University. “It's a very cost-effective system. Before, we had these expensive, bulky items, which now can be replaced with an iPad.”

The equipment that was used previously could cost $9,000 to $15,000.”

Kitguru says: The iPad is developing into a very important educational learning tool for many children.

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