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Special_Needs_Autism_Technology_Skills_Education_Interaction

The Benefits of iPads

May 31, 2018

Nowadays just about everyone has heard of iPads and/or other computer tablets. When Apple iPads were first released in the year 2010 many of us saw them as the latest tech gadget, and an extension of what iPhones were at that time. Yet it didn’t take long for the devices to soar in popularity and become readily available in many local stores.

By the year 2018 iPads had become less of a gadget and more of a center-of-life item, among people from various walks of life. Various kinds of apps are available, most of which are free or able to be used at an affordable price. Today’s children appear to be completely familiarised with this new technology and our world has changed vastly as a result.

Special_Needs_Autism_Technology_Skills_Education_Interaction

Nowadays I see many children with iPads, and indeed I even see very young children watching movies or playing games while being pushed around in their strollers. There’s currently a lot of talk and occasional criticism about how much we’re intensely relying on our computer tablets and smartphones. A main example of criticism is that it’s being claimed that computers are lessening our ability to think logically, make calculations, and use our own creativity in regards to imagination and childhood play. Other examples include claims that interacting with technology allows less opportunities to develop social skills, and also that too much screen time is affecting our sight and mindset.

Personally I believe all that is true if iPads are not used in moderation. Yet in truth it’s exactly the same for anything else that isn’t used in moderation. That’s not to say that I’m completely sure of myself being completely responsible with technology! However I must say that my iPad is a very important device in regards to controlling my anxiety and enabling me to get more of my career work done.

The greatest quality about iPads is that they’re such a versatile item. I use my own as a notebook, a tool for games and puzzles, a device to do video calls and send emails/social media messages, a place to talk to friends (and therefore socialise which is important for me having autism), a movie player, as well as a magazine or book (in the case of iBooks and eBooks).

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Having autism means that socialising is naturally quite difficult for me. But socialising online is an excellent way to help me learn social skills in a more secure way. While I’m talking via a computer I have the security of speaking my own words via a machine and (unless it’s a video call) facial expressions and quick reactions don’t matter quite as much. Once I gained more confidence with communicating via that method, it became easier for me to socialise in the traditional face-to-face kind of way.

Many apps have also been very helpful. Most educational apps can be used efficiently without having to spend any money. When I first left school they were highly beneficial for me. At that time iPads were two years away from being released. However apps were still plentifully available for iPhones. From downloading free apps (and taking them off my device once completed, to make room for more) I learned many core skills that I had missed while I was at school. Apps taught me those skills in a more entertaining and hands-on kind of way. I find that I cannot be told what to do in order to learn the skill. It’s essential for me to personally do a task with my own hands, while someone else (or a teacher) guides me through step by step.

Finally the enormous versatility of iPads is a great help for me. Due to my anxiety and inner restlessness I need to take breaks in between doing long tasks. Though on my iPad I can (for example) write up this blog while taking occasional stress breaks by watching part of a movie, or playing one of the new Harry Potter apps. In truth I don’t even have to leave my seat! Yet I do like to pace around the house with the iPad in my hands while I’m concentrating or learning something new.

So in conclusion there is much said (positive or negative) about the emergence of modern technology in everyday society. However when iPads and computer tablets are used healthily and in moderation, they are indeed a huge blessing for the world of today and into the future.

 

 



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