Along with their interviews of the author of the authorized Steve Jobs biography (Walter Isaacson) this past Sunday night, 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl also ran a segment called ‘Apps for Autism’ that highlighted the incredible impact the iPad is having with autistic children and autistic people in general.
Just a few of the things that caught my eye during this piece:
— The iPad (and other tablets) are helping autistic people whose condition prevents them from speaking to make breakthroughs that allow them to communicate, some for the first time.
— Using the iPad and many specialist apps autistic children are learning to communicate better and express their feelings.
— The segment covered a group of teachers at a school with severely autistic children who has been involved in a study over the past year to see what effect the iPad has with their students. One of them was asked whether it has made any difference at all and here’s her response:
The iPad has made a huge difference. There’s something about using the iPad that draws the students in. They’re engaged with it in a way that we don’t see with other toys or puzzles or teaching tools.
The study found that the iPad enhances the children’s attention spans and even improves the kids’ willingness to socialize.
I couldn’t embed the video of the segment here, but it is absolutely worth a watch. It is very difficult not to be moved when watching the mom at the end of the segment talking about what the iPad has done for her child. Here’s a link to where to watch it on the CBS News site: