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    Apple & Developers Push to Improve iPad Support for Autism


    Ipad Kiddo

    Image: Cornerstone Autism Center

    The Harley Owners Group (HOG) charity motorcycle ride just concluded. The donations from the event will help the Cornerstone Autism Foundation purchase iPads for local schools and organizations who are doing their best to support children with autism. Google, or Bing, Autism and iPads and hundreds of testimonials, articles and blogs sprout up showing how the apps have greatly improved the lives of children and parents with autism. The Cornerstone Autism Center utilizes the iPads and special software to monitor and record the progress of their kiddos. This detailed information gets downloaded to the team leads that analyze the data and adjust programs appropriately to advancements the child is making. It saves huge amounts of time for the therapists who do not need to scribble every observation and assessment, just quickly type, tap and swipe info! The kiddos love them too, during down times sharing a game with other kiddos and therapists building friendships along the way.

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    Image: Apple iPad/

    The unexpected Apple phenomenon of helping improve different aspects of a child with special needs is extraordinary. The iPad has been a factor in this tipping point. Allowing the user to hold a light weight intuitive device, the iPad sports a screen large enough to view images easily, and be able to place several projects on one screen. Along with strong graphics and quick response time it is a fond choice to many a portable device user. As the enormous gaming scene has been exploding in Apple’s App Store, the amazing advancement of apps for special needs children is just as massive, and just as successful! There are tons of websites, blogs, and articles showcasing the multitude of apps that help support a variety of gifted children.

    Apple just had their World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) two weeks ago. In Tim Cook’s keynote speech the developers were the center of attention, or more specifically the positive impact the developers are having on disadvantaged schools and with parents finding ways to improve their child’s life were Apple’s point to get across. When it came to strong special needs consideration, autism was the in the limelight.

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    In Apple’s next giant update to the iOS mobile operating system, iOS6, they are improving upon the accessibility portion to allow parents to have strong parental control. With “Guided Access”  built into the accessibility controls parents will be able to limit the use of the device to one app. In a nut shell, parents, educators, and therapists will be able to disable the round home button and restrict touch input to certain areas on the screen. The child stays on the approved app and does not get lost or distracted by other areas that could lead the child away from his or her designated program. For children with autism it can help them remain on task and focused on the current content. Plus it will be a happy relief for parents that they won’t have to reload the app every few minutes.

    Here is a video showcasing the great work developers have done to improve lives:

    (You will need QuickTime to view the video)

    Other fun articles to read about iPads, apps, and autism:

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    Jarrad Shaw recently graduated from Purdue University. He is Cornerstone Autism Center’s social media, content, and development intern. You may contact him by e-mail at: