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Thursday, February 17, 2011

iPad Helps Toddler With Autism Communicate

iPad Helps Toddler With Autism Communicate

PORTLAND, Maine(WCSH) -- When 2 1/2-year old Jeremiah Gould's parents won an iPad, they never expected how much it would help their son communicate.

Jeremiah has autism and does not speak. He's been learning to communicate by handing pictures of things he wants to do to his parents or his speech therapists at Easter Seals in Portland. But he was not making much progress until he got the iPad four months ago.

His father, Zak Gould, suspected Jeremiah might respond well to the touch screen because he is a visual learner. Sure enough, they started playing with apps that allowed Jeremiah to make fireworks with the touch of a finger or pop bubbles, and he loved them. Other apps Jeremiah uses will show 3 photos on the screen, and the computer will ask him verbally to touch a specific picture. The computer congratulates him for picking the correct picture.

Jeremiah's mother, Elise Gould, says she didn't realize how many words her son comprehended until he started using the iPad. "It was almost like getting to know him a little bit more, and I think that was nice for him to be able to say, 'Hey! I know how to do this, and I can do this!'"

Jeremiah's speech language pathologist at Easter Seals, Julie Fagone, also has seen a big difference.


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