Technology Helps Kids with Autism

By KBJR News 1

December 6, 2012 Updated Dec 6, 2012 at 10:40 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Nearly one in every 88 children is affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder.

One little Duluth girl who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is part of that statistic.

Through modern technology, she is showing signs of significant improvement.

Autism is different for everyone, but for the Wilde's they say it's just normal.

Their daughter Jackie was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder just before her third birthday.

Now 5 years old, she's enhancing her learning capabilities and the way she communications thanks to a gift from a non–profit organization, an iPad.

“It's helped with her motor skills, because she has to use a real fine touch to do the sliding and the tapping and its helped,” Jackie's mom, Beth Wilde said.

When Jackie was first diagnosed, experts put her on the lower end of the spectrum, meaning her autism was more severe.

Now she is considered to be on the high end of the spectrum.

Since receiving the iPad, her mom says her social skills have also improved.

"There's a lot of things that she has been able to learn from the iPad that are skills typical kids have that she didn't have but she acquired it because of the iPad."

Technology has come a long way in helping parents who have children with Autism, but it's important to remember to use it wisely.

"iPads have great potential, but they also have great potential for misuse, because they are so interesting and they are so addicting, that if a child is left to their own devices. They might decide to use it for a purpose that wasn't originally intended," said Tamara Pogin, a speech and language pathologist from the Scottish Rite Clinic.

Experts are quick to add, iPads don't cure autism, but are very useful in helping communicate ideas, which can be difficult for children with the disorder.

Jackie is proving that more and more.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.

kanderson@kbjr.com