An Open Letter to Apple
I am the proud father of a daughter with Autism. Her name is Abbey (short for Abigail), she is 2 ½ years old, and was diagnosed this past fall. In case you aren’t aware: “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors “ (taken from AutisnSpeaks.org, article title What is Autism?). Since then, we have been working hard with our local school district and other outside agencies to help, and she has made substantial progress over the past several months.
Through various social media outlets, as well as from my daughter’s teachers, I had heard that the iPad had a number of apps specifically designed for children/people with Autism, helping to teach them basic life skills (language development, potty training, even using it as a communication tool for those who are more severe cases). After a bit of investigating, and seeing her teachers use it with her during their home visits, my wife and I finally decided to buy one for her, to continue to work with her over the coming summer months. Obviously, the price was a hurdle that we had to conquer, but we finally went out to our local Wal-Mart and made the purchase.
We have only had our iPad for about a month or so, but in that short time, I have seen my daughter learn new words, discover new animals and their sounds , made substantial progress in the area of potty training (something my wife and I have been dreading for months), been able to watch Sesame Street episodes (which helped greatly on a recent 6 hour road trip), and have fun in the process. While I am indebted to the individual developers of those apps specifically, I am indebted to you for your development of this technology, because without it, none of these things would have been possible. I am excited to see how much more we will be able to teach her in the future, and am hopeful that someday, she will be able to function normally and contribute to society in profound ways in the future. In short, thank you.