A popular gadget that has made it's way into the hands of consumers is assisting in the learning process for children who suffer from Autism.
Akron Children's Hospital's speech language pathologists say they're seeing results when using the iPad to communicate with children.
"The iPad gives them a tool that is predictable and it's stable, it's always the same, they know where to go, they know how to navigate it," Lisa Gonidakis said, speech language pathologist.
"They get that feedback without the surprises and lack of predictability that they get with people."
Gonadakis says she's discovering that children know and understand more than previously thought as well.
Speech Language Pathologist Stacey Fernstrum works with 5-year old Hayden. She says he's memorizing sequences on a device similar to the iPad.
Fernstrum says she remembers a breakthrough moment that brought tears to her eyes when Hayden shared that he loved her by tapping the "love" button.
Learn more about how iPads are helping children with Autism learn and exercise communication skills:
In terms of dependency, Fernstrum says research shows devices, including an iPad, can only help children learn to communicate.
While a number of new apps claim to work with child with Autism, Gonadakis says they vary in quality.
When children begin to learn "cause and effect" (the back and forth manner of conversations), Gondakis says using iPad apps are a good starting point.
"Visual attention, waiting and listening and being able to discriminate between what's on the screen and what they're supposed to do is really important."
(Gonadakis works with Aiden McKoski, 6, of Cuyahoga Falls, on the iPad.)
- "Duck, Duck, Moose"
It's used to learn "cause and effect" and taking turns in conversation.
This app works on sounds, letters and pre-reading skills. Those without the iPad can use this program online at Starfall.com.
- "Find Me"
This beginner-level program challenges children through animated sequences with distractions.
Akron Children's Hospital is accepting new or used iPads or iPod touch donations. Those interested may contact Gonadakis at 330-543-8642.