080210xf's Blog

L'X fragile sera vaincu | Fragile X will be conquered

Autistic children use iPad at Toronto school to reach out and communicate

By Pat Hewitt, The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Four-year-old Satu Kuisma smiles as she finds a picture of herself and touches it on the screen.

When teacher Sabrina Morey asks the kindergartner to tell her what she did in class that day, Satu taps away on the iPad, selecting pictures for eating, drawing and playing on swings.

Communication can be a struggle for Satu, who has a rare chromosome disorder. Born at just 2 1/2 pounds, she has had developmental delays, one of the most prominent being her speech. But she’s among dozens of non-verbal children at a Toronto school who are learning to communicate through touch technology.

Satu and the other students at the Beverley School are involved in a research project with University of Toronto professor Rhonda McEwen aimed at determining if devices like iPads make it easier for developmentally challenged children to communicate and interact with others.

So far, McEwen says, the answer is yes.

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