The technological world we live in
The pro’s and cons
I was born in 1953 and like so many others defined as senior citizens, I can easily be defined as technologically inept. For instance, every time something goes wrong with my iPhone, I rely upon my 26-year-old daughter to fix the problem which she does in a few seconds.
I realized how out of touch I am with respect to technology when I recently visited my two grandsons. The oldest is 2 and a half with his younger brother just turning 10 months old Recently, I babysat for the two and realized how technology is part of their everyday life. My oldest grandson is fully adept at navigating an iPad and through the help and teaching by his parents, he has relied upon technology to learn and recite the alphabet, self-taught himself to count to thirty and when he is allowed, can call up his favorite cartoon.
While neither of my grandsons is on the spectrum, I also know how many people impacted with autism are learning life skills, being educated, and expressing themselves through iPads snd other technology. Today, a child with autism can learn how to best express his or her emotions through an app. He or she can learn how to interact with a first responder through an app, and/or learn basic daily life skills.
A neurodiverse child, as well as an adult, can use an iPad to communicate with others and express his or her needs, thoughts and so much more via technology. Technology is used to do so much good for individuals with autism and I know it will only be greater as we advance to our collective futures.
Because my pride doesn’t allow me to accept a 2-year-old knowing more than me about technology, I decided it was time for me to rely on and learn more about technology to advance my skills and knowledge. I now use an app that allows me to take a photo of a plant and then immediately know what plant it is.
I am using technology to participate in educational webinars teaching me how best to use my retirement years for the public good, and even using technology to learn how to make bread as well as fix Betsy, which is the name I have given my old furnace in my house.
When I visit with my adult neurodivergent son, I see how he is using his iPad to meet new friends (in a safe way), initiate family face time calls, and file required documents for jobs, government-supported services and so much more.
I still am not 100% behind the use of technology to teach and educate individuals and families impacted by autism. I believe that we still need to have human interaction. But I also know that technology is here to stay and will become more prevalent in so much more.
I can’t fight it because I won’t win and I can’t say I won’t use technology but if I stopped I would know when the bus is to arrive at my bus stop, check my bank balance participate in webinars teaching me new skills. Even an old guy like me can’t stop learning. I believe the same must hold true for those impacted by autism. They can learn so much via technology.
I also know that many can’t afford individual iPads for their neurodivergent child. If this is the case, check with local autism agencies and other disability agencies to see if they provide iPads to individuals. While technology is here, we must commit to assuring that the neurodivergent child whose parents can’t afford technology for their son or daughter is not denied the help needed.
Now I need to call my daughter to come over and tell me how to answer a face time call.