Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on April 3rd, 2016

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April is Autism Awareness Month. Take a look at how Apple and technology is helping raise awareness and provide a voice.

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April is "Autism Awareness Month".  It is estimated that 1 in 45 children ages 3 to 17 years of age is living with autism, roughly 2 percent of US children. Many people do not understand autism. Often times it can be misunderstood. It can be misinterpreted as a disobedient child, a child lacking intelligence, someone strange.  In fact, all of these assessments couldn't be further from the truth.  These labels often times come from lack of awareness. Hopefully many can learn more about it this month, thru Autism Awareness month. Apple has released two new videos to help raise awareness. These two videos center around a teenager named Dillan.  Let's take a look at them, shall we? Dillan's Voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-K4Qtnm2Fc Dillan's Path.https://youtu.be/s-K4Qtnm2Fc Imagine being Dillan's Mother or his therapist. Being a mother is challenging and rewarding. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it was for Dillan's Mom to not hear his voice. To hear her say:

 

Not being able to speak is not the say as not having something to say...

 

It has been my belief for the last several years that technology and Apple will do wonderful things for healthcare. Dillan has been using an iPad for the past 3 years to communicate. It has given Dillan a "voice".  The National Federation for the Blind honored Apple with the Helen Keller Achievements Award for it's Voiceover functionality and has been quoted as saying:

Apple has done more for accessibility than any other company to date, and we have duly recognized this by presenting the company with at least two awards (including our annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award) and publicly praising it whenever the opportunity arises.

 

Technology has so much more to add to our lives than just entertainment. Technology is about more than cyber security and video games. Software can be developed for the iPad, Apple Watch and wearable tech to enhance our lives. Technology is ever changing and every day is finding new ways to not only enhance our lives but to save lives. It is important that we all take time out to raise awareness to the challenges of those around us so that we can better understand and be compassionate. Technology can assist with that, and so can television and movies with relatable characters. One character that I am endeared too, that the autism community loves is Dr. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. While the show does not define Sheldon as autistic many feel as though he falls somewhere in the spectrum. Those in the community also feel as though Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein may have also been afflicted with autism. Often times those afflicted with autism fall on the high range of intelligence, studies have shown direct links in child prodigies to those with autism. I hope you take some time to watch Dillan's story as portrayed by Apple. Let us all agree with Dillan and his Mom,

 

everyone has to have a voice...