I know a lot of people are “concerned” (leaning towards judgmental) about the amount of time my daughter spends with her nose pressed up to an iPad or iPhone. I often ignore remarks or laugh them off and sometimes I try to explain why I allow it.
Stimming isn’t a word most people outside the land of ASD have heard of and the ones who do usually think of hand flapping and spinning (both of which my girl does when very excited.) However there are other types of stims, ones which calm a person down, focus their mind or allow them to block out the world if it all becomes too much. Many of us will wear headphones on public transport and we are then a million miles away from the pushing and noise, this is what a stim can do for an autistic person.
For my girl it’s technology, tv, and the Apple products I mentioned. If they aren’t available she’ll play with cause and effect toys (press a button and something happens.) However when she ‘plays’ with theses toys it’s not in the normal way, she’ll do it over and over getting the same response. She is soothing her self, not really playing.
I have taken a lot of time to load up the iPad with drawing apps, books, musical games etc. Pretty much everything on it is educational. It takes her a while to get into any new app just as it does with toys, she has to open the home screen of the app over and over and over until she is ready to move to the next page. Believe me this is irritating to the maximum but I know its what she has to do so I let her get it out of her system. Her favorite app at the moment is a Montessori numbers game. I have posted a link to a YouTube video, it’s brief but I think it proves my point that what she is doing is beneficial, just as beneficial as playing with a doll or building a tower of Lego which people seem to find acceptable. Even if I can’t see the effect now I’m sure I will in the future.
PS. I have no problem with Lego so if they want to send me some I’d be very grateful.
PPS. If Apple would like to send me another iPad/iPad mini so I could actually benefit also, well lets just say I wouldn’t be totally offended 😉