Use of iPads in the Education of Children with Autism-Spectrum Disorder

  •  Roman Yavich    
  •  Nitza Davidovich    


The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of iPads on children with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD) in three areas: quality of learning, communication skills and social skills, and to determine whether there are any negative effects. We found many studies on this topic. To answer this question, we sent an online questionnaire to past and present special-education staff. The questions were retrieved from two questionnaires-"Ha'arakhat Proyekt Miẖshuv Ganim Liladim 'im Tsrakhim Meyuẖadim" (The Assessment of Creating Computer Environments in Special-Education Kindergartens) (1997) and "'Emdot Morim Klapey Shiluv Tekhnologyot Meda IT Behora'a" (Teachers' Attitudes Toward Integrating Information Technology [IT] into Instruction) (2016). The sample population included 100 subjects, 95 of which were women and 5 were men, of various occupations. The most significant occupations were: National Service ("Sherut Leumi", an alternative voluntary service for young Israelis exempt from serving in the Israel Defense Forces), teacher, and teaching assistant. The hypotheses concerning communication and learning were proved-the iPad was found to aid and improve communication and learning in children with ASD. The hypothesis concerning social skills was disproved-iPads were found to improve social skills. The hypothesis concerning the negative effects of iPads was proved as well, and a positive correlation was found; that is, the more the iPad is used, the greater are its negative effects, specifically outbursts and iPad obsession. The conclusion is that the use of breakthrough technology in special education brings significant change into the lives of children with ASD, despite its clear disadvantages.

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