A third of autistic children still having difficulty speaking at age 5, even after years of early intervention. Now UCLA researchers are discovering that tablets and iPads can help those children learn to communicate.
Five-year-old Lance Almeida could only say about 10 words until he started using an Ipad.
Lance was part of a study at UCLA that looked at about 60 children 5 to 8 years old with autism. All received speech therapy for six months, half also used an iPad.
Researchers say children who had access to a tablet, on average, doubled the amount of words in their vocabulary.
"If you entered the study with fewer than 20 words you maybe exited the study in 6 months with 100 words, which is quite significant," says Dr. Connie Kasari, UCLA Center for Autism and Treatment.
Lance's parents say he now uses about 100 words and even returns to UCLA to help train therapists. Researchers say the earlier in therapy children get their hands on one of these tablets, the better the results.