Iowa nonprofit uses tablets to treat Asperger's
The fun and games that tablet computers provide cannot be denied, but, as one Iowa nonprofit has discovered, the technology can be used for altruistic purposes as well.
According to local news provider the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids uses tablet computers to help children diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome develop social interaction skills and overcome some of the challenges associated with the condition.
One of the chief characterizations of Asperger's is a difficulty to interact in social settings. However, using an application developed by the Computer Science Department at the University of Iowa, the children at Four Oaks are encouraged to play games, compose music and draw pictures with one another.
"It gives them an opportunity to be one-on-one with one of their peers in a different way," says Monica Ryan-Rausch, a success manager at Four Oaks. "They've been able to learn more about each other and learn about common interests."
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, two out of every 10,000 children are diagnosed with Asperger's. While there is no cure, early intervention -- through the use of technology or otherwise -- has proven to be one of the most effective methods of treating the condition.