Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Technology And Autusm

I know this is a few days late, but if you saw the 60 Minutes homage to Steve Jobs Sunday night, you saw this piece on how the iPad is changing the way, as they put it "autistic people" are communicating with the new toy. I have two things I want to point out about it before I show you Lesley Stahl's piece.

First of all, most people in the people with disabilities community prefer "person first" language. Another words, Instead of referring to "autistic people," why not refer to them as "people with autism"? It may seem like a small thing to many of you, but a movement has been growing for many years to try and change the culture and that begins with language.

The other thing I had a problem with was the way they chose to jump from a laminated piece of paper with letters and phrases right to the wonderful new iPad. There have been many devices that have helped to bridge that gap for many years. Ms. Stahl failed to mention them.

That being said, please look at this piece and see what you think:

She starts out using person-first language, but quickly changes to using "autistic people." I find that interesting. When you finish watching the segment, read some of the comments. I found many of them fascinating.

The other two segments on Steve Jobs were enlightening to those of us who did not know much about his personality and life story. I know I could not have worked for him, but I certainly like using his computers!

I look forward to your comments.



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