I received yet another e-mail from The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in their Better Hearing & Speech Month attack on technology. I’ve been a SLP for over 25 years and I have never been as disappointed in ASHA as I am right now.
I totally get that too much technology for young kids is not a good idea but I worry that this assault on it by ASHA during BHSM is going to cause parents & SLPs to want to banish all use of iPads or other similar technology.
What about the good side of technology?
The era of iPads, tablets & smartphones has caused AAC to become affordable & therefore accessible to those who need it. Those who use augmentative communication need unrestricted access to it in all settings without judgement or misconceptions from others.
This technology has also given SLPs powerful new tools in their therapy toolbox to help kids make progress who hadn’t responded to traditional materials, toys or techniques. I have had numerous patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder or similar diagnoses who just stimmed or had meltdowns with traditional speechie materials, toys & techniques but made jaw-dropping progress when I incorporated my iPad with high-quality apps as a tool and then gradually expanded from there into off iPad activities. Wish I had been part of a research study. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t witnessed it with my own eyes. Truly life-changing for those kids.
So far none of ASHA’s media blitz on this has contained info about use of technology for these purposes. In my opinion ASHA is running the risk of causing harm and further strengthening the myths that we all battle against in trying to get appropriate AAC in place for our kids and may discourage SLPs from using new technology in therapy sessions.
Great post by Barbara at GeekSLP / Smarty Ears: “Children: Too much technology is not the same as just enough”: http://www.geekslp.com/2015/05/children-too-much-technology-is-not-the-same-as-just-enough/
Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities
Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2
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