Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with AT&T and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. As always, all our opinions are our own and have not been influenced in any way.
The symbol for autism is a puzzle piece. It’s controversial, I know. The puzzle piece represents the complexity as well as the diversity within the autism community. Autism is no longer a puzzle that needs to be solved for me.
Norrin will be twelve in a few weeks (someone, please hold me – mama ain’t ready) and it’s been almost a decade that we’ve lived with autism. It’s the only life I know. There’s no more mystery to it.
But I think back to those early years of autism. The years when we were so desperate to fix it. (I know there’s no such thing as “fixing it” and I’m totally cool with that.) It was around the time when the iPad was first introduced. Joseph being the techy guy he is was anxious to purchase one. I was hesitant. Once Joseph read that the iPad was helping kids with autism, it was the only thing he needed to justify his purchase.
It was the purchase that changed our lives. It was the introduction of technology that not only helped Norrin but helped us connect with him.
Research findings tell how technology is a powerful tool that can be used to help improve lives day-to- day, achieve potential, maintain connections with loved ones near and far, and enable social change.
And AT&T is fueling a conversation about how people can use technology and mobility for the greater good.
Of Spanish Dominant/Bilingual Latinos…
- 77% say technology plays a big role in keeping socially and culturally connected
- 67% say technology enables them to stay connected to their Hispanic identity
- 58% Feel more empowered through technology
- 68% believe technology is key to the empowerment of the Latino community in the U.S.
Using Technology for the Greater Good
For our atypical familia, technology has empowered us and I believe it will only continue to empower the Latino community, especially Latinos living with autism.
Research has shown that Latino children are often diagnosed far later than white children. While there are many factors that come into play, it comes down to accessibility and knowledge. If English-speaking parents are having difficulty knowing where to go or finding information, it’s likely even tougher for Spanish-speaking families.
Technology is critical for bridging the gap and helping Spanish-speaking families. Technology provides families with the accessibility and knowledge to help their children early on.
Be Socially Connected. We use social media apps and FaceTime to stay connected with family members. This is still a work in progress for us but over the years, Norrin has learned to know his long-distance relatives simply because of technology. It’s been a way to build and maintain relationships with family he’s only able to see once or twice a year.
Be Culturally Connected. Information is literally at our fingertips. Don’t know how to speak Spanish or anything about Latino culture? You have the internet a click away. I am constantly clicking. Technology has helped Norrin with his social and communication skills. It’s helped him with his handwriting and other fine motor skills as well as hand/eye coordination. And it’s even helped him with his speech and language – including Spanish. When he’s able to say or write out words in Spanish he feels proud of himself, he knows what he’s accomplished.
Be Empowered. I want Norrin to be as independent as possible. There are so many apps – from reminders, schedules to life skills – that can help Norrin with living an independent life. Technology provides independence and promotes empowerment.
How are you using technology to help your child with special needs?