Research shows children with autism helped by tablets, iPads

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Researchers have discovered that tablets and iPads can help children with autism learn to communicate.

A study at UCLA looked at about 60 children with autism, between the ages of 5 and 8.

All received speech therapy for six months, while half also used an iPad.

Children who had access to a tablet on average doubled the amount of words in their vocabulary.

Doctor Connie Kasari, with the UCLA Center for Autism Research, says children benefit because the tablet allows for repeated practice.

The device can also help clarify words the child is struggling with and the child child may feel less pressure to communicate.

"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," Dr. Kasari said.

Researchers say the earlier in therapy children get their hands on one of these tablets, the better the results.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 1 in 68 children have autism.