Apple’s iPhone and iPad technology has revolutionized communication. The way millions of Americans interact with media, personal contacts and the Internet is now largely funneled through an Apple shaped logo. But are these machines so influential they could shape the mental and emotional development of young users?
Because these devices are so new, there’s not enough hard scientific data to know for sure. But the fact that more than half of the young children in the United States now have access to an iPad, iPhone or similar touch-screen device means the time to ask these questions is now.
So that’s exactly what Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Worthen did. Worthen spoke with many childhood development experts, including Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of Boston Children’s Center on Media and Child Health, to find out how touch-screen technology is affecting the development of millions of young users. Here’s a brief video describing what he learned.
Until more data is collected, the scientific community remains split on how touch-screen technology affects kids. But there is one thing that they all agree on: parents know their children best and should be the final decision-maker on if and when this type of technology is appropriate in their house.
Does your child use an iPad, iPhone or tablet? If so, are you pleased or worried about her reaction to its interactive nature? Let us know in the comment section or our Facebook wall.
Read the entire Wall Street Journal on toddlers and iPads. Dr. Rich participated a live chat on the topic with parents on The Wall Street Journal’s website. Follow the conversation here: Should Your Toddler Use a Tablet?
You may also enjoy these stories on how touch-screen technology has shaped the lives of some of our patients and their families:
If you’ve spent time in front of a TV or computer lately, you probably already know that Apple just released the latest version of the iPad, a faster and more portable edition of the already popular tablet. As the mobile technology revolution gathers speed, many medical professionals are trying to incorporate these devices into their practices, but few have been as successful as clinicians using it in their work with patients whose abilities to communicate has been hindered by a medical condition. Howard Shane, PhD, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center for Communication Enhancement (CCE) is the owner of two new iPads, and an advocate for their use in clinical settings.
“Technology plays a big role in enriching the lives of many people with communication disorders, not just children on the autism spectrum, but people with motor impairments like cerebral palsy or people who are deaf or hard of hearing as well,” Shane says. “These new devices are giving many people communication options that weren’t available a few years ago.” …