In June 2015 my beautiful three year old son Riley was diagnosed severely autistic. Riley was set in his ways watching certain TV programmes and he became increasingly interested in my iPhone. In August 2015 I got in touch with Family Fund after being pointed in their direction by professionals. I requested an iPad, not believing I would actually get one for Riley. However a few weeks later an iPad air, an indestructible case, and a glass screen protector arrived through the post!

Holy moly!! I was over the moon and so appreciative! I instantly started downloading apps for Riley it was so straightforward. I typed ‘preschool’ in the search bar and then selected whichever I felt suitable.

Riley absolutely loves his iPad, he takes this everywhere he goes. Not always using it but more of a comfort. Riley’s favourite app is the Baby TV jukebox, he plays the songs and nursery rhymes over and over again. Next up is the Baby TV episodes app which I pay a £2.99 subscription fee every month. I have to say not only do I know most of the episodes off by heart but Riley has also started to copy various words and expressions from this.

A few weeks back Riley counted from 1-10 four times in a row completely out of the blue; this brought tears to my eyes and was an extremely special moment. Summer, my two year old daughter and I are always singing various songs including number songs with Riley along with the preschool so I cannot say its due to the iPad definitely but I personally feel Riley has developed further since having this.

I thank the iPad hugely for colour matching, shape sorting and remembering games. No matter how often I encouraged play with wooden shape sorters or block building Riley would pay no interest.

I feel that Riley having an iPad it has massively helped him to connect with something and also have a huge impact on his development. I’m so grateful for this luxury for my little Riley; he makes me proud every day.

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You can also find out more about our Digital Skills Programme, supporting families to get the most from their devices.