Steve Jobs and the Art of Autism Cool

With the passing of Steve Jobs, I’ve read all about this incredible thinker’s contribution to our world, and even to the progress of our children with autism; few understood that what Jobs also did was help make our kids “cool.”

As most of us already know, one of the important things that people working with children and adults with autism need to do is fight against the stigmatization that comes along with this condition. Children with autism need help to integrate with their peers (even those who are severely affected) whenever possible, to be able to experience the great things available for people at every stage of life. That’s why a child of six years old should be wearing clothing with a Disney movie character on it, and a child of twelve years old should be looking more like a Rihanna or Justin Bieber wanna be. In other words, it is very important to not inadvertently infantilize a person with autism.

Steve Jobs helped out with this considerably! From the first laptops for nonverbal kids in the classroom , to the iPod Shuffle or Touch with tiny ear bud headphones; these are perfect for blending in when walking down the street or for tuning in at a restaurant with the family, being cool and groovy while tuning out the adult conversation at the same time. This may simply keep the child engaged, but to the outside world it allows families to go out together and not feel self conscious. In addition, Apple’s latest iPad has transformed the non-verbal child with autism into “ubber” cool since how many young people actually have an iPad?

Thank you Steve Jobs, for making the world a “hipper” place for children with autism!