The iPhone: Lifesaver for Those With Autism by Ethan Hirschberg

People have differing viewpoints about technology; its usage, our over-reliance on it, and the impact that it is having on the younger generations. I believe that most people, however, realize that technology is the new way of life and will stay relevant forever. As a teenager with high-functioning Autism, I use technology constantly every day. I believe that technology can greatly benefit people with Autism. I have used multiple tech products in my life that have helped me tremendously. iPhones in particular have changed my life; specifically the iPhone calendar and clock apps.

When I was younger, one vital thing that I used was a timer. When I was really little and didn’t understand time, I used a visual timer. When the red color was gone, I was done. Then I switched to timers with loud, repetitive noises. While the timer helped me, the noise caused sensory triggers. Next I used a timer that talked to me. During the countdown it gave me prompts at certain intervals of time, which helped to re-focus me after I lost track of time (an issue I still struggle with) while zoning out or stimming. I had used a timer for so many things: to tell me when I had to go upstairs for bed, when I could to take a break, the ending of my time-out, how long I had left on homework, how long I had to stay in the shower, when I needed to finish my morning routine and get downstairs for breakfast, etc.

Now that I’m older, I have an iPhone and use the clock app for my timer. The best part of the clock app is that I can pick what alarm sound will go off. I can even pick a song to use for my alarm, or vibrate so that the alarm doesn’t bother other people. No more loud and obnoxious noises! Having this app on my iPhone also means that I don’t have to carry a separate timer on me. Also, the “world clock” feature helps me a lot as well. Since my dad travels all over the world for work, I can see what time it is wherever he is. If I have to call him, I can now make sure that it isn’t in the middle of the night wherever he is.

The calendar on my iPhone has also been a life changer for me and my family. One thing that really bothers me is when I don’t know what the plan is for the day or when I am unexpectedly asked to go somewhere. The iPhone calendar app is the solution for me. It lists all of the appointments and activities for all of my family members (color coded for each person) so I know the plans for not only the day but for weeks and even months ahead. I can begin to prepare myself for doctor’s appointments or upcoming social outings. This greatly lessens my anxiety. I can also see what others are doing during the day so that I know if I have to tag along with my parents for an errand. Because my dad is gone for days at a time for work, I can also see when he is due back, leaves again, and how long he will be gone.

Having Autism is stressful. Taking even a little bit of stress away really makes a difference. I know that there are so many other apps that can help individuals with Autism, and the clock and calendar apps are ones that I use everyday. Both of these features on iPhones have made a world of difference in my life.

Ethan Hirschberg was born July of 2001, in San Diego, California. Ethan enjoys business, hanging out with friends and family, martial arts, blogging, actively participating in Jewish activities, helping people, and having fun! Through Ethan’s experiences as a teen with high functioning Autism, he provides advice, shares thoughts, and tells his experiences. Ethan truly believes that intellectual knowledge (of actually having Autism) greatly benefits all readers.

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