(picture by Louie Chin)
Lots of people talk about how technology isolates us from each other, but there’s another heartwarming side to the story.
One mom says Siri is helping her 13-year-old autistic son learn and communicate. When Gus discovered that Siri could talk to him about his favorite things – planes, trains, buses, escalators, weather, etc. – she became his new best friend and an ever-present, patient teacher.
Usually, Gus’ mom tried to answer all his questions. Now she’s happy to point him to Siri when she needs to get dinner on the table before having a one-hour discussion about turtle species.
Before you start thinking this is a parent who just sticks her kid in front of a screen so she doesn’t have to deal with him, keep reading — because Siri isn’t a replacement for Gus’ interaction with other people. Actually, she helps him communicate better with real people.
Gus has to speak more clearly so Siri will understand what he’s saying. His mom even noticed Siri correcting Gus when he was rude. She is polite and kind, a good example that Gus is picking up on. He started telling his mom “You look beautiful” in the morning. (Moms, wouldn’t that make your day??)
And most touching, interacting with Siri helped this mom and her son connect better than ever before:
Yesterday I had the longest conversation with him that I’ve ever had. Admittedly, it was about different species of turtles and whether I preferred the red-eared slider to the diamond-backed terrapin. This might not have been my choice of topic, but it was back and forth, and it followed a logical trajectory. I can promise you that for most of my beautiful son’s 13 years of existence, that has not been the case.
It just warms my heart to see the way a cool phone feature is helping one little boy in real life!
The whole article is beautiful. It’s worth a read!