Apple gives voice to autistic teen Dillan through technology

Apple is doing its bit to promote acceptance of people with autism, supporting Autism Acceptance Week and running a pair of YouTube films about the severely autistic Dillan, whose iPad has enabled him to translate his thoughts into words.

Apple: its iPad has helped severely autistic teen Dillan communicate with his family and friends
Apple: its iPad has helped severely autistic teen Dillan communicate with his family and friends

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about the films this weekend (2 April), quoting Dillan: "‘We are capable of so much, if we just open our minds.’ We can all learn from Dillan…"

The two YouTube shorts also went live on Saturday.

The film 'Dillan’s Path' tells the tale of Dillan, featuring interviews with his mother and therapist, while 'Dillan’s Voice' is told in the words of Dillan, via his iPad’s communication app.

He tells how technology has enabled him to talk to his family after being unable to communicate with them before.

"I get to experience the world in a very unique way," Dillan tells viewers. "I can see the wind, hear the flowers; I can feel incredible emotions flying from those I love."

But he also talks of his intense loneliness. "So many people can't understand that I have a mind. All they see is a person who is not in control."

He goes on to explain how Apple's iPad has given him a voice. "I can finally speak with the people who love me. I can say what I think and let them know that I love them too."

Apple has also launched a Voices of Autism section on its App Store, where iOS users can download educational apps, as well as podcasts depicting stories of people who live with autism.

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