I am so grateful to an old friend who has called my attention to the sweeping generalization I made re: the iPotty and the Apptivity Center. While I still do believe that ensconcing most children in technology before they are even in school inhibits many kinds of development -cognitive, physical and otherwise- I am gratefully humbled by my friend's reminder that for some children, like her daughter with autism, such technology is invaluable. In her words: "My daughter has autism. She was first diagnosed when she was 2. She is now 8. She also has numerous other delays, including speech delays and a sensory processing disorder, as well as severe ADHD. Also, she does not play with toys and has not (until very recently) ever engaged in "imaginative" play (baby dolls, cars, etc). The only 2 things that have ever held her interest for more than 5 minutes are her 4 wheeler and her ipad. Obviously, it's not possible for her to ride her 4 wheeler around in our house, so the ipad wins. Before she had the ipad, she had every single Leap Frog electronic toy/tablet/etc and 2 Kindle Fires. These electronics have taught her things that her teachers and we, her parents, have not been able to. Specifically regarding speech. Because every time the apps on her ipad say a word, it sounds exactly the same. She can repeat the words over and over until she masters a word, then move on. Also helps with "social stories" - learning to properly interact with people and the world around her. That said, I can certainly see how some of these products would be beneficial. Yes, even babies. Early intervention is very important. We knew something was different about our daughter before she was even a year old. And she wasn't completely potty trained until she was 3 1/2. So, yes, even the potty chair would have been awesome, since part of the reason she wasn't able to potty train successfully was the ADHD, and also autism which causes notorious potty training difficulties! It sometimes took her 30 minutes to "go". And for kids like my daughter, that is a loooong time to sit still. Just my 2 cents!"
Beautifully written and very valuable. Sending thanks to S and to open lines of communication from which we can learn and connect more deeply!