tv 60 Minutes on CNBC CNBC December 25, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EST
you can do most anything. this led to other ideas like liberty and rock 'n' roll. to free markets, free enterprise, and free refills. it put a man on the moon and a phone in your pocket. our country's gone through a lot over the centuries and a half. but this idea isn't fragile. when times get tough, it rallies us as one. every day, more people believe in the american idea and when they do, the dream comes true. we're grateful to be a part of it. [ticking] >> thank you for coming. we're gonna make some history together today. [cheers and applause] >> when steve jobs handpicked walter isaacson to write his life story, he had already been
diagnosed with cancer, but after 40 interviews, the biography provides a vivid picture of a complicated man. >> i think it's a tough book. >> it's a book that's fair. i mean, this is a real human being. >> you will hear tape recordings of jobs himself talking about being adopted, creating apple, and his regret over ignoring what could have been life-saving cancer surgery. >> you're born alone, you're gonna die alone, and what exactly is it that you have to lose? there's nothing. [ticking] it's so much more intimate than a laptop. >> when steve jobs unveiled the ipad, there was no way he could have predicted what it would mean to people with autism. it turns out it may be the perfect device to help unlock the isolation many with autism feel by helping them communicate in ways that they couldn't before. >> i want a drink. >> i always had said when he was younger, it was like he was
a computer and i was computer illiterate, and i didn't know how to press the right keys. sorry. that was the hard part is, you knew there was more in there, and you didn't know how to get it out. >> welcome to 60 minutes on cnbc. i'm bob simon. in this edition, we look at the life of tech titan steve jobs, the cofounder of apple, and we also examine the unexpected impact that one of his inventions, the ipad, is having on children and parents living with autism. in 2004, jobs asked walter isaacson, a former editor of time magazine, if he would write his biography. isaacson thought the request premature since jobs was still a young man. what he didn't know at the time, and only a few people did, was that jobs was about to undergo surgery for pancreatic cancer and was feeling his mortality. in 2009, with jobs already gravely ill, isaacson began the first of more than 40 interviews with him, the last being
conducted a few weeks before his death. as steve kroft first reported in october 2011, the result was the best-selling book of the year. >> when walter isaacson first began working on the book-- which is published by simon & schuster, a division of cbs--steve jobs' wife, laurene powell, told him, "be honest with his failings as well as his strengths. there are parts of his life and his personality that are extremely messy; you shouldn't whitewash it. i'd like to see that it's all told truthfully." >> he's not warm and fuzzy, you know? >> and to do it, isaacson interviewed more than 100 people--jobs' friends, family, coworkers, and competitor. i think it's a tough book. >> it's a book that's fair. i mean, this is a real human being. >> he had lots of flaws. >> he was very petulant. he was very brittle. he could be very, very mean to people at times, and whether it was to a waitress in a restaurant or to a guy who had stayed up all night coding, he
could just really just go at them and say, "you're doing this all wrong; it's horrible." and you'd say, "why did you do that? why weren't you nicer?" and he'd say, "i really want to be with people who demand perfection, and this is who i am." >> isaacson believes that much of it can be traced to the earliest years of his life and to the fact that jobs was born out of wedlock, given up by his birth parents, and adopted by a working-class couple from mountain view, california. >> paul jobs was a salt of the earth guy who was a great mechanic, and he taught his son steve how to make great things. and he--once, they were building a fence, and he said, "you got to make the back of the fence, that nobody will see, just as good-looking as the front of the fence. even though nobody will see it, you will know, and that will show that you're dedicated to making something perfect." >> jobs always knew he was adopted, but it still had a profound effect on him. he told isaacson this story from
his early childhood during one of their many taped interviews. >> now, i was--remember, right here on the lawn--telling lisa mcmoylar, who lived across the street, that i was adopted. and she said, "so does that mean your real parents didn't want you?" ooh, lightning bolts in my head. i remember running into the house. i think i was probably crying, asking my parents, and they sat me down, and they said, "no, you don't understand." they said, "we specifically picked you out." >> he said, "from then on, i realized that i was not just abandoned; i was chosen. i was special." and i think that's the key to understanding steve jobs. >> another factor was geography. jobs grew up in northern california not far from palo alto. he was a gifted child who tested off the charts in a neighborhood populated by engineers. >> you know, he was raised in a place that was just learning how to turn silicon into gold. it had not yet been named silicon valley, but you had the defense industry; you had
hewlett-packard, but you also had the counter-culture of the bay area. that entire brew came together in steve jobs. he was sort of a hippie-ish rebel kid, loved listening to dylan music, dropped acid, but also he loved electronics. >> jobs would eventually cross paths with a computer wizard at berkeley five years his senior named steve wozniak. they became fast friends, sharing a love of high-tech pranks and a disdain for authority. one of the things they did was to copy and improve an illicit device called a blue box, which reproduced the tones that the phone company used and allowed users to make free long-distance phone calls. >> wozniak loves the blue box. he's doing it as a prank. steve says, "we can sell them. we can market them." and they sold about 100 of 'em. and jobs said to me, "that's the beginning of apple. when we started doing that blue box, i knew that with wozniak's brilliant designs and my
marketing skills, we could sell anything." >> that was still a few years off. jobs enrolled at reed college in oregon at a time when timothy leary was telling students across the country to turn on, tune in, and drop out. jobs did after one semester. >> the time we grew up in was a magical time. it was also a very, you know, spiritual time in my life. definitely taking l.s.d. is one of the more important things in my life and--not the most important but right up there. >> he eventually drifted back to his parents' house and became one of the first 50 employees to work for the video game maker atari. but he was not a big hit with his coworkers. >> never wore shoes, had very long hair, never bathed. in fact, when he went to work for atari, they put him on the night shifts because people said he smelled so bad that they didn't want to work with him. >> you know, he believed that his vegan diet and the way he
lived made it so he didn't have to use deodorant or shower that often. it was an incorrect theory, as people kept pointing out to him at atari. >> jobs took a leave from atari and spent seven months wandering across india looking for spiritual enlightenment, and it turned out not to be a waste of time. >> and when he comes back, he says, "the main thing i've learned is intuition, that the people in india are not just pure rational thinkers, that the great spiritual ones also have an intuition." likewise, the simplicity of zen buddhism really informed his design sense. that notion that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. [ticking] >> coming up, steve jobs launches apple, changing the world and his life. >> i was, like, 25, when, you know, we were worth maybe $50 million. i knew i never had to worry about money again. >> that's ahead, when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. bob, these projections... they're... optimistic.
[ticking] >> the 20-year-old steve jobs returned to northern california after trekking through india for several months in 1974. with his friend steve wozniak, he started building and peddling a primitive computer for hobbyists. in 1976, with a $1,300 investment, they founded apple computer in his parents' garage. >> explain to me how somebody who was a hippie, a college dropout, somebody who drops l.s.d. and marijuana goes off to india and comes back deciding he wants to be a businessman. >> jobs has within him sort of this conflict, but he doesn't quite see it as a conflict, between being hippie-ish and timac but wanting to sell things like wozniak's board, wanting to create a business. and i think that's exactly what
silicon valley was all about in those days-- let's do a start-up in our parents' garage and try to create a business. >> so we don't have to work for somebody else. >> right. >> he was never much of an engineer. isaacson said he didn't know how to write code or program a computer--that was wozniak's department--but jobs understood their importance and their future. he was obsessed with making an attractive, simple, inexpensive computer-- the apple ii, marketed as the first home computer. it really didn't do much, but tech-savvy people snapped them up along with school systems. and as he tells isaacson on tape, he was soon worth millions of dollars. >> it wasn't very many years before, on paper, we were worth a lot of money. and i was, like, 25, when, you know, we were worth maybe $50 million. i knew i never had to worry about money again. and so i went from not worrying about money because i was pretty poor to not worrying about money 'cause i had a lot of money.
>> jobs becomes rich. >> jobs becomes wildly rich, makes about 100 people millionaires when apple goes public. one of the things he does, though, that's, you know, still caused a little ill will-- there were old friends who used to be with him in the garage, his parents' garage, and they were working at apple, but they hadn't quite gotten to the level of chief engineer, so they got no stock options. wozniak, being incredibly generous, is giving away his stock options trying to make everybody a millionaire, and steve jobs is, like, very strict on who can get the stock option. >> one of the people who didn't get them was daniel kottke, who had been with jobs at reed college, in india, and in the garage where apple was founded. >> and at one point, tries to go to steve and just starts crying, but steve can be very cold about these things. finally one of the engineers at apple said, you know, "we have to take care of your buddy daniel. i'll give him some stock if you match it," or whatever. and jobs says, "yeah, i'll match it. i'll give zero; you give zero."
>> it was not the only instance of his callous behavior during that time period. just before apple went public, his long-time girlfriend became pregnant, producing a daughter, lisa. jobs, who had himself been born out of wedlock and abandoned, denied paternity and refused to pay support until the courts intervened. his behavior was typical of a phenomenon that apple employees openly referred to as "steve's reality distortion field"-- a term out of star trek-- the ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything using his indomitable will and charisma to bend any fact to suit his purpose. >> when he was creating the original macintosh, steve jobs would come in, and he would say, "we need to have this done by next month." and people would say, "no, no. you can't actually write this much code by next month." and he would say, "yes, you can do it." and in the end, he would not take no for an answer, and he would sort of make the dent in
the universe he wanted to. he would bend reality, and they would accomplish it. >> the reality distortion field, it seems like sometimes you use it, that phrase, to speak to what you see as sort of a self-delusion. >> he could drive himself by magical thinking, by believing something that the rest of us couldn't possibly believe, and sometimes it worked; sometimes it didn't. >> and at the root of this reality distortion theory, isaacson says, was jobs' belief that he was special and chosen and that the rules didn't apply to him. >> he had a great mercedes sports coup with no license plate on, as that was his affection but-- >> no license plate? >> he always believed-- i said, "why don't you have a license plate?" at one point he said, "well, i don't want people following me. i only want people"-- and i said, "well, having no license plate is actually more noticeable." he said, "yeah, you're probably right. you know why i don't have a license plate?" i said, "why?" he said, "'cause i don't have a license plate." >> that disregard for the establishment helped him achieve
some of his biggest successes, allowing him to see products and applications that no one else imagined. so in 1984, apple introduced a truly revolutionary product: the macintosh. it used graphics, icons, a mouse, and the point-and-click technology that is still standard. it was innovative and influential, but sales were disappointing, and jobs' confrontational management style became even more brittle. he would try and rationalize it in this taped interview with isaacson. >> i feel totally comfortable going in front of everybody else, you know, "god, we really [bleep] up the engineering on this, didn't we?" that's the ante for being in the room. so we're brutally honest with each other, and all of them can tell me they think i'm full of [bleep], and i can tell anyone i think they're full of [bleep], and we've had some rip-roaring arguments where we're yelling at each other. >> jobs loved the arguments but not everybody else did, and isaacson writes that some of his
top people began defecting. >> he was not the world's greatest manager. in fact, he could have been one of the world's worst managers. you know, he was always, you know, upending things and, you know, and throwing things into turmoil. this made great products, but it didn't make for a great management style. >> jobs would eventually provoke a boardroom showdown with apple president john sculley over who should lead the company. the board chose sculley. so he was out of his own company. >> kicked out of his own company, and, you know, he always had that feeling of abandonment. there was nothing worse than being abandoned by apple. >> he sold his stock and used the company to start a new venture called next computer, which made great products that no one bought. but jobs would be saved by a tiny company that he acquired from george lucas for $5 million. pixar studios would eventually revolutionize movie animation and make jobs a multibillionaire. apple hadn't done so well,
and a decade after jobs left, it decided to buy next computer and the services of jobs as a consultant, but he would soon take over as ceo. and when he goes back, it's almost bankrupt. >> it's, like, 90 days away from bankruptcy. they're totally out of money, and it's lost its way totally. so he says, "here's the 27, 30 things you're making," printers or whatever. and he draws a chart that just has four squares, and he says, "professional, home consumer. laptop, desktop. we're gonna make four computers." >> he retrenched, firing 3,000 people, and launched a new advertising campaign. >> here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers. >> steve jobs helped write that himself. he edited it 100--he put in, "they changed the world." by the end, jobs, along with four or five other people, have written this not as ad copy
but as a manifesto. >> they push the human race forward. and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. >> the campaign announced what would become the biggest comeback in business history, and it did change the world. that, plus steve jobs' search for his birth parents and his battle with cancer when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. ♪ if loving you is wrong
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i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. [ticking] >> when steve jobs returned to apple in 1997, the company had just 5% of the computer market and was almost broke. when jobs died of cancer 14 years later, apple was the second most valuable corporation
in the world. in his best-selling biography of jobs, walter isaacson writes that he revolutionized or reimagined seven industries. he did it, isaacson says, by standing at the crossroads of science and the humanities, connecting creativity with technology, and combining leaps of imagination with feats of engineering to produce new devices that consumers hadn't even thought of. >> thank you for coming. we're gonna make some history together today. >> if you had to pick a day where it all came together, january 9, 2007, is not a bad one. jobs is in san francisco at the macworld conference in full pitchman mode as he unveils his latest product to the faithful. >> these are not three separate devices. this is one device. [cheers and applause]
and we are calling it iphone. >> it is not only a remarkable achievement but a validation of everything that jobs believed in: if you made and controlled all of your own hardware and all of your own software, you could integrate all of your products and all of your content seamlessly into one digital hub. and no one but steve jobs had thought of it. >> this is something microsoft couldn't do 'cause it made software but not the hardware. it's something sony couldn't do 'cause it made a lot of devices, but it didn't really make software operating systems. and so the only company that had end-to-end control was apple. >> biographer walter isaacson writes that jobs had created a walled garden. if you wanted to use any of his products, it was easier to buy into the whole apple ecosystem. it was something only a complete control freak could have pulled off. his personality, passions, products, and private life were all intertwined and closely guarded. the more of it that walter
isaacson got to see, the more he learned. what was his house like? >> his house in palo alto is a house on a normal street with a normal sidewalk-- no big, winding driveway; no big security fences. >> you can drive in the driveway? >> you could walk into the garden in the back gate and open the back door to the kitchen, which used to not be locked. it was a normal family home, and he said, "i wanted to live in a normal place where the kids could walk, the kids could go over to other people's houses, and i did not want to live that nutso lavish lifestyle that so many people do when they get rich." >> there was no live-in help and no entourage. he was worth $7 billion but not materialistic. and he told isaacson in a taped interview that he had learned early on what money could do to people. >> i saw a lot of other people at apple--and especially after we went public--how it changed them. and a lot of people thought they had to start being rich, so they
would--i mean, a few people went out and bought rolls-royces, and they bought homes, and their wives got plastic surgery, and they--and i saw these people who were really nice, simple people turn into these bizarro people. and i made a promise to myself. i said, "i am not gonna let this money ruin my life." >> do you have a picture of the family? >> oh, sure. >> isaacson showed us some personal family pictures that jobs had given him for his book shortly before he died. it was a look into a part of jobs' life that few people had seen. >> this is laurene, and that's erin, reed, eve, and this is on their family vacation. >> jobs married laurene powell in 1991, a former investment banker who could hold her own with her mercurial husband. >> and she's a great balance. he knows to pick strong people to be around him, and he sure did when he married laurene. >> now, this is... >> reed, his son. reed is very much like his
father, except for, he has his mother's kindness. eve is a great horseback rider. eve, i think, might someday be in the olympics with horseback riding. erin has a great sense of design, is a really cool kid. >> his fourth child is lisa brennan-jobs, the daughter jobs had with his girlfriend in 1978 and neglected for more than a decade until she moved in with the family as a teenager. isaacson said their reconciliation was important to jobs because his own birth parents had abandoned him. >> he felt there was a hole. he felt something was missing. >> in 1986, he began searching for his biological mother and found joanne schieble simpson living in los angeles. >> did she know that her son, the son that she gave up, was steve jobs? >> no, but she says to him, "there's one thing that i have to tell you: you have a sister. and the sister i raised, we did not put up for adoption. and i must tell her 'cause i've never told this." and the sister turns out to be
mona simpson, the novelist. and mona simpson and steve jobs totally bond. separated at birth, as they say. and then they go on a quest, a journey, to find their birth father. especially mona wants to find what she calls the lost father. >> eventually they locate abdul fattah "john" jandali, a syrian-american with a phd in political science who was managing a restaurant in sacramento. but as jobs tells isaacson on tape, he decides to let mona go meet him alone. >> when i was looking for my biological mother, obviously, you know, i was looking for my biological father at the same time. and i learned a little bit about him, and i didn't like what i learned. and i asked her to not tell him that we'd ever met and not tell him anything about me. >> so mona goes to the
coffee shop, meets this guy, mr. jandali, who's running it, who says, among other things when she asks, you know, how sorry he is. but then he says that he had had another child, and mona said, "what happened to him?" he said, "oh, i don't know, we'll never hear from him again." and then he says, "i wish you could have seen me when i was running a bigger restaurant. i used to run one of the best restaurants in silicon valley. everybody used to come there. even steve jobs used to eat there." and mona's sort of taken aback and bites her tongue and doesn't say, "steve jobs is your son." but she looks shocked, and he says, "yeah, he was a great tipper." >> and i was in that restaurant once or twice, and i remember meeting the owner, who was from syria, and it was most certainly him, and i shook his hand, and he shook my hand, and that's all. >> and jobs never spoke to him, never talked to him, never got in touch with him, never wanted to see him.
[ticking] >> coming up, steve jobs delays cancer surgery. >> how could such a smart man do such a stupid thing? >> you know, i think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking, and it had worked for him in the past. >> more steve jobs when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year. so why exactly should that be of any interest to you? well, in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered,
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his pancreas that turned out to be a malignant tumor. but as jobs' biographer walter isaacson told us, the initial prognosis was a positive one. >> they do a biopsy, and they're very emotional. they say, "this is good. it's one of these very slow-growing, 5% of pancreatic cancers that can actually be cured." but steve jobs doesn't get operated on right away. he tries to treat it with diet. he goes to a spiritualist. he goes to various ways of doing it macrobiotically, and he doesn't get an operation. >> why doesn't he get it operated on immediately? >> you know, i've asked him that, and he said, "i didn't want my body to be open." and soon everybody is telling him, "quit trying to treat it with all these roots and vegetables and things. just get operated on." but he does it nine months later. >> too late. >> well, one assumes it's too late 'cause by the time they operate on him, they notice that it has spread to the tissues around the pancreas.
>> how could such a smart man do such a stupid thing? >> you know, i think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking, and it had worked for him in the past. he regretted, you know, some of the decisions he made, and certainly, i think, he felt he should have been operated on sooner. >> jobs acknowledged his surgery but soft-pedaled the seriousness of the situation. isaacson writes he continued to receive secret cancer treatments even though he was telling everyone he had been cured. and that is what people believed until 2008. >> in 2008, he unveiled the iphone 3, but that wasn't the main story. all of a sudden, people are gasping because he's lost so much weight; he looks so frail. and suddenly people are realizing that he's very sick again. he denies it publicly. he puts out things that there's a hormone imbalance, which has
a tiny kernel of truth to it because his liver was secreting the wrong hormones, but it wasn't just a hormonal imbalance; it was because the cancer had gone to his liver. >> jobs finally took a medical leave of absence and, in march of 2009, received a secret liver transplant in memphis that wasn't publicly acknowledged until three months later. the doctors who did the operation could tell that the cancer had spread. but jobs returned to work to unveil the ipad, and he continued working right up until the end. what were those last 2 1/2 years of his life like? >> he talked a lot to me about what happened when he got sick and how it focused him. he said he no longer wanted to go out, no longer wanted to travel the world. he would focus on the products. he knew the couple of things he wanted to do, which was the iphone and then the ipad. he had a few other visions. i think he would have loved to have conquered television. he would love to make an easy-to-use television set. so he had those things, but he
started focusing on his family again as well. >> in their final meetings, jobs would occasionally bring up the subject of death. >> i saw my life as an arc and that it would end. and compared to that, nothing mattered, you know? i mean, you're born alone, you're gonna die alone, and does anything else really matter? i mean, what exactly is it that you have to lose, steve, you know? there's nothing. >> he survived nearly eight years with his cancer and in the final meeting with isaacson in mid-august, still held out hope that there might be one new drug that could save him. did you have any discussions with him that day or at any other time about an afterlife? >> i remember sitting in his backyard in his garden one day, and he started talking about god. he said, "sometimes i believe in god; sometimes i don't. i think it's 50/50, maybe. but ever since i've had cancer, i've been thinking about it more, and i find myself believing a bit more.
i kind of--maybe it's 'cause i want to believe in an afterlife, that when you die, it doesn't just all disappear. the wisdom you've accumulated, somehow it lives on." then he paused for a second, and he said, "yeah, but sometimes i think it's just like an on-off switch: click, and you're gone." and then he paused again, and he said, "and that's why i don't like putting on-off switches on apple devices." >> steve jobs resigned as apple's ceo in august 2011, just six weeks before his death. his handpicked successor was tim cook, a long-time apple lieutenant who had run the company during jobs' periods of medical leave. jobs is a tough act to follow, but cook celebrated his first anniversary at the apple helm just as the company's market capitalization had topped $623 billion. that mark, obtained on august 20, 2012, made apple the most valuable listed company of all time, breaking the previous
record set in 1999 by long-term rival microsoft. [ticking] coming up, how the ipad is helping the autism community. >> he's completely communicating. >> absolutely. he's part of the community. i mean, communication is the essence of being human, and here he is, communicating fully now. >> apps for autism, when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. bob, these projections... they're... optimistic.
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[ticking] >> after steve jobs died in 2011, there was an outpouring of gratitude from his fans for the way his inventions changed their lives. among the most passionate are parents of children with severe forms of autism, especially those who can't speak and appear hopelessly locked inside themselves. those parents often say these kids understand more and know more than they're able to communicate. well, now with the help of the ipad and other tablet computers, some of those parents are finding out they were right. as lesley stahl first reported in october 2011, it turns out that with specially designed applications, or apps, these computers are helping to unlock the isolation of people like joshua hood. >> imagine spending your life having conversations like this. "p."
"l." having to poke out words on a laminated piece of paper one letter at time. "c," plastic. it was so frustrating for josh, his mother, nancy, says he would often give up and retreat into himself. at family gatherings, he was sidelined because no one understood him. at school, he sat passively in class, unable to participate. when josh was feeling bad or really needed something, the family resorted to charades. >> so you'd be, like, you know, "can you spell it? can you show me?" >> oh, how frustrating. >> and so he would-- >> you would act it out almost? >> he would. he would look around a room, and he'd see if he could find something that sounded like it. >> just to tell you one little thing. >> one thing that he wanted, yes. >> how are you? >> but not anymore. >> i want a drink. >> for the past year, josh has been using an apple ipad as his voice, and he is--
well, he's reborn. >> and what are we having to eat today, josh? >> i want bagel, bacon, please. >> okay. >> now when he goes to the local diner, he can order his breakfast himself. josh's mom downloaded a special language app and added pictures, videos, and symbols that allow him to convey his feelings... >> happy. >> what he wants... >> toys. >> and what he watches on tv. >> tv news, 60 minutes. >> my first 60 minutes interview on an ipad. i asked about his brother, jimmy. and how old is jimmy, is he-- >> keyboard. numbers. 2, 6. jimmy 26. >> so he's one year younger than you are. is he your best friend? aww. does that mean you love him? yeah? josh is typical of people with autism in that he rarely looked directly at me, he rocks, and he has obsessions.
in his case, it's world war ii. >> hogan's heroes season 6. >> his therapist, tammy taylor, will never forget the first time she put the ipad into his hands. what had been bottled up inside him began to pour out. >> it just blew me away that he could actually tell me his brother had a goatee and was bald. >> he's completely communicating. >> absolutely. he's part of the community. i mean, commutation is the essence of being human, and here he is, communicating fully now. >> categories. feelings. happy. joshua happy. >> tell me what's happening inside of you as your son starts to tell you what he's been thinking? he's probably been trying to tell you for 27 years. >> mind-boggling, to tell you the truth. i always had said when he was younger, it was like, you know, he was a computer and i was computer illiterate, and i didn't know how to press the right keys. sorry.
to get him to communicate. it was just, you know--that was the hard part is, you knew there was more in there, and you didn't know how to get it out. >> touch screen computers help josh communicate. can they do the same for these children at the beverley school in toronto, canada... >> [screaming] >> where half the students are severely autistic and more impaired than josh? the day we were there, kindergarten teacher sabrina morey struggled to figure out why seven-year-old nathan was so upset. >> students don't have a way to communicate with me. they don't have a way to tell me how they're feeling, what they want, what they need. >> oh, look, the ipad's here. >> for the past year, morey and her fellow teachers ian stuart and stacie carroll have been involved in the first study to find out just how effective the ipad is with their students. has the ipad made any
difference? >> the ipad has made a huge difference. there's something about using the ipad that draws the students in. they're engaged with it in a way that we don't see with other toys or puzzles or teaching tools. >> the study has found that it improves the children's willingness to socialize, something autistic kids have trouble with, and it enhances their attention spans. >> can you look at the numbers, jennifer? >> in this video, recorded by the school, stacie's trying to get little jennifer to focus on learning to count using the old paper method. >> so she's not paying attention right now? >> no, she's not looking at it. >> but what a difference with the ipad. >> one, two, three, four, five. >> oh, that's wonderful. look at her. >> she's completely engrossed. >> totally.
i hear that autistic children often prefer machines to having an interaction with a human being. is that what we're seeing? >> what we're thinking is that the device is constant, so the voice is constant. the pacing is constant. it waits. i might not wait as long. >> you're unpredictable. >> right. >> and they like order and control. >> absolutely. [ticking] >> coming up, applying the lessons of apps. >> you're discovering that there's more inside these children's heads than you realized. >> and that's something, in a way, i feel like we've known, but this is giving us a tool to really show us and prove that there is more happening. >> that's ahead when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. to the best vacation spot on earth.
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>> apps used with the ipad and other tablet computers are helping parents and teachers better communicate with autistic children. but as lesley stahl reported in october 2011, teachers are finding that, as with autism in general, there's a range of ability when it comes to benefiting from the ipad. >> what i found is that the device, the ipad, isn't for everyone. it's not for all my students. but the ones who are engaged by it, it's really--it's amazing. do you want to do some work? >> no. no. no. no. >> do you want to do some work? no? >> no. no. no. no. >> it was thought that ten-year-old nuno, who doesn't talk, had the i.q. and attention span of a toddler. >> touch the one that is a healthy snack. >> where's the nice snack? good snack? >> yeah! awesome. >> so when ian tested him with a new vocabulary app, he was surprised by how much he knew. >> where is the wind chime? great job. touch the soldier.
yeah! super. >> did you know he knew all those words? >> no, absolutely not. >> find the saxophone. yeah! you did it. >> and we've just recently found out that he has quite a love of classical music and opera. so he's--he's-- >> he has love of opera? >> yes, he does. >> and you didn't know it. >> didn't know it, yeah. >> did that come through the ipad? >> it came through exploring music selections on the ipad. >> you're discovering that there's more inside these children's heads than you realized. >> and that's something, in a way, i feel like we've known, but this is giving us a tool to really show us and prove that there is more happening. >> figuring out why so many autistic people are unable to speak--as many as 30% of them-- is the subject of a major research study at the university of pittsburgh. >> we don't have a biological marker for autism in most cases at the moment. >> neuroscientist dr. walter
schneider is investigating whether the language problems in autism are caused by a disruption in the brain's connective circuits. >> what we're gonna do now is the motor mapper. >> he invited temple grandin, the renowned professor of animal science and author of five books on autism, to have her brain scanned as his first subject. >> okay, temple, the noise is gonna start. you doing all right? >> i'm okay. >> grandin has asperger's, a high-functioning form of autism, but she had trouble learning to speak. >> my speech started coming in around, you know, 3, 3 1/2, a few stressed words at a time, like i'd say "bah" for "ball." >> to analyze grandin's brain, schneider used a new technique he developed called high-definition fiber tracking that reveals the interior wiring in fine detail. this is a normal brain? >> this is a normal brain. >> first he showed us the fibers that make up the language circuit in a normal brain:
a streamlined bundle with off-ramps at the top. but what about in a brain with autism, like temple grandin's? but you're gonna show us temple's brain? >> yes, we're going to show the inside of temple's brain. >> what i saw floored me. what did you think when you saw that? that is temple. that is that. that is that? >> that is this section and how it projectt. >> but that's dramatic. >> that's dramatic. >> schneider thinks this dramatic disorganization of the wiring may explain the language impairments seen in autism, but he won't know for sure until he scans more people. he hopes, among other things, that one day a brain scan will be able to diagnose autism early and tell parents if their child will ever speak. so he's affectionate. >> he's very, very affectionate. >> meantime, parents like amanda williams, nathan's mother, are latching on to the ipad,
marveling at how the device is opening windows into their children's minds, even if the windows are open only a crack. >> i can't express to you enough, like, how amazing it is to watch him take his little finger and go like that in a controlled way. i think the thing that made us cry was when he flipped through it, and then he saw the tiger, and he went, "oh, i got to go back." [tiger roaring] roar! and went--boom. and he looked at us with this smile on his face, and he's like, "i did it." >> and it's such a tiny little thing. but it's--for him, it's huge, right? >> it's huge. it's huge. >> where do you see the ipad taking him? what's the next step and the next step? >> we don't know what the future holds for him in terms of speech. we like to think and we still hope that one day speech will come in whatever form, but if it doesn't and if it's not-- >> this will be his voice. >> this will be his voice.