Texas Dad reveals how Apple Watch changed his autistic son's life

sam Bennett
sam Bennett (Image credit: People)

What you need to know

  • A Texas Dad says Apple Watch has changed the life of his son, who has autism.
  • Sam Bennett, 21, has always struggled to control the volume of this voice.
  • His Dad discovered the Noise app on Apple Watch and found that Sam was able to use it to better modulate his voice.

A Texas Dad has revealed how Apple Watch has changed the life of his son with autism after he discovered the Noise app on the device.

A People exclusive reports that Sam Bennett, aged 21, has struggled to modulate the volume of his speaking voice ever since he has been able to talk:

Sam, 21, is on the autism spectrum, and though he's the epitome of a social butterfly — "People just fall in love with him," Scott tells PEOPLE — he's long struggled with an exceptionally loud speaking voice."He just never had the ability to modulate it," says Scott, 59. "For years we've been struggling with this, since he started talking… and the voice level is really, really, really loud."Sam is initially responsive when asked to use his "inside voice," but the fix is only temporary, and soon, his noise levels rise once again.

Coupled with a short attention span, Sam's struggle to speak at a natural volume meant the family struggled to go anywhere, the poor family dog would even run to a separate part of the room when he spoke.

However, whilst updating the apps on his Apple Watch one morning, Sam's Dad Scott discovered the Noise app on Apple Watch, which can be used to measure decibel levels of the user's surroundings.

"My first thought was, 'I gotta try this with Sam. Why didn't I think of this sooner?' Because we had tried everything," Scott recalls.

Scott woke Sam and showed the app to him, in particular how his voice made the app go from green to yellow.

"He immediately saw that and started using his own voice to make it work, and then immediately started talking really quietly," he says. "I was like, you gotta be kidding me. My wife Cristy is not gonna believe this. I don't believe what I'm seeing."

The report says that since the discovery, the household has been considerably more peaceful, much to the relief of the entire family. (including the dog)

"It's just made things a lot more tolerable for us and for our family," he says. "It raises the possibility that maybe someday I could take him to a golf tournament, 'cause I'd love that. He loves to golf. I'd love to try that, but I could just envision Tiger Woods backswing hearing Sam and then I'm on national television and my son's being corralled out of the tournament grounds."

Scott's only regret is that his son Sam didn't have access to technology like this growing up, as it could have made "a big difference." Scott has taken to a Facebook group for parents of kids with special needs to share his discovery, he says that he's had over 100 responses from parents excited to try out the app.

The news is just another fantastic testimony to the power of Apple Watch, especially when it comes to people's health and safety. Recently, Apple announced it was launching its new Research app, complete with three new studies that users can enroll in now.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9