For a start, they both begin with A. Is there more to Alexa , than just requesting songs. There is this interesting article on use of Alexa in a classroom from the blog Autism Vault.
From setting timers, to answering /asking questions, to encouraging the kids to articulate clearly , the author puts those view points in favour of Alexa. At home parents find varied uses for it as in making lesson plans for their kids,guided meditation, working on giving commands…. The timer functions of Alexa helps in giving clear start / stop instructions for activities like cooking or other tasks. I could think of spaces like restrooms, where you want to give the person his privacy but give the necessary prompts to move on to the next activity.There are some parents with kids on the Retts syndrome who have hooked it up with Tobi eye gaze system. Alexa seems to be a good thing to help with independence goals. This is an article in favor of this view point ,http://fortune.com/2017/04/17/amazon-alexa-autism/
. However, the author does caution that people should not use technology to bypass the much needed hands on personal care training required.On the flip side, some parents feels it has not really helped with speech, and unintelligible speech is not rewarded and hence acts as a deterrent , more to the point it doesn’t reward intelligible speech with a Thank you! As with everything on the spectrum , unless one tries it out , one would not be able to say if it works or not for their child.