About 2 years ago, our families began coming to their appointments with iPads. They either purchased the iPads, or they were loaned from their child’s school. The families were excited at the possibilities, and everything they heard about how great the iPad could be for kids with varying needs. However, they did not know what to do with this new piece of technology. They knew their child enjoyed playing games or watching videos, but there had to be more to it than that. So, they started asking our therapists questions. How do I choose an app? How can I get my child to access the iPad effectively? What apps will motivate my child? What do I do with this iPad?
In response to this growing need, Leaps and Bounds purchased an iPad. Our therapists began to educate themselves and train each other on the information they received. As a result, we began to have greater success with the iPad and were better able to help our parents figure out apps that would benefit their child. Both at therapy and home, our kids were making gains in handwriting, visual attention, communication, and overall engagement.
In September, Leaps and Bounds, Inc. had the pleasure of presenting at the Touch Technology Applications for Children with Special Needs Conference and Expo 2012. This conference brought app developers, professionals, parents and special educators together. We were able to speak with app developers and network with other professionals about applications, products, and trends for the iPad. This conference received recognition on local and national stations for its innovative approach to education on a subject we are all continuing to learn.
The iPad is a tool. It certainly has limitations that we need to be aware of, but the iPad has offered a portable, motivating method to teach, learn, and interact in a way we have not seen before. There are new apps being created constantly, and with those new apps comes more possibilities. It is not just about playing games on the iPad, it is a new tool helping kids to access their world in a new way.
If you would like to learn more about utilizing your iPad with your child, we would like to invite you to attend our FREE Parent Seminar Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm. Lori Holbrook will be presenting “I Have An iPad, Now What?”
Lisa Cooseman OTR/ L, MS