Sunday, March 10, 2013

iPad Apps for Autistic and Nonverbal Children

iPad Applications for Autistic and Nonverbal Children 

Using as an iPad as a means of communication and or learning tool is making strides for  autistic and nonverbal children. Through this video different platform games, educational applications, and accessories are highlighted by Speaker Lauren Meatty. Lauren Meatty is a Regional Consultation Programer at the Schwartz Center for Children Physical Development Clinic in North Dartmouth Massachusetts. 
 In the beginning of the video Meatty talks about a two year old girl who suffers from Spastic Quadriplegia and as a result usually has closed fists. Upon receiving and being introduced to the iPad she began to open her fists and just her finger to navigate and play on the piano application on the iPad.  Lauren states that some kids who refuse to engage with other devices fall deeply into the iPad and the services they have to offer. She shares the story of another middle school child who had difficulty communicating and because of a large communication box that was laid int he center of the room she stood out and felt embarrassed in front of the other kids. When she started using the iPad the other student wanted to immediately surround her and she began to feel like the cool kid in school. 
Over all Lauren Meatty's lecture was about using iPads and their applications with students. While she finds iPads and applications to be a key component of a child's educations and tools/devices used it is imperative to remember to maintain social interaction and hands on manipulative when possible as this is still important as part of the well rounded education. 

I find iPads to be a great device that can be used in a classroom with students of all abilities but especially with students with special needs. These devices provide students with applications that can allow them to better communicate and be contributing individuals in the classroom and environment. While this can be an expensive endeavor to acquire the iPads alone they can make the worlds of difference amongst the students. The touch screen, keyboard, and thousands of applications provide support in a variety of ways to students with all strengths and weaknesses. 

Applications Lauren Meatty Discusses:
  1. Duck Duck Moose: Use touchscreen to interact wit early childhood songs 
  2. Going Places: Social stories to teach about social interactions, such as getting your first haircut
  3. Yes, No: Use for choices (i.e. milk or juice) can use pictures instead of words
  4. Speak It: Type words, and the app will speak what you typed
  5. Proloquo2Go: customizable for communication, can change the kind of voice, and can program your own voice.
  6. Vocal Zoo: Teaches about animals and sounds
  7. Doodle Buddy: Write free form letters and create pictures with stamps
  8. Elmo's Monster Maker: Teaches about body parts
  9. Maze: Move iPad to make ball hit the numbers
  10. Matching- Match pictures
  11. Angry Birds and Cut the Rope: Teach finger isolation and physics
  12. Toy Story- Read words, look at pictures, then swipe finger to turn the page

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