Using the iPad in Therapy
I got my iPad a few months ago and I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do. All the fun games and apps aside, it’s made tasks such as checking email (which I’ve never enjoyed) enjoyable. Now I don’t feel like my unread email is looming over my head like the laundry (not that I get that many emails, but they can pile up fast if not checked for a couple of weeks!) For the other reasons (fun games and apps), my kids and my husband love it too. The biggest problem with it is that we have only one iPad to share between all of us!
I’ve recently started to incorporate the iPad into therapy and it has been an eye opening experience for me. For example, just this week I was working with a cute little 5-year old girl with autism. I pulled out the flashcards that we had been working on over the last couple of weeks and she got this look on her face like “I’m NOT going to do this again”, and she turned away from me. So I brought out the iPad and her face lit up with a huge smile. I opened up a simple flashcard app and we instantly began working. She was engaged and we were both having fun. How cool was this! I’m sure many other teachers and therapists have experienced the same thing. It goes without saying that my iPad will be a primary tool in my therapy sessions going forward, and I’m so excited about the possibilities!
Earlier this week Apple announced the iPad 2. Along with that announcement they released this video (below) about the iPad and how it has been used in different industries, including education for the past year since it’s initial release.
Toward the end of the video a cute little boy named Leo, who has autism is highlighted and his mom Shannon shares their story on how the iPad has helped him. I loved it! It reminded me of my 5-year old client and how she responded to working on the iPad. Seeing stories like Leo’s and having experiences like the one I had in therapy this week makes me excited to explore all the possibilities of this wonderful technology! I will definitely be posting a follow up once I have more experience using the iPad in therapy. If any of you (parents or SLPs) have had good experiences with it in teaching your kids, please share! Now if there was only an app for potty training reluctant 3-year olds… I should check.
Here are a couple of links to blog posts from Leo’s mom, Shannon I thought were very interesting too.
Heidi Hanks, M.S.CCC-SLP has been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist since 2000. She graduated from Utah State University where she completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. She began her career in early intervention and eventually started her own private practice where she has worked primarily with pre-K through school age kids. She is the founder of Little Bee Speech, and is currently developing apps for speech and language. Heidi lives in Utah with her husband and 4 children.