More iPad ramblings!

The iPad is a really hot topic at the moment, especially for those folks who have children on the spectrum! We also got caught up in the hype, although to be honest, the iPad wasn't bought specifically for our child on the spectrum!  However, we decided to put it to good use and try it out with Nick. Initially we purchased Proloqu2go to use as a communication tool (click here to see my last iPad post!) and as you can see, I was quite adamant that the iPad was to be used only for communication purposes!!!!  Haha, that didn't last long!
Thomas downloaded games for himself.  Allan downloaded magazines, added photos, stored his favourite TV series. Me.......?  Allan kindly bought me a year's subscription to Hello magazine - very frivolous but hey, it's nice to have something mindless to read, or rather I should say, look at!!  Allan and Thomas found some lovely books for Nick (favourites being Dr Seuss and Lynley Dodd). They also discovered a few simple games that they though Nick might like! More on this..... down the page!!

Making communication boards
Nick loves books.....he flips the pages, he looks intently at each page, he is showing more awareness of what is happening in the pictures (he will reference me and then point to a picture!). He is also capable of reading many of the words. Most of all he loves us to read to him. Thanks to the iPad we are building up quite a collection of communication boards using Nick's books. Proloqu2go is incredibly easy to use and we can whip up a board in minutes.  I always like to include Nick when making up each board. He has become very proficient at helping me add comments (declarative comments!!!) and he also really enjoys taking part in adding photos or symbols. I will position the camera and Nick will take the photo and add it to the board...... If he doesn't like the photo he will delete it and take another.  His ease at finding his way around the program continues to amaze me!

Letting Nick do his own thing!
Now we come to the downside of the iPad (for me!!). Please bear in mind that I am talking about my experiences and anything I discuss does not reflect the wider community. There are a lot of iPad 'success' stories out there and that's great, we all have different needs for our children, no matter how old they are! My thoughts and feelings are for my situation alone!

As you will see from the above clip, Nick is extremely capable of finding what he wants! He is like an addict deprived of his drug of choice.  No matter where I hide the 'goodie bag file' Nick will find it! He craves both the visual and auditory input. As soon as he can get access to a favourite game he no longer wants me around!!    adios amigo     auf wiedersehen      au revoirE haere rā   ta ta    p**s off!!!!
When Nick gets into this mode, there is not a lot of learning going on. Nick will set up a nice little pattern of sound and sight and stick to that pattern repeatedly........ and he can do this for hours if I let him!

Needless to say, the iPad 'goes to work' with Dad and when Nick does get to have some free time on it, that time is carefully monitored! Yes, I know the iPad is good fun and that all kids his age love gaming. I am certainly not going to deprive him of some 'down time'....but, again, it has to be monitored! In our situation, considering the severity of Nick's autism, I think it is more important that we spend more time on 'US'........ with little bits of down time thrown in here and there (otherwise I would never be able to keep up with my Hello magazine!!!!)

I have just got back from a five day 'away break'. Nick was delighted to see me return, however, within a split second of seeing me he asked for the iPad!! See what I mean...... the kid is obsessed already!! 
P.S:  I haven't had a chance to look for any other 'interactive' apps as yet but if you have any great suggestions please let me know.  Thanks! :-)

1 comment:

  1. There is no doubt in my mind that the "drug of choice" for some of our kids involves screens . . . ;-/


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