A friend of mine and I were talking one day and we came up with the idea if you could get a million people to give you $1 a year for something that was relatively meaningful you wouldn’t have to work again.
Well, I tried that and it hasn’t worked yet, but apparently there were enough of you who thought enough to send me a few bucks to help us get an iPad 2 for our daughter. As we expected she loves it and has taken to it quickly from day one. We found several apps that are really helping her out such as the several ABA [applied behavioral analysis] apps that have gotten her talking more since we got it on Thursday. These apps show a picture of something with the word underneath and it says the word and waits for the child to repeat it. In some you can even record your own voice. We even downloaded an app that I call “Stephen Hawking” because it’s meant for people who can’t talk to be able to talk by hitting buttons on the iPad and it will speak in man or woman’s voice. We haven’t really used that with her because she’s talking more from the ABA apps.
We also found several apps that have her drawing pictures and letters and numbers in a somewhat structured way, but when she puts the iPad down and moves to crayons and paper you can see the difference. Then there are the music programs. Since my Wife and I are both musicians it’s no surprise that she’s taken to music and considering that I play guitar and my Wife plays bass it would only seem natural for our daughter to take to the drums.
I have to say that Garage Band’s built in instruments are really giving her a lot of excitement and while she’s not able to keep a 4/4 beat yet she has the virtual drum kits to help her out. The keyboard she also loves because it’s much more larger than on the iPhone apps I tried. Even though she has small fingers the iPhone. is still too small for her tiny fingers when she has some problems with fine motor skills.
My Wife downloaded a copy of Fruit Ninja for herself, but yesterday when I started to play with it Rebecca took to it in an instant. There’s not much for her to learn from the game, but she is perfecting her fine motor skills more.
Normally when we go upstairs for dinner it has to be ready right then and there or she starts throwing a fit. Autistic kids tend to be a little impatient at times, but now I just have to pull out the iPad and open up the YouTube app and we can quietly sit together and watch some of the sesame street cartoons we have saved as her favorites.
All in all I have to say that if you have a kid with special needs, get an iPad. It may take your child a few days to start to get it, but at four Rebecca’s becoming a pro already. If your kids like to tear up books like Rebecca does, there are many you can download that have a soundtrack that reads the book to them while highlighting the words.
There are many apps that are free with an upgrade so you have a chance to try before you buy which is good. For some of the apps we don’t even need to upgrade yet, but for the better ones we’ve already upgraded for the 99¢-$2.99 the apps run. So go for it. You’ll find it will change your child for the better.
Special thanks go out to Harry, Leon, Michael, Ian, Clint & Lyubov who donated. We really appreciate what you’ve done to help us help our daughter.