Thank you all very much!

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.



Daly City Party Playhouse

You’ll notice Daly City keeps popping up in my blog. That’s because I consider it the San Francisco Annex. If you want a nice chain store like Home Depot, Target or Walmart you have to go outside SF and that usually means the peninsula or in this case, Daly City. Today was another one of those, “What to we do with our daughter?” kind of days. We decided to go the Party Playhouse with a friend of our daughter’s so they could have fun together.

First off, this place is AWESOME! I think I’m saying that because they encourage the parents to explore the large structure with their kids. For $6 you get an hour, but they don’t have party playhouse police coming to tell you that you have to leave or pay up again after an hour. There’s lots to climb around in as the structure from my estimate is about 40′ long by 20′ wide by 20′ high.

20′ high? Who’d let their kid climb to that kind of height? Well, that’s where this was very well thought out. If your kid falls inside they have at most 1.5′ to fall and it’s all padded. REALLY padded. There’s ball pits, big balls, things that swing into you ropes to crawl across the padded rooms and slides, slides, slides. It has just about everything a kid could want and if they get tired inside they have a few games like skee-ball and cars and trucks to ride for the smaller ones. For older kids they have an arcade that’s open on weekends. Out in front there are comfy couches for the adults to sit and watch or read one of the numerous magazines or newspapers they have. There’s also an adult getaway room with a pool table, foosball and Tulley’s coffee available. All in all it was a blast.

Now that our daughter has used up her energy we had to feed her and so we took a trip to In-N-Out burger with a stop by [mappress mapid=”12″]Krispy Kreme for some doughnuts to take home. What I always love about Krispy Kreme is when you order a dozen doughnuts they always ask, “For here or to go?” I don’t know about you, but I have never sat down and eaten a dozen doughnuts at one time, but thanks for asking. While this wasn’t the healthiest trip out for us I’m sure my daughter has burned off all the calories she got from the 100% trans-fat free junk food she had for lunch.

Total cost for 3 people: Just over $20. Yet another deal. Check out the party playhouse even if you have to borrow someone’s kid to go there.