iPads For Kids With Special Needs: Get Your School Into Them

I recently read that 300 iPads had been doled out to 35 special ed teachers in our school district who had written grants to pilot iPads in their classes. This is the sort of news that makes you do cartwheels (well, mental ones, anyway) because it shows that educators are opening their minds to new technology.

Sadly, this does not seem to be the case in other school districts around the country. Sometimes lack of funding is an issue but sometimes, it’s a matter of closed minds. I know this because I often hear from parents who are considering getting their kids iPads with speech apps; when I ask if the speech therapists in their kids’ school are familiar with the iPad and speech apps, I’m often told “No.”

Our family lucked out: The speech department at my son’s school was all over the iPad and speech apps as soon as they came out. Within weeks, Max was trialing an iPad and the Proloquo2Go speech app—and suddenly, his world opened up.

More schools should be figuring out ways to get iPads into students hands. If there are none in your school, or therapists don’t know about them, encourage them to learn more about the iPad’s communication potential. Here’s a great recent article from USA Today on how the iPad has become education’s “equalizer.” It also helps to see kids in action; there are videos all over YouTube of children with special needs using iPads for communicating, including the first time my son tried the iPad and Proloquo2Go in our home.

Some schools are raising money for iPads through a combination of fundraising, community contributions and school board contributions.

You can also encourage educators and therapists to:

• Post a request on DonorsChoose.org, an online charity site that connects people who have money to give with classrooms in need of funding.

• Go for a grant. Check sites such as Technology Grant News and Teachers Network for the latest news on grants.

If a school seems resistant to iPads, you might consider roping in a special needs advocate for guidance; find one in your area at Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates.

As parents of kids with special needs, we’re used to “suggesting” (or, as the case may be, pushing for) changes that will benefit our children and improve their lives. iPads with speech apps are worth pushing for.

 

From my other blog:

A thank you to Steve Jobs from a special needs mom

Top 10 phrases I’ll never program into Max’s speech app

 

Photo/Proloquo2Go

 

 

Add a Comment
Back To To The Max
  1. by Morning Feeding: Why Don’t More Moms Coach?

    On November 18, 2011 at 10:45 am

    [...] iPads for kids with special needs (Parents.com) [...]

  2. [...] iPads For Kids With Special Needs: Get Your School Into Them | To The Max I recently read that 300 iPads had been doled out to 35 special ed teachers in our school district who had written grants to pilot iPads in their classes. Source: http://www.parents.com [...]

  3. by Patricia

    On November 21, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I would love for someone to send a list of some great apps for special needs children. My 8 yr old son has one but its hard finding the good communication apps. please!!

  4. by TOoner

    On November 24, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I have experienced people not knowing about stuff. Like me for example. I didn’t know anything about communication devices until I was 21 or something like that. So I can totally relate to not knowing things.

  5. by Brian

    On November 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Many school districts block such technologies so it is not that SLP’s are ignorant of new technology. Please choose your words before you post. I work in a large district where they are not supplied. The SLP would have to apply their own. Also there are IT policies in place. Please be informed before you post as a soccer mom on such issues.

  6. [...] iPads For Kids With Special Needs: Get Your School Into Them November 18, 2011 at 8:36 am , by Ellen SeidmanI recently read that 300 iPads had been doled out to 35 special ed teachers in our school district who had written grants to pilot iPads in their classes. This is the sort of news that makes you do cartwheels (well, mental ones, anyway) because it shows that educators are opening their minds to new technology.Sadly, this does not seem to be the case in other school districts around the country. Sometimes lack of funding is an issue but sometimes, it’s a matter of closed minds. I know this because I often hear from parents who are considering getting their kids iPads with speech apps; when I ask if the speech therapists in their kids’ school are familiar with the iPad and speech apps, I’m often told “No.”Our family lucked out: The speech department at my son’s school was all over the iPad and speech apps as soon as they came out. Within weeks, Max was trialing an iPad and the Proloquo2Go speech app—and suddenly, his world opened up.More schools should be figuring out ways to get iPads into students hands. If there are none in your school, or therapists don’t know about them, encourage them to learn more about the iPad’s communication potential. Here’s a great recent article from USA Today on how the iPad has become education’s “equalizer.” It also helps to see kids in action; there are videos all over YouTube of children with special needs using iPads for communicating, including the first time my son tried the iPad and Proloquo2Go in our home. [...]

  7. by sun chevrolet

    On January 1, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for newbie blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

  8. by הובלות קטנות בתל אביב

    On January 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Should you read the newspaper on occasion, make sure to save all of the papers that you have so that you can use them as packing material whenever you move. Padding is actually important to keeping your more delicate objects safe and sound during the move. You may also opt for clothes, sheets, or other cushy material to pack your items.

  9. [...] carmax cartoon network careerbuilder cars Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  10. by Claudie Toala

    On September 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I’m not sure why Tom, but it does look like building time for every other can sometimes fall on the bottom in the priority checklist when you can find jobs, kids, bills, and social commitments to maintain up with. I do think it truly is a good question however, and if we failed to often take our partners for granted it wouldn’ t must be questioned.

  11. by Vance Schoenthal

    On April 24, 2013 at 5:33 am

    I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present here and can’t wait to