Saturday, July 17, 2010

iPad - Week One Impressions

We've been using the iPad for a week now with great success. We are mostly using the Yes No program and a few games and books. We plan to introduce a more comprehensive communication program - Proloquo2go - soon. I am downloading that program today and will be learning how it works so I have it all set up how we want it before we introduce it to Emma.

I'm very happy with the way we are introducing the iPad to Emma. We are starting out simple and learning the best positions, adapatations, and type of interactions that make the iPad most useful for Emma.

For positioning, we've tested out various positions and found that Emma is most successful in making her choices when the iPad is positioned at an angle off to her right. This allows her right hand to easily choose between the Yes and No buttons and also to move through screens on her books and games. We also purchased an iPad cover that has multiple viewing angles built into the stand. It is working pretty good, but the iPad doesn't "catch" in the notches in the cover at the various viewing angles as much as I would like.

For adaptations, Emma sometimes wants to hit a button and her motor skills don't quite get her to that button without assistance. So, to make this easier for her, I purchased a different iPad cover that was ~$3 including the shipping on Amazon (reviews said it didn't fit the iPad great) and flipped it over so that the part that would cover the back was now covering the front. Then, I cut two square holes in it so that Emma could only see the Yes and No buttons. This way, when Emma is trying to select a choice she does not see the Options button which she loves to hit or the 1x/2x button which she hits a lot by mistake (moving these two buttons to the top of the screen is one of two requests I put into the developer!) since her motor skills have her going towards the bottom instead of the middle of the screen. The cut out gives a tactile feedback to Emma since it is raised from the screen and we have seen an improvement with using this adaptation for the Yes No program.

The types of interactions we've used the iPad for varied throughout the week. All of her therapists were so happy to have the Yes No and incorporated it into each of her sessions. Some examples of what Emma would respond to:
  • Do you want to keep playing with the X,Y, Z toy - Yes and No were both answered depending on the toy and what she wanted at that time
  • Someone asked Emma Do you have a brother - Emma said No
  • Do you want to go home when at the playground - No
  • When a therapy session was over - Do you want to continue playing with Therapist's Name Here - No. Do you want to go home - Yes.
  • While at the Children's Museum I asked Emma if she was having fun - Yes. And, if she wanted to go home - No. For this one, I asked her this in the bathroom after I changed her diaper. She would not attend to the iPad when we were in the exhibits because there were loads of children running around. I don't blame her one bit for that!
  • Showed her a cow and asked her if it was a sheep - No. Asked her if it was a cow - Yes. Her auditory verbal therapist did this for several items and Emma QUICKLY lost interest in that game - there was no What's in it for me for Emma so she moved on to a game. She just wanted to see how Emma would respond and she was 100% accurate in her responses. I don't think we'll be re-visiting this "game." :-)
The Yes No program is limiting our interactions with Emma to Yes and No responses, but it was a great way to start getting Emma familiar with the iPad and learning about positioning. We are now looking forward to incorporating the First Then Visual Schedule app that I downloaded along with adding the Proloquo2go program for more in depth conversations with Emma.

These are exciting times for us!

7 Comments from readers:

Unknown said...

I am so excited for Emma. My iPad is coming in on Tues. I am going to use it with the Birth to Three kids I work with. I also have a blog and a Facebook page called Babies with iPads. I would love for you to join to share your experiences. I also posted a picture of a stand I found that may help you position it for Emma. Good luck.

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

That is so exciting! I am saving up for an iPad right now for my Peanut. I love the cover with cut-outs. I will have to remember that idea. It's brilliant! I can't wait to hear more about how Emma does with it. :)

Anonymous said...

I found your page through the Babies with iPads group on facebook. I'm SO happy I did! This is the first post I've read and it's given me so many ideas!

I have a little guy with significant delays and we are considering using ProLoQuo. Right now we're introducing iAssist, a $30 app that I think will meet his needs for now as we get used to things.

The cover cut out idea is AWESOME!!! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Yay Emma!!! There's so much I want to ask her!! :)
Liz x

Stacy said...

This is awesome!
I work in early intervention (birth to 3) and I work with one boy who has CMV. I've never worked with another child who has it and helpful information online seems to be scarce. The doctors have a very hard time giving mom any ideas about his potential long term prognosis or functioning.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if insurance will cover this ipad for children with visual impairment, CP, non-verbal......and so on? Or do you need to get it privately?

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