The Monster’s favorite toy around the house is his iPad.
Granted, the iPad is a snazzy thing – I’m still shocked at the sheer number that I see of any tablets at all around in public, much less the sheer number of the sticker-price-shocker that the iPad is. ON the other hand, I sometimes question the effectiveness of the device alone in his hands.
We got the iPad through LISS to start supporting his developing speech with some of the applications that we’d used through his special-ed when it was delivered in-house. Between those couple of games and Proloquo 2 Go, we hoped to get him caught up a bit faster, supplement what the SLP in his school was doing, and keep him engaged in ways that other tasks really didn’t seem to accomplish.
Well, for starters, he has little interest in Proloquo 2 Go – he’d rather push the buttons and have it read off nonsense phrases to him.
He has a couple of games that would be, ordinarily, good for helping him either with the academics in his pre-K class or with developing some of the skills that Autism has him a bit light on (like concentration). Again, a major issue is that he likes the sounds these games make more than the actual games themselves, and will happily bounce from application to application just to hear the noises. (At one point, I believe, the wife found he’d opened 97 different applications in the few hours she’d left him with the device.)
There are a good number of very good applications on the pad for him. There are games that have him practice the fine motor skills needed for shaping letters and numbers, or ones that have him follow directions and patterns. And some of these hold his attention for at least a little while before he goes wandering again. A great many, though, are just that little bit beyond his grasp, or have just enough distractions to keep him from concentrating on the intention of the app.
I wish there were ways to lock him into an app, or to customize the sound prompts to reduce how impressionable they are on him, but for now… all we can really do is sit there and try to keep him on track…