You’ve heard all the buzz, you’ve seen your child’s peers with one, you’ve waited for hours at the Apple store and finally got your child an iPad, so now what? This holy grail has become a bit confusing for parents and educators to navigate. It promises so much. It might help your child communicate, could improve their reading skills, helps with math and more! All lofty promises, but first things first, here’s what you should do once you’ve got an iPad, step by step.
For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible–International Business Machines (IBM) 1991 training manual
Most of us use technology on a daily basis. Perhaps you use a cell phone calendar to remember your schedule. You might use Google maps to direct you to where you’re going, or you might adapt your e-reader with an increased font to make the text easier. If you use one of these, you use technology to make your life easier. For students with learning disabilities, whether cognitive or physical, assistive technology aims to enhance and improve educational opportunities with the use of the latest technology. They do this by bypassing, working around, or compensating for a child’s specific learning disabilities. In speech-therapy, assisstive technology is used to provide access to communication tools that help a child read, write, express or comprehend language.
The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a system to assist people in communication who are unable to do so through speech. The system uses picture cards for communication. It is one method that a child with a severe speech disorder can use to indicate his basic needs and wants. This reduces the child’s frustration and his social isolation.
Speech disorders can range from problems with articulation to problems speaking any words at all, such as selective mutism. Children who cannot speak at all or those who speak very little have difficulty expressing their basic needs and wants. This can become frustrating for them, which may sometimes result in behavioral issues. One solution is providing your child with an alternative means of communication.