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Hello all! I am a pre-service teacher studying Early Childhood and Special Education. We have been learning a lot about autism and ways to communicate with iPads or other technology. What works for your students with autism? Can iPads be used in other ways? Any help or discussion would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Hey Sara! I first started using iPad 1 for my Autistically gifted student, Emily a few years back.
Since Autistic kids tend to be interested in physical objects it wasn't that hard to get her interested in it. The big challenge was finding ways to get more kids engaged at the same time. Luckily the parents here in China mostly can afford that kind of thing so it wasn't long before most of our students got tablets.
To be more specific with Emily ( and actually any student really ) we first showed her some apps that engage the senses ( like monkey ball, temple run, piano, karaoke, art, etc. ) after that we handed it over and let her discover it for herself.
iPads can also be connected wirelessly to bluetooth speakers for noisy fun.
Kate Stone made an amazing touch paper technology that connects with speakers and smart devices. I don't know if she was rolled out her product line just yet though. You can see her amazing talk on www.ted.com
There is the other question of the spectrum of Autism that your kids. No matter where they are in the spectrum a good thing to do is ask their parents lots of questions about what has been working for them, what doesn't, etc. Each and every child is individual and different than all the others. It is easy for people to put labels on students that "belong to this category or that". This type of thinking limits our ability to discover the true potential of each individual. Anyway I'll sign off before I start on my individually tailored education rant.
Hope that helps!
Yes, it does help! Thank you for responding. I never thought of using iPads to engage senses, which would be a plausible way to use it. And like I've learned in my class: "If you've met one student with autism, you've met one student with autism" meaning that we should tailor make supports individually, and not think of them as a whole, like you mentioned. Thanks for the help!
So happy to hear