15 March 2011

What I want...

I have been dying to get my hands on an iPad for Liam since I started seeing kids with disabilities using them. There are a lot of videos on youtube of kids with various needs using them for play, learning, and communication. My first thought in getting one was to be able to get Liam to communicate with us through it since he doesn't have a voice of his own.  But after seeing all of the fun apps for kids I knew it would be a great toy for him as well. Because Liam can't hold and manipulate toys on his own, to be able to independently play with an iPad would be a dream for us.

Liam's OT, after seeing how much Liam liked smacking the computer button we have, thought trying an iPad would be a good idea. The only problem was that we don't have one and neither does she. Because she hasn't worked with Liam long enough she is unable to ask the school to get one for him. So she did the next best thing. She asked her husband to get her one. 

I had no idea she had it until she showed up with it this past week! I was so excited to see Liam try it.
We started out with a cute app of a barn that would shake and make an animal sound. When Liam hit the door it would open and show the animal inside and say it's name.  We switched from that one to a game where Liam had to hit a moving fish. Once he hit the fish it would say the color of the fish and flash the name on the screen. We then decided to switch to another app. But as soon as we switched it Liam burst into tears and started whining. Our OT had never seen him do that and asked me what was wrong. I said I think he wants to play with the fish!  We switched back to the app of the fish and he immediately stopped crying and started smacking on the screen again. I couldn't believe it! He was enjoying it so much he actually complained which he hardly ever does.

He also passed a goal which was to keep his hands in midline for play for over 30 seconds. He used both hands, together!
  *I know that is a very small amount of time but as you can see, since it is a written goal, it is something that is very hard for Liam to do.

It was such a moment for me because I knew it proved to me and his OT that it was something that Liam needs and it was something Liam would benefit from having. There are so many things that having an ipad will do for Liam. Not only will it help him with gross motor (hand swiping, placement, dragging) but it will help with cognitive development, vision, and communication!

iPads are truly changing the life of disabled children everywhere. Even MIT has engineers working on apps specifically for kids with disabilities. I feel very fortunate that we live in the age we do now that makes learning such a more accessible experience for Liam.

Now we just have to get him that iPad!

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