All About Kyle & The Ipad…
December 10, 2011
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Now Reading: All About Kyle & The Ipad…
December 10, 2011
(originally written & published on December 10, 2011)
Many on my Autism Daddy Facebook Page have asked about Kyle and what he does with his iPad, which apps/ games he likes, does he communicate with it, what kind of case he uses, etc,etc, etc
So here goes….
First off you should know that Kyle is quite severe. He is completely non-verbal and his receptive language isn’t great either. They usually place both at the 15-18 month level… and he’s 8…
He gets speech therapy at school. They dabbled in signs for awhile, but nothing stuck. They started with PECS but Kyle never got past 2 pictures, an object that he likes (Cheerios) and something that he dislikes. And even with that he’d be inconsistent. Sometimes he’d only pick the one on the left, other times he’d not care if he got Cheerios or not. As usual with Kyle, it was difficult to find a consistent preferred object, a motivator, a reward to make him do his work correctly.
Also Kyle doesn’t have the strongest point. It’s kinda all over the place. Sometimes with his right hand, other times with his left…sometimes with his index finger, other times with his middle finger. Sometimes if you asked him to point to the letter J on a book with the alphabet it seemed like he knows what your asking but points to a letter around the J (up, down, left, right). At school last year they noted that sometimes when asked to point to something, he’d look at the object, then turn his head away and then point, and get it correct…as if his hand/eye was off….
All of this to say that we were not buying the IPad and expecting miracles. We were not expecting Kyle to become Carly Fleischmann. We were not going to go out and spend $$ on a $100+ speech app like Proloquo2Go yet… We got the IPad in April and just wanted Kyle to think of it as a fun activity, to understand and grasp the touch screen functionality, and to NOT THINK OF IT AS WORK.
So we bought lots of toddler apps (Monkey Preschool Lunch Box, Red Fish Alphabet for Kids) and Sesame apps (Count TV and Elmo Loves ABCs). And we bought some episodes of his favorite tv shows (Sesame Street, Dora, Jacks Big Music Show)… And we built a YouTube “Playlist” of all his favorite Sesame videos.
And so far it has done what we hoped. No miracles, but his point has gotten ALOT better. He recognizes the icons for the apps/ games he likes and can choose them. He knows the icons for YouTube and Videos and can choose them. And then he sees the pics of his shows/ videos and can choose what he wants to watch independently. He can sit (or stand) for 20-25 minutes straight and be engaged with the Ipad in some way. This is HUGE.
So he has taken to the touch screen functionality BIG TIME! So much so, that he’s trying to touch icons on the tv. He’s always poking at it.
We have bought a few very simple inexpensive PECS apps (ANSWERS: YES/NO, VERBAL VICTOR) and he’s doing ok with these but he still sees this as work and some of his old habits come out, like always picking the picture on the left.
But so far we are EXTREMELY happy with our purchase. We send the iPad in to school with Kyle each day and they use it as a reward during some of his one on one time and as a communication device during others…
And many have asked what kind of case I bought that was strong enough to withstand the punishment that Kyle could dish out. Well I did a TON of research on this and after much internal debate I decided on the Griffin Survivor case. They claim that it was tested by the military and exceeded military standards for shock/drop, wind/rain, vibration, sand/dust. They show videos on their website of people dropping ipads off of bridges, etc. So i figured if it’s strong enough for the military it’s strong enough for my Kyle…and so far, so good… It is now on sale at Amazon!
I’ll leave you with a video that gives me alot of hope. This is Kyle correctly choosing the orange in the RedFish ABC game. What I love about this is (a) that he’s getting it right, (b) how good his point is, (c) how much he’s concentrating. For some reason this slot machine type game brings out all the best in Mr Kyle….
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If you’re gonna shop Amazon anyway, can I ask that you enter Amazon by using the link above? This way I can make a little money. This blogging thing has been awesome & life changing for me… but I must admit that it’s taking up a lot more time than I ever thought… so if I can make a few bucks it’ll make it easier for me to justify….Love you all! Thanks!!
Written byFrank Campagna
I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).