Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Guest Blogger...Kelly tells us about AnnaKate getting an iPad for Christmas

AnnaKate got an Ipad for Christmas. Sounds a little extravagant for a 4 year old, unless you are a special needs parent and then you understand. The Ipad has become quite the communication tool. I wanted to share how we have been using it with AnnaKate.

First, the case…

I was a little hesitant to get the OtterBox case but after a few negligent tosses by sweet girl…we knew it was the right move. The OtterBox makes the sleek, light Ipad a little heavy and bulky but it is great for protection. It even came with a screen protector that went on perfectly. I highly recommend this case if you have a rowdy child using the Ipad. :)

The purpose…

The purpose of the Ipad is to provide AnnaKate with an alternate way to communicate as she develops her speech.

The apps…

I have spent an extensive amount of time researching communication apps. The gold standard right now is Proloquo2Go - AssistiveWare. It is an amazing communication program. I have not purchased it for 2 reasons:

1. It is $199.99.

2. It is a little more than what we need right now for AnnaKate. I could program it to suit her needs for now but I have decided to try some less expensive and more simplified apps first.

Communication apps we are currently using:

Verbal Victor - Seed Stage Associates, iCommunicate for iPad - Grembe Inc.  and
My Choice Board - Good Karma Applications, Inc

We have set up one entire icon screen with all of AnnaKate’s apps. She knows to swipe to her screen to find her apps.

Here is a screen shot of Verbal Victor - Seed Stage Associates, . Right now it is AnnaKate’s favorite communication tool. It is very basic and only costs $9.99. I like that AnnaKate can easily move through the screens to find the phrase she may want to say. I can see how she could outgrow this app but it is easy to use and great for our needs right now.

This is iCommunicate for iPad - Grembe Inc.. I like this too but we don’t use it nearly as much as Verbal Victor. It is not as easy for AnnaKate to navigate by herself. It costs around $20.00

My Choice Board - Good Karma Applications, Inc is great! This helps us with alleviating some frustrating moments in our house. We have created boards for what she wants to eat for meals, what she wants to watch on television, what she wants to play, etc. She loves touching the picture and hearing the word. This app costs about $9.99. Visually it is the most “cute” of all the apps with the neat little clipboard.

Other uses…

I was very hesitant about AnnaKate using the Ipad for non communication things. I didn’t want it to become a play toy and not be used for the intended purpose. I quickly found out that she needed practice learning to swipe, move through screens, etc. So we downloaded some apps that would help with that as well. So these are fun apps but help with navigation too. They also all expose her to language. It was neat for us to see how fast AnnaKate picked up using the Ipad.

Fun apps..

She loves being able to play her own music with Toddler JukeBox: Twelve Children's Songs (Wheels on the bus and more!) - Tipitap.

Peekaboo Barn - Night & Day Studios, Inc. is a cute app that practices animal names and sounds.

This is a great interactive Sweet Dreams, Maisy by Lucy Cousins - Iceberg Reader book.

Duck Duck Moose has made some great apps. We have most of them. This is Baa Baa Black Sheep - by Duck Duck Moose - Duck Duck Moose. AnnaKate has to find objects, match objects and navigate through the pages.

Babies with Ipads (the blog and Facebook page) has been a great resource for us. It lists great apps and also notifies you when useful apps are on sale or free.

The Ipad has become a great addition to our family. It has helped AnnaKate’s communication immensely and has become a fun thing to do together.

*This is a picture of AnnaKate and Billy listening to music last night. AnnaKate was changing songs with her feet! Silly girl…

Apple iTunes

Thanks for sharing AnnaKate's experiences with the iPad so far.  Looking forward to reading more by visiting


  1. Thanks for your sharing, it helps me a lot in choosing apps. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  3. Thank you for an honest review. I'm glad to know which is the easier to navigate!