Saturday, August 28, 2010

Duck Duck Moose apps for iPhone and iPad Review | Kids | iOS Central | Macworld

Duck Duck Moose apps for iPhone and iPad Review Kids iOS Central Macworld I love all the apps from Duck Duck Moose. Look for the demonstration on YouTube at bab0066vpy

App Demonstration Baby Shapes iPad

iPhone and iPad, 6 Reasons Why Children Love Them as Much as Adults | AppsMarketing Blog

iPhone and iPad, 6 Reasons Why Children Love Them as Much as Adults AppsMarketing Blog

More App demonstrations

I have uploaded several app demonstrations on YouTube.  I will be placing one or two each day on this blog and the Facebook page.  If you want to look at them all in stead of waiting then please go to and search for My Channel at bab0066vpy to watch every video and app demonstrations so far.  Thanks

App Demonstration Piano Pups iPad

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

iPad motivating toddler with special needs

This is 2 yr old Bubby who is using the iPad to try to use his left arm and hand more. He is a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome.  He is using the apps Bubbles, I love Fireworks lite, and Baby Shapes.

B plays Sparkabilities App on the iPad

B is almost 2 and he has global developmental delays due to CDG 1a. He is using his vision and fine motor skills to find the little star that is getting increasing difficult to find on the Sparkabilities app

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Baby A and the iPad playing the Rattle app

This is A at 2.5 yrs old and he has cerebral palsy with a mild hearing loss. He is using the iPad to learn to follow directions. He is playing the app Rattle (free).  He has to watch and time his hit to get the sun to move faster. He is in his stander playing games

S demonstrates variety of baby apps on the iPad

This is S and he is 1. He has holoprosencephaly. He is demonstrating several baby games on the iPad. First is the Baby Shapes app, next is Fish School, then Piano Pups, and finally Peek a Boo Wild. S has a very hard time playing with typical toys due to some tightness in his arms and hands but he does a good job understanding and playing with the iPad

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

C tries to draw with chalk/C draws with the iPad

C attempts to use chalk to draw.  C has cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder.  The marks on the board are my marks in attempting to show him how to make marks. 

C using Glo Draw (free) to make marks.  He is able to make marks himself without demonstration and is more engaged in the activity.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Demonstrating the free app Hatch!

This free app Hatch! is great for a little more cause/effect. The egg has to be touched multiple times before it hatches to show cartoon animal. I like it for the antcipation and the repeated attempts at cause/effect.

Sparkabilities HD 1 App Demonstration

This is one of my favorite apps Sparkabilities HD 1 . It is very visually stimulating and as the flash cards keep going the image gets smaller and instead of just hitting the screen anywhere you have to touch the smaller image. The image also becomes more hidden in the background. My only complaint is that the movies move very quickly. The app costs $4.99. I am ready to buy II and the toddler version is in the works from my understanding. You can purchase these in full length DVD and also watch 6 minute sample clips on youtube.

Friday, August 20, 2010

App Demonstration of Look Baby

Look Baby is a free app at  I like to use it for basic cause/effect, to encourage reaching, and to maintain visual attention/fixation.  It has simple pictures and pleasant music/sounds effects.  When working with vision I often turn the volume down or off to minimze distraction.  The child does need to touch the item on the screen not anywhere on the screen which makes it a little more challenging.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Do I HAVE to go out and buy my 2 year old an iPad?

This was a question from one of the moms that I am using an iPad with her toddler.  My answer was 'No'.  I have not met an infant/toddler yet that HAS to have an iPad.  It is just another tool for therapy so far, just like a stander, Big Mac switch, switch toys, Benik Vest, etc.  So no child has to have one but can I see some benefits so far and the answer is 'Yes'.  The first few weeks I have been taking some data.  Nothing scientific or anything.  I did no official testing prior to using or nothing official after.  Just my own judgement call from the experience I have had with the child before using the iPad. 

The Results for 15 children with a variety of dx

Increase in Motor Skills in 6 including more reaching, sitting balance, and hand use

Increase in Visual Skills in 4 including visually guided reach, visual fixation, visual field, and visual attention

Increase in Language Skills in 3 including more vocalizations and increase in signing

Increase in Auditory Skills in 2 including listening

Increase in Cognitive Skills in 4 including attention span and more cause/effect play

Increase in Social Skills in 4 including more engaging (I was most surprised in this area)

2 children were unchanged and showed limited to no interest

I also observed a decrease in social skills with 2 children wanting to perseverate while playing and limited their engagement significantly.

Friday, August 13, 2010

iHelp for Autism - Page 1 - News - San Francisco - SF Weekly

iHelp for Autism - Page 1 - News - San Francisco - SF Weekly I realize most of the articles are titled about Autism and the iPad but the ongoing themes of most of the articles are the same. The iPad is helping children with special needs.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Apps for Special Needs

Apps for Special Needs This is a link to a website and Facebook page called Moms with Apps. They provide almost daily app reviews of the latest apps. They have a special needs section. Another motivator for joining is Free App Friday where they give away the App that is being reviewed.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A father's necessity - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

A father's necessity - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review More parents are creating apps out of necessity. A father developed our TapSpeak app that is used in the video of C. The app looks like a big Big Mac switch and works so quickly to give a child a voice.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lions step up to help teen - The Sun Chronicle Online - News

Lions step up to help teen - The Sun Chronicle Online - News

My favorite apps so far

During the last few weeks I have been playing with this thing I do have favorite apps so far. I know this list will change as new apps come about. In no particular order:


Look Baby (free)

Virtuoso (free)

Sparkabilities Babies 1 HD ($4.99)

Hatch! (free)

Flashlight (free)

Tap Speak ($9.99)

iComm ($7.99)

Glow Draw (free)

Baby Shapes ($2.99)

Peek A Boo Barn ($2.99) Lite version (free)

Ilovefireworks lite (free)

Wheels on the Bus ($1.99)

Itsy Bitsy Spider ($1.99)

Fish School ($1.99)

Story Kit (free)

Lady Bug Song (free)

Little Bella I close my eyes lite (free)



Autism: there's an app for help

Autism: there's an app for help

Saturday, August 7, 2010

E uses beginning AAC/icomm on the iPad

This is E using the AAC app iComm.  I have it programed with a single picture of her favorite toy a lady bug and beside her to the right I have her actual lady bug toy.  E has CVI and this is the first time I have seen her look at a picture and then look at the object.  Sorry my video did not capture the objects but you can see her look at each item and the reflection of the screen in her glasses.  Her sister is helping her touch the screen but my goal was for her to fixate on a picture.  iComm is probably the easiest of all the AAC apps I have tried.  They have a lite version to try without audio and with audio is $7.99. 

The Conversation: iPad Gives Voice to the Autistic

I will be watching this app and how it works in the future. I think the babies and toddlers I work with are not quite ready for this extensive symbol system yet and I don't have the extra $190.00 but it is something I am exploring more.

iComm app

This is my favorite AAC app so far. Great for young children that are not ready for symbols yet. I typically use one of the photo editing apps to make the pictures simple and cut out distracting background clutter.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

iPhone app lets disabled child talk to her parents

iDevices are Life Changers   

Story of Leo and his Near Miracle

The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son With Autism  Click on this link to read the article with videos.  Very inspiring.

My son Leo’s life was transformed when a five-dollar raffle ticket turned into a brand-new iPad. I’m not exaggerating. Before the iPad, Leo’s autism made him dependent on others for entertainment, play, learning, and communication. With the iPad, Leo electrifies the air around him with independence and daily new skills. People who know Leo are amazed when they see this new boy rocking that iPad. I’m impressed, too, especially when our aggressively food-obsessed boy chooses to play with his iPad rather than eat. I don’t usually dabble in miracle-speak, but I may erect a tiny altar to Steve Jobs in the corner of our living room.

Irony: We hadn’t even considered getting Leo an iPad. They seemed awkward and fragile to me, with oversized touch screens that looked as vulnerable as a hermit crab’s exposed backside. I felt more comfortable with the sturdy iPod Touch we’d purchased just two weeks before winning the iPad, and which Leo seemed to enjoy well enough. But our boy has difficulty with fine motor tasks — with making his fingers do small-scale manipulations like pointing and writing — and also, as it turns out, with the tiny iPod touch screen navigation. He can use the iPod Touch, but it doesn’t compel him the way the iPad does.

After Leo spent five minutes with his iPad, I realized that any assumptions I had about it being merely a bigger or a more breakable iPod touch were idiotic. It’s a tough little device. And for Leo, the larger scale of the iPad makes everything he wants to interact with just the right size, and therefore totally accessible. He may have a hard time writing on paper or typing on a computer keyboard, but he is a world-class iPad swiper and tapper, and his excellent visual memory means he can use that swiping and tapping to navigate between apps and videos with precision.

Leo mastered the iPad interface within a day. He explores it, he rules it, he loves it. Example: He used to beg me to play the same video sequences over and over again on TVs or computers, because that was the only way he could feel in control of his videos. Now that the iPad lets him choose exactly what he wants to watch, he’s not only comfortable watching shows in their entirety, but he keeps checking the video home screen to see if I’ve downloaded new ones.

He’s attempting drawings like we’ve never seen before on his iPad, via MagnaDoodle-y apps like DrawFree. It’s so much easier for him to run his finger over the touchscreen than use a pencil, pen, or even crayon. The following drawing may seem simple, but until last week he had never drawn people as anything more than a smiley face with legs. Now we have ears, hats, arms, fingers, and toes! Serious mama bear pride.

But it’s the early learning apps that really let Leo shine, like the spelling program FirstWords. Leo loves this app because it’s fun and easy. I love it because he’s learning to spell words, and the interface makes that learning error-free. Witness how nimble he is, how engaged:

IWriteWords is another intuitively designed favorite, and includes writing as well as spelling — both challenging areas for Leo. He adores it:

Those two spelling apps may be autism-friendly, but they’re not autism-focused. The next app, Stories2Learn, is a social story maker for kids with communication difficulties who need support with excursions, routings, or transitions. Our entire family (and a friend) had a great time putting together the photos, captions, and voiceover for this social story about Leo visiting a local cafe — the process was so easy, and fast, and Leo loves the story so much I had to have his sister demo it, as Leo likes the voiceovers to repeat several times:

Leo may have communications difficulties, but he is a visual boy and a visual schedule pro. We have started using a visual schedule app called First-Then. It comes with a library of stock images, though you can add your own. It took me about 20 minutes to set up Leo’s exact morning schedule, from getting out of bed and taking off his jammies, to putting on his backpack and getting on the bus. Leo almost couldn’t believe that his beloved iPad could contain his beloved visual schedule too.

Kids with communication difficulties have a lot of choices when it comes to AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) apps, which let users tap symbols or icons to produce speech. Choices include MyTalk, TapToTalk, iComm, iConverse, and the robust ProloquoToGo. The most straightforward AAC app I’ve found is iCommunicate, which has a simple “list of icons” option that suits Leo well. The other AAC apps have nested/categorical interfaces that facilitate verbal requesting, but Leo is quite good at that already — what he needs is practice holding a conversation.

We maintain a list of social questions for Leo to work on; with iCommunicate, we were able to create a list of answers to those questions for him to access and tap on any time — and (bonus) he even did some of the icons’ voiceovers. [Note: I was provided with a bonus copy of iCommunicate, but that has no bearing on my opinion. The other AAC apps were more than Leo needs.]

Since Leo was not able to demonstrate the full power of his iPad with respect to AAC, I asked about a power AAC user: Robert Rummel-Hudson’s daughter Schuyler. Here’s what Robert had to say:

I would say that for the most part, the iPad has exceeded our expectations. Schuyler’s level of enthusiasm has been the most positive thing; anyone who has dealt with a child using AAC knows that the biggest impediment to implementation can often be the kid’s hesitance. It’s an unnatural way to communicate, and they sense that. The iPad feels so intuitive and, yeah, so cool that it keeps her fired up about using it.

I know that Schuyler is occasionally disappointed by some of the limitations of the iPad, particularly the lower volume level than she’s accustomed to being able to use on her Vantage in crowded places. She’s also accustomed to the MinSpeak language system on her Vantage, which is a bit more complex and robust than Proloquo2Go, and so we’re constantly trying to customize the app to give her some of the same functionality. Customizing Proloquo2Go is much easier than the Vantage, though. She’s also frustrated from time to time by Proloquo2Go’s tendency to randomly clear the speech area display while she’s putting together a statement, but she’s gotten skilled at using the “Recents” tab to quickly reconstruct whatever she was working on.

It’s also become clear that Schuyler loves how she can quickly move from the “typical” world (games, music, video, etc.) to AAC, and on a device that doesn’t identify her as having a disability.

At this point, the iPad is supplementing her Vantage. This is mostly because she’s still getting accustomed to the iPad, but also because her AAC class is built around MinSpeak. These days, she takes the Vantage to school and uses the iPad at home or when we go out. I don’t see this changing anytime soon, unless Prentke Romich licenses MinSpeak for the iPad. Then all bets are off.

Schuyler loves some of the interactive eBooks like Alice in Wonderland (the one with the crazy, motion-sensitive animations) and read-along books like How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story. She also likes some of the word games like Chicktionary and WordSearch. Although I must confess that our family’s unhealthy addiction to the game Angry Birds began when Schuyler played it on an SLP’s iPhone at a conference a few months ago. She loves playing games on it, too. Which is fine with me, since it keeps her interested and emotionally invested in the iPad as a part of her day-to-day life.

Leo likes to play games on his iPad, too. He currently prefers ShapeBuilder and TappyTunes (he’s a musical boy, after all), is intrigued by Faces iMake (ukelele!), and the Sesame Street games like Count TV (videos!) and Rosita’s Jump Count (shaking!). He is taken by Fish Frenzy (more ukelele!) and Scoops (snore), though he’s still working on technique. So while his gaming might not be that of a stereotypical nine-year-old, he’s got the attitude down — given a choice, he’d rather be geeking out in front of an interactive screen.


More about kids like Leo, and iPads and AAC iDevices:

Inspirational high school student with autism delivers commencement speech using AAC device.

iPad options and guidelines for users with visual, auditory, or other physical disabilities

Closing The Gap “highlights hardware and software products appropriate for people with special needs, and explains how this technology is being implemented in education, rehabilitation, and vocational settings around the world.”

Moms with Apps is a developer and enthusiast group. They offer a free app every Friday.

Speech Language Pathology Sharing: App Resources: Dedicated to Special Ed iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices and applications

Maria Boggan, NerdNews: Apps for Autism: Communicating a Need to Fit In

Dashkara Bascaramurty, Globe and Mail: For autistic kids, iDevices are life changers


Shannon Des Roches Rosa intends to fully document her kids’ iPad addiction on her personal blog, — when she’s not playing uConnect on the family iPad, co-editing the project, and launching a new book/blog project: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism.

Parenting Children with Special Needs

View the Original article

Tags: Autism, iPad:, Near-Miracle

App Resources « Speech-Language Pathology Sharing

App Resources « Speech-Language Pathology Sharing More Apps for Special Needs

App Friday: iComm

App Friday: iComm From Moms with Apps

Monday, August 2, 2010

C uses the iPad as a tool not a toy

Last week we saw C not really interested in the iPad as a toy but he loved the tea set, so this week I wanted to make the activity more challenging. Using the TapSpeak app like a Big Mac switch C had to ask for his toys. He was much happier to use it as a tool instead of a toy.

Playing with ipad

More and more people are using the iPad with kids with special needs

Number Crunching

Number Crunching

In the past 2 week fifteen children ages 14 months to 36 months had time during a visit to interact with the iPad. Each regular visit has an outcome chosen by the family to work on. I used the iPad with each child as another tool to help achieve the outcomes. I gave each child the same opportunity to play with a variety of toddler type apps. If the goal was reaching I used the iPad to encourage reaching, if the goal was sitting I placed the iPad in a way to encourage sitting, etc. The 15 children had a variety of diagnosis: (some children have more than one diagnosis)

     Global Delay of Unknown Etiology 4

     Cortical Vision Impairment 6

     Cerebral Palsy 5

     Hearing Loss 2

     Seizure Disorder 7

     Hydrocephalus 2

     Prader Willi Syndrome 1

     Shaken Baby Syndrome 1

     Holoprosencephaly 1

     Genetic Syndrome unspecified 1

     Schizencephaly 1

     Spina Bifida 1

     Environmental Issues causing delays 1

During each visit typical tools (toys) were used to engage the child in their outcomes prior to using the iPad. The children were then able to use the iPad with appropriate apps selected for them. They were allowed to play as long as they showed interest up to 40 minutes. I rounded the time to the nearest 5 minutes.

# of Children    Amount of Time

      5                  40 min

      1                  30 min

      6                  20 min

      1                  15 min

      2                    5 min

I had worked so hard on pretty little tables with the information and it didn't show up on my cut and paste.  Dang.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stand from Staples

This stand is intended to hold up papers while you type. It holds the iPad up perfect and only costs $7. A piece of shelf liner under it would keep it from moving around.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

J gets mad when you take his iPad away

J gets mad when we take the iPad the first time he plays. I got this reaction a few times. This child always lays down to play as you can see he tried a few times to take it to the floor but using the iPad he sat up nearly 40 minutes to play without fussing. Until of course I took it away then he went after it.  The small portion of the video is only a fraction of the fit he continued to throw as I was writing my note and leaving.  Sorry mom!!!

R J Cooper already offers iPad accessibility items