Being a Special Educator and a parent of a young adult with Autism, the ipad sparked my interest almost as much as my son’s interest. Joey ,as everyone at school knows him is the funny, creative and loud in the hallways. Technolgy has always mesmerized him and he knows how to use it. This was his tool to get the social interaction he always wanted, but never could manage before. He sees the world in a whole different light and all those around him have benefitted from his personality. From his expressions such as “the glasses don’t fit on my nose-nozzle” or” uncle you are growing hair on your bald”. Everybody, adults and kids k -12, know Joey and welcome him in their world.
The greatest impact, is that the ipad is a great equalizer. Students who struggle with the everyday tasks that most complete with ease, have a chance to do them independently. Joe will play games with others, he actively seeks out others, which that would have never happened before. He identifies his wants and is constantly asking to down load more on his ipad. In the business ed class he can add ideas, just by speaking into his ipad and finding resources to help the group. His perspective is now has an added value. He is hoping to use the tools on the ipad including checklists, timers, email, dragon dictation and hopefully an iphone to build his own cleaning business. He uses his ipad to volunteer in the senior center playing games with his ipad as he enjoys socializing with his senior friends. The ipad is always with him.
This is all possible with thanks to his wonderful special education teacher and the ipad. I still worry about his future, as he graduates from high school. However, he now has the control to find solutions when he has a problem. He has an amazing tool that he uses better than his mother, me!