iPad & Speech Therapy
The iPad has
become a significant part of daily therapy use for many SLPs. Recently, I had
the opportunity to interview Jordan Sadler who owns Communication Therapy P.C.,
located in Chicago, Illinois. Jordan has agreed to answer questions regarding
the use of the iPad in her private practice.
Angela: Please describe the setting and age
of the population you are working with on the iPad.
Jordan: I own
a private practice and we serve kids ages 3-12. We use the iPad with everyone.
Angela: Describe the benefits you have seen using the iPad.
Jordan: The iPad provides critical visual support to aid comprehension of
language. It is also incredibly helpful as an augmentative communication device
that aids kids in making transitions and processing emotions.
Further, I have clients who are using it as a
dedicated AAC speech device very successfully. It is easy for kids to
manipulate and so intuitive that they figure out how to navigate apps
Describe the challenges you have encountered using the iPad.
Jordan: I have
had just one child who has had significant difficulties due to a severe motor
disorder. It also has to be very well protected with a strong case to keep it
from breaking if dropped. Also, when kids bring their own iPads and are
familiar with favorite music or games on them, it takes some work to set limits
around which apps can be opened and when.
Angela: What areas have you been using
the iPad in therapy to address?
Jordan: We use
it for language comprehension, early literacy, narrative development,
linguistic concepts in math, voice output/AAC, sequencing, grammar, language
concepts (e.g., prepositions), improving transitions, and improving expression
of a wide range of emotions.
Angela: What criteria do you use for
selecting apps for your students/patients?
Jordan: I look
at their attention level, visual-motor skills, gross and fine motor skills,
developmental level, and treatment goals.
Angela: What area(s) do you find that parents
and teachers need the most training/support in when using the iPad?
Jordan: Parents and teachers need a tremendous amount of support.One of the
most important considerations is simply how to choose from the enormous number
of apps that are touted as being specifically for children with special needs.
It is difficult to figure out
which apps are both of high quality and appropriate for one's child or student.The
next challenge is taking the time required to set up each app; many of the apps
I use for AAC incorporate photos taken with the iPad2 to customize them for a
child; this takes time to learn and can become frustrating for parents and
I am reviewing apps specific to
communication and AAC on my blog and contributing to the Spreadsheet of Apps
for People with Autism that I posted on LinkedIn. I am also providing workshops
for parents and clinicians in the Chicago area to highlight the wide range of
apps out there for AAC and meeting with parents to individualize their iPads
appropriately for their particular child. Everyone has gotten the message that
this device can be beneficial to children with special needs, but then they
purchase an iPad and ask, "Now what?" SLPs can play a significant
role in answering this question.
Jordan for this information on your experience using the iPad!
your experiences with the iPad in the comment section.