More than 545,000 children (ages 6-21) have some level of intellectual disability and receive special education services in public school under IDEA, the nation’s special education law. Both educators and parents may struggle at times to find appropriate means to teach skills to children with intellectual disabilities. The iPad is one tool that has proven to be a highly flexible and effective way to teach kids of all abilities interactively. But, among the thousands of available iPad apps, which ones are right for your special-needs student or child?
A volunteer community of parents, therapists, doctors, and teachers, is helping to answer this question. Special Needs Apps for Kids (SNapps4Kids)shares information on how they're using the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices with children who have special needs. After reading my blog iPad Apps to meet IEP Goals, SNApps4Kids thought this would be a wonderful way to reach both parents and school districts.
SNapps4Kids will be running a pilot program for parents or schools to first identify a child with an IEP. Next, a parent survey will be given to identify IEP goals that concern parents or the school. SNapps4Kids will then carefully select two apps per IEP goal. This app list will be followed by a phone call and exit survey after 30 days to see if the parent/school is happy with the apps chosen. The criterion for participation is owning an iPad and paying for apps recommended.
Although the families participating in the first pilot have been chosen, a second pilot will begin in January 2012. Visit www.snapps4kids.com/iep-ipad-pilot-program/ to learn more or apply.
Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South.