For the entire week, we’ve been discussing iPads, and I’m certain the use of technology with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental delays will show up again and again on this site. I am an advocate for using technology with all students, but a stronger advocate for using it appropriately. Below are four simple rules I follow when implementing the use of an iPad. Please leave any additional rules you may follow in the comment section! Never use an iPad if:
- the child is under the age of three. I don’t care if the app is designed for a two year old! Your two year old should be exploring objects in the environment, not pictures he/she can’t possibly comprehend on a touch screen.
- you do not have a full comprehension of the app you are introducing. I know I’ve already mentioned this in recent posts, but it is important enough to repeat: Do not use the iPad if you don’t have a full comprehension of the app you are introducing!
- your student is acting out. Many students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and developmental delays are handed an iPad to “calm down” when they are tantruming, screaming, or misbehaving in other ways. It is important to teach students to appropriately request the use of the iPad and to accept “no.”
- you have an iPad and are asking yourself “How can I use this in educating my students?” The real question should be “Why am I using this to educate my students?” If you don’t have a good answer to the second question, it’s not the right tool for that particular lesson.