Kaitlyn starts kindergarten in just about a month. With our original request/suggestion reaffirmed by the FSU Multi-diciplinary Center last week, Amber and I have begun brainstorming ways that we will be able to assist her to achieve ultimate success.
We know that we will be meeting with her teacher and school district officials during the early part of the school year to develop her IEP, and that will be both time-consuming and stressful. Hopefully any areas where we do not have complete agreement are relatively few, if any, and are easily worked through. Judging by the feedback I got at her screening at her elementary school last week (yes, another screening, but this one was quick and easy), they are on-board with helping us maximize her potential.
At home, however, is where we are in the midst of discussing the inclusion of what we think may offer huge assistance to her with her school work while she is not in school. We heard from our friend Ashley of a program that provides loaner iPads that allows families to “test drive” them with their child for up to 45 days; we are considering this route, but also know that if we were to introduce Kaitlyn to an iPad and then take it away in 45 days, the results would not be pretty. It is still on the table though. The new thought that has crept into our thinking is flat out purchasing an iPad.
I’ve been doing a little bit of research on the connection between iPads and autism, and there seems to be a lot of positive chatter about the influence an iPad has had on those with autism. It makes sense to me, too. Generally, Aspies tend to be socially awkward, and the presence of an iPad acts as sort of a social “ice breaker” and a central point of interest with peers. With its touchscreen navigation, it has been written that Aspies more easily use the keyboard, etc. than they do with your standard PC.
Who knows, maybe part of the reason we are even thinking about this is because of Ashley’s suggestion, or maybe that the Spragues are trying to win one for one of their sons (those of you on Facebook can vote to help them win by liking Aveda Institute Tallahassee and then liking the photo you see below). Regardless of how the seed was planted, the idea has started to grow, and the roots are taking hold. I am not sure how this will turn out because of the expense of an iPad, but the benefits could outweigh the pricetag.