iPad + mentally handicapped people = amazing

Discussion in 'iPad' started by MasterHowl, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. MasterHowl macrumors 65816


    Oct 3, 2010
    North of England
    I volunteer at my local Mencap group, which is an organisation for adults with learning disabilities/difficulties. Most of them are unable to live totally independently in the community because they pose a danger to themselves... only a handful of them can read.

    We meet once a week for two hours, and there are various activities for them such as pool, dominos, bingo, etc. We also make them cups of teas and stuff.

    Anyway, last night, I took in my iPad with loads of photographs I took of them over the past few weeks for the Mencap photo album, and they loved it!

    They were all passing it around having a go at flicking through the photographs, and some of them even got the hang of pinching into other albums and zooming into photographs... amazing they learned how to do it so quickly on their own considering these people can't even read and live under 24/7 supervision.

    My uncle is part of Mencap... he is 41 years old but has the mind of a 6 year old... I sat him down at my kitchen table after the meeting and put some of his favourite songs on YouTube for him. I came back 15 minutes later, realising he was probably sat there waiting for the next song to start, to find him effortlessly navigating through YouTube! Again, amazing how quickly he got the hang of it considering he can't read or write. My only guess is that he was using the large thumbnails to choose the next video, and the simple interface helped him along.

    So what I'm really trying to say is that I've found the iPad to be an amazing tool for working with mentally handicapped people. They thoroughly enjoyed using it. I never realised just how intuitive it is to use until last night. It's going to be even better when iOS 6 comes out and the home button can be disabled. I can see myself using it a lot in the future to show them things, and maybe do some activities using it.

    I just thought I'd share my experience with you all!
  2. AR999 macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    TLDR; She likes the ipad.
  3. BFizzzle, Jun 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012

    BFizzzle macrumors 68020


    May 31, 2010
    Austin TX
    i agree, i work with bethesda, young life dallas location. The kids loooooove using the ipad. its easy for them to play games as opposed to a video game console.

    Pictures are always a hit too like you said.

    they have them all over the us, if anyone is interested
  4. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    I'm an Austronaut
  5. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    For once, this thread title is a literal one, I must say, I expected a different thread body entirely.

    Not a bad thing, mind you!
  6. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Sounds like my cousin and her 3-year old son. She leaves him with the iPad, then keeps being surprised when she returns and finds him doing something new and unexpected (to her) with it. I always snort and tell her kids are smarter than she thinks.
  7. martosprint macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    I enjoyed your post Masterhowl, it was very inspiring.
    North Florida 
  8. taipan61 macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2011
    corner starbucks
    just saying thanks for posting this...:D

    the ex is a home and hospital teacher for special needs kids and young adults; she received her masters using the ipad as the theme for her thesis
  9. BFizzzle macrumors 68020


    May 31, 2010
    Austin TX
    legit! my girlfriend is on her masters for elm special ed.
    i should tell her to do that too. thanks for the idea
  10. BlakeBrattina macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2011
    Bay City, MI
    My fiance', now holding her Masters in Psychology, had completed plenty of internships and held numerous roles where she worked directly with these types of disabilities. It goes without saying that they have allowed a higher level of learning for any and all people, truly incredible.
  11. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    very nice read, ty for posting :)
    to me mentally challenged people are pretty intelligent. Sure they can't do what we deem "normal" but who knows what normal really is lol. My aunt was born with a speaking problem. When I first met her (I was ~8 ish?) i could understand her. She wasn't speaking gibberish, rather she was speaking my native language (granted she was raised with people speaking that language] but it's amazing how she caught on and you know started to form sentences of her own. She came with my grandmother a few months ago, and we had a decent conversation about puzzles, games, music, toys, and stuff like that.

    The human brain is honestly a work of art (i believe the disconnected neurons are somehow connected over time via new pathways, right?)... it's just really remarkable!!
  12. BlakeBrattina macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2011
    Bay City, MI
    Entirely agree. Where areas lack, the brain finds a way to exert in other aspects. There are so many unbelievably talented musicians for example.
  13. maliu macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
  14. Legios macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2012
    Apple did make the navigation easy, My 2 year old can navigate it easily.
  15. Lunchb0x8 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    Aberglasslyn, NSW, AU
    You are a gem for working in that situation and even better for handing your iPad over to them to have a go, I know so many people who would hesitate at the thought of showing an iPad to someone with a mental disability.

    Glad it was so easy for them to pick up how it works and it sounds like your uncle playing with it would have been an amazing and sweet thing to see.
  16. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    My Daughter is Autistic and loves her iPod touch. She picked it up so easily. We now have an iPad as well and I quite often hear her say, when are you going to get mummy the new one so I can have this one!
    I didn't realise how much she would be into them. She can spend 6 hours just drawing on colours or playing her favourite apps. We bought her a 360 Kinect but she barely touches the thing.
    Thanks apple for making iOS so easy to pick up. Now I just need to convert the grandparents so we can Facetime and stuff.
  17. noisycats macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    The 'ham. Alabama.
    love this.
  18. driftwoodtea macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2011
    Edinburgh, UK
    I think this puts into perspective a lot of the posts on this forum. I really enjoyed reading this.
  19. BlakeBrattina macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2011
    Bay City, MI
    It truly is amazing. My fiance' mentioned they have all of them in very safe cases as well for any situations (should they become temperamental, etc.). The poster above who mentioned it's not that people cannot learn, they just need to right tools (paraphrased) said it best!
  20. Indigovalley macrumors regular


    May 14, 2011
    Minnesota, USA
    I am a special education teacher at a high school. We are using iPads exclusively with our special needs students including those with more significant cognitive challenges. Most special needs students are visual learners and the immersive visual presentation of the iPad focuses attention and increases motivation to remain on task. The intuitive touch interface is easy for our students to learn and they quickly become independent when working with apps. I have seen significantly challenged students who cannot even speak just fly along with an iPad taking photos, playing games, and learning basic skills. Our speech clinicians are also using the iPad to teach speech/language skills. It can also be used as a personal communication device for non-verbal students. I think there will be more and more iPad use with special needs students over time. It's just an amazing tool...
  21. Benson11 macrumors regular


    Mar 18, 2012
  22. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Very nice….I am hearing impaired too. I really love my iPad :apple:

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