Need some help finding good iPad Apps for disabled 6yr old girl

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by Scottsdale, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #1
    I just bought my daughter an iPad 2 for her sixth birthday. She has used a 13" Mac to watch movies, but she cannot quite see well enough to track mouse pointer for anything else and coordinate the movement on the trackpad. She basically is just using it for Skype to video chat with me and movies but her mom has to help her when using it other than she can stick a DVD in and it will autoplay her movies. I bought her an iPad 2 thinking it would be a much better solution as she can touch exactly what she wants to do. Speaking of this, I want to be able to put movie "shortcuts" on her iPad's screen so she can just click the icon and the movie will start; does anyone know if this is possible? Basically like a shortcut that sets it to autoplay a movie.

    I am looking for some good apps for children with both visual impairments and muscle coordination if there are any plus general education related that may speak the text so she can hear what she sees to help. I feel the school system is failing her miserably, as she is really smart but the school isn't providing text she can see, or enough assistance to learn things. She has been able to say the alphabet since she was 18 months old, but she still cannot tell the difference between certain letters as they blur together, and school is just bypassing that. She can see a letter and knows it, but if there is a word she cannot tell the difference between the letters, so she just ignores it. Basically, I need to find an app that shows text larger so she can see bigger everything on her iPad.

    I also want educational apps that will help her with all of the things she should know but I would like to be able to have those apps read to her by the iPad at the same time so she can follow along. She speaks two languages fluently and helps me learn things, so I don't understand how it is that the school system is failing her so badly. She can see a 28-point font and that is with glasses, and she has problems with her muscle control and her hands shake as though she has Parkinson's disease. For those curious, it is related to the myelin in her brain which isn't forming properly, but she was born with the condition... there is a movie about it called Lorenzo's Oil, but in the movie the little boy's brain was normal and it began losing myelin. My daughter's brain has sorta rewired, but it affects every muscle in her body including her eye muscles, hands, and even her heart.

    Please recommend any iPad App you know of that helps kids learn by speaking the text as well as showing it in larger fonts or anything that helps kids with disabilities learn. My daughter is so sweet and an amazing person, and I want to help her enjoy life more and educate herself using the iPad. Thank you very much in advance for any recommendations.
     
  2. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    #2
    I don't know about specific educational apps, but the kindle app lets you set the fonts very large, it would probably be a good way for her to start trying to read books. Even iBooks only offers two sizes, but kindle goes much larger. Kindle can also present te books as white on black instead of black on white - I don't know if that would help your daughter, but it is easier for some visually impaired people to read.
     
  3. DuckSoup, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

    DuckSoup macrumors 6502a

    DuckSoup

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Upstate Central NY
    #3
    My niece works with autistic chlidren of all ages. She goes to the clients homes to work with them in their home environment. A fair amount of them have iPads set up to help the children and I know they have specialized apps.

    I'll copy and paste your post into an email to her and see if she can come up with some suggestions for you. I am certain some of what her clients use may be useful for you and your daughter.

    Mike
     
  4. Sanveann macrumors 6502

    Sanveann

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    Wish I had some suggestions, but the only apps I'm familiar with for special needs kids are more aimed at children with ASD.

    As far as the school goes, raise holy heck. Write a letter to the superintendent and cc it to everyone you know who's remotely important, as well as the local paper. I fought with our district for months to get them to even evaluate my older son (who has sensory issues and possibly Aspergers), and that was how I finally accomplished it. They couldn't meet with us fast enough after that. As a friend of mine who is a special ed teacher told me, mostly they just want to get parents to shut up and will do what it takes to make that happen!
     
  5. soco, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

    soco macrumors 68030

    soco

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
    #5
    Aw this is so awesome that you're going the extra mile! Extra points :)

    The only thing I can think of off of the top of my head is that I think the newest version of iBooks can read some books aloud and I know you can change the text size and everything.
     
  6. misdy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #6
    There are a lot of interactive children's books out there that should be just perfect for a 6 year old. I have a cousin with special needs (also 6) and he just loves them. Almost all of the kids books on the iPad have a feature that will read the story aloud automatically, and even turn the pages.
     
  7. Scottsdale thread starter macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #7
    Great information. Thanks to everyone who has replied.

    I will try out the Kindle app, and I had heard about having audio and voiceover but I didn't know that iBooks did it for most kids books.

    I have a great place to start. Please, any other advice will be greatly appreciated.
     

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