Thursday, May 9, 2013

Clinical Skills Confidence: Using the ipad as a therapy tool

Clinical Skills Confidence: using the ipad as a therapy tool

Raise your hand if you love the iPad! Now raise your hand if you're sometimes unsure how to EFFECTIVELY use it in therapy! My hand was raised for both questions (in case you're wondering). 

I love how motivating the iPad is for some students and how you can quickly grab the interest of some kids by simply saying "iPad." I don't love how it can sometimes become a struggle to pull language out of kids when they become engrossed in a game or activity. I don't claim to be an expert on this subject, but I will share my experiences and when/how I use the ipad. 

Typically, I'm using the iPad for different reasons with different kids:

1. Reinforcer/reward: For kids that I can motivate by promising a break using the ipad, this is simple. Set a timer for a certain period of time and earn a "break" (also timed) on the ipad. This can work for individual/group sessions.

2. Articulation: I have a few different articulation apps on my ipad that are great for articulation drill. I like to change it up during a session, so I usually will go back and forth between cards and the ipad.

3. Specific apps for specific goals: There are several apps that target specific skills that I use. For example, Super Duper Publications has a number of their fun decks available as apps. Some of the most frequently used in my therapy room include: What Are They Asking?, Yes or NO, and What Would You Do At School? 

4. Apps not specifically designed for speech therapy (gasp!): My all time favorite app to use in therapy is My PlayHome. Which is probably why I created an app companion packet (check it out HERE). I do plan to create more! I know that I struggle with how to use apps to targets goals, so I wanted to create a go-to packet for SLPs to have at their fingertips for several different goal areas. Other apps that I love to use are books - since they are interactive and fun. That doesn't mean I don't love using "real" books too!

When I DON'T use the iPad:
-with children younger than 4 (generally), unless I have exhausted all other options 
-if the child becomes too preoccupied with using it 
-if I think it will result in "i-tunnel-vision" meaning the child doesn't hear me talking, doesn't respond, and/or completely tunes the world out

I really still like to use cards/board games/TPT materials or "regular" therapy tools whenever I can. I love the iPad for many reasons, but sometimes it's not my go-to item!

How do YOU incorporate the iPad into your sessions?

1 comment:

  1. I'm just getting back into Speech, and hadn't yet starting thinking much about apps for therapy. I like your parameters for use... lots to think about. Thanks for getting my wheels turning!

    Wide World of Speech Therapy