Monday, November 28, 2011

The iPad Taking Music Therapy and the World of Special Education by Storm!

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The iPad has recently taken the world of music therapy by storm! There were several presentations at the music therapy National Conference this year about different apps and uses for the iPad and almost every therapist I know has an iPad on their Christmas wish list!

There are new apps coming on-line every month that aim to help children and others with disabilities communicate and learn concepts. I think the reason that the iPad has been so successful is its ease of use, size, weight and just the fact that it is cool! Kids especially love anything that is cool! The typical vocal output devices in the world of special education have been clunky, heavy, and a headache to program. They are also limited by their function and not able to play movies or display programs other than simply saying a word that is chosen from the screen. 

This 60 minutes story is a very positive portrayal of the iPad and other tablet devices and their application in the education of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The story focuses on using the iPad for communication, but also has some interesting news about future research and the use of the iPad for assessment purposes.  The really nice thing about the iPad, not mentioned in the story, is that it also has tons of apps that are useful for creating music and writing songs.  Since kids seem to be drawn to the iPad as well as music, it makes for a lovely match!  I hope you enjoy the video.  One of my favorite parts was when one of the boys suddenly started receptively identifying all kinds of objects that nobody imagined he knew!  


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