Mike took the kids to get donuts and bagels and coffeeee and juuuuuuice, so I thought I'd update. He is doing pretty well with the iPad, we are going to have to find our way with it, and he certainly hasn't just picked it up and started communicating, but he is interested in it and that is a great start.
I downloaded some free apps, including these ABA Flashcards. He likes the alphabet one, which shows the alphabet, obvs, and a word that starts with the letter, AND a voice says what the thing is. Like A is for Airplane and a nice woman's voice says Airplane when you look at it. You can either arrow to the next letter (B, for those unfamiliar, ha!) or you can swipe your finger across the screen. This is what we are trying to get Anthony to do. After four or five letters, it plays beautiful classical music and shows notes dancing across the screen. There's also animals, food, emotions and ... something else I can't remember. Anthony likes the alphabet and the animals, so far. They were free for the month of April. We have good timing, at least, in getting the iPad, because there are a lot of discounts and free apps for Autism Awareness Month.
We downloaded the Grace app, which Anthony and his speech therapist are working on. I had seen it on a friend of a friend's blog, she showed how customizable it was and it is. Anthony is not taking too it too well, yet, but we are hopeful he will come around. It's sort of based on the PECS system and Anthony has never had too much interest in pictures to communicate, try as we might. He always just hands us the picture and says what it says in his voice, and he's kind of patronizing about it, as if WE are the ones that need the picture. I have been talking to the programmer of the app and have gotten some great information.
We bought all of Anthony's favorite Signing Time songs for our iTunes a while ago, and then since I forgot, I bought them AGAIN last month, and I also bought a cd for Anthony to have at school, so I moved his Signing Time songs to his iPad and he really, really liked it. Then Mike mentioned maybe there were videos we could buy so I looked on iTunes and while there weren't videos available, for only $4.99 I found a Signing Time App (cue angels singing, crying in happiness) and it has flashcards AND videos, INCLUDING Anthony's favorite, which is "Show me a Sign". I love it too, actually, it was one of our first songs, when he was so little, and I bet I sang it 1000 times before I could sing it without crying. The lyrics go:
How are you doing, little one, my little one, my little one
I'd like to know what's on your mind.
Our days together, time together, you and me, are one on one
These are the times that make me smile - you make me smile!
Tell me that you love me, tell me that you're thinking of me.
Tell me all about the things you're thinking, day and night both day and night.
Tell me that you're happy and you love it when we're laughing. Tell me more, tell me more,
Show me a sign.
Every day you grow up more, you teach me more and more what I'm here for,
and every day I love you more, I love you more, I love you! (this is typically where I really lose it)
Waaaah! We love it and he loves the song but also the signs, so now his therapists can use the app to see the video and learn the signs themselves. So. Winning! is what I'm saying.
I also had two apps sent to me from Ruckus Media and we are going to start checking into those this weekend. I also want to get the app iCommunicate, which I hear great things about and which I think might be a good transition for Anthony to the Grace app. He seems to like to hear words and it intrigues him, coming out of the iPad and we want him to be interested in it first.