My son and I were in line at an Apple store last Saturday for one of the first distributed iPads, and so far, it looks like a really viable and much cheaper alternative to a new full-size computer for him. I haven't gotten much of a chance to play with it myself or fully investigate its available apps, but at this point I can attest that the iBooks are beautiful, book-like, and easy for kids to maneuver; the digital keyboard is big and good for both touch-typing and children's hunt-and-pecking fingers; and the battery life is indeed impressive.
My sense is that this is going to be a fantastic tool for kids with special needs, whether as an addition to a parent's bag of tricks or an actual tool for therapy, learning, and communication. A couple of blog posts supporting that: On Fighting Monsters With Rubber Swords, Robert Rummel-Hudson writes of the potential for the iPad to bring a cool factor to communication devices; and on Asthma Mom, Amy Anaruk imagines the way iPads could transform visits to the doctor, and not just by making the waiting room more tolerable.
Have you been playing with an iPad this week? How have you been using it to help or amuse your child with special needs? Share your experience in the comments.
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