Thursday, April 21, 2011

{Special Needs iPad: App Review}

Angela iPad-1

Last week I purchased this very cool app for Angela to play with.  I had no idea of just how cool it really was until I myself started playing around with it.  The app is called Alpha Baby.  They offer a free version but the in app upgrade is inexpensive ($0.99) and makes it way more customizable.

Some of the apps great features are that you can record you own voice for almost everything -- all the shapes, colors, letters and photos.  You control how big the graphics are displayed and also how many graphics you want on a screen at any given time.  This is very useful for kids with visual impairment.  Sometimes too many object on a screen can be very difficult for Angela to comprehend -- simple is best for our little girl. The option of size of graphic also comes in very handy when using the quiz mode, which I'll touch on in a sec.

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When Angela touches the screen, which we have chosen as white but also is totally customizable, the objects appear.  You can choose to display a mix of numbers, letters, colors and images or just simply pick one or a mix of the different learning topics.  Once the objects are displayed, which also are accompanied by ether a computer voice or your own, she is able to drag the objects as well as magnify and shrink it, depending on how long she holds her hand down on the screen.

The iPad is amazing for kiddies with special needs, particularly Cerebral Palsy, but often time the accuracy of the child's aim is poor, which makes using some of the app a source of frustration.  Well, this app has a built in quiz feature, which is a great tool for practicing the accuracy of each touch.  I'm sure it was meant as a learning tool to find a specific number out of a series of numbers, letters, colors or photos, but if you turn down the number of objects displayed be set at one and enable the quiz function the it becomes a game of hit the target.  Once the target is hit you can use the computer's voice to reward or you can record you own exciting message for you child to hear -- so very cool!

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We uploaded lots of photos that represent Angela's daily life like, toys, iPad, walker, and family members and had each of us record our own voice on the different photos.  So when Angela hits a photo of Adam, she hears his voice saying, "daddy".  This makes the image she sees with her eyes connect with the voice she hears and helps her overall understanding as well as her visual abilities.

This app gets a two thumbs up from this mommie!

Click Here to read my other special needs iPad app reviews.

6 comments:

britta said...

You should write a review in the app store! My friend makes iPhone apps over at taptaptap.com and really appreciates hearing from people, so I am guessing other developers are the same! And I am guessing other special needs mom's would love to know that too!!

JayCee said...

Cool! There are so many helpful things out there these days!

Michele said...

I saw this article in the Tulsa World and thought it might be something you would like to read. It pertains to TU students building a machine to show a child with cerebral palsey how to crawl. Here is the link: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20110421_11_A11_CUTLIN481784

Team Carter Jay said...

Very cool! It's amazing how much the Ipad can do for special needs kids!

Susan said...

Hi. A friend pointed me to your blog. We wanted to ask about the stand that you're using for the IPad. It appears to be a swing away arm that attaches to the chair and we'd love to know who make it and where to get one. Thanks! And thanks for the ap review.

Sherry C said...

Hi Can I ask you how you mounted the ipad on the wheel car. Do you order a car mount or have the company that supplied the wheel chair help with this. I asked for a mount when ordering my daughters chair and it's $550 and my insurance company doesn't want to pay.. I was wondering if there is a cheaper way?
Beautiful blog by the way I found your blog via Team Carter's blog. I have a six year old girl with special needs to and she getting an iPad for her voice and for some play too.