In the two years since the debut of the iPad, schools have found how beneficial the new technology can be to children with special needs and students with learning disabilities. A student with autism can let his teacher know that he is hungry and what he would like for lunch. Touch screen apps can help kids with fine motor difficulties, while eBooks let students read at their individual reading levels without worry of ridicule from classmates. Many schools across the country are purchasing iPads for their students with special needs and learning disabilities, and are finding that students are more motivated and more self-confident using this technology, despite their educational challenges.
If you are a parent who is considering an iPad for your child, you may find yourself overwhelmed at the costs involved. Besides the initial cost of the iPad itself, there are hundreds of apps designed with children with special needs, and few of them are inexpensive. With careful research, trial periods on some apps, and a little financial creativity, you can make the investment a worthwhile decision.
The case you choose for your child’s iPad is just as important as the apps you purchase. Consider investing in a military grade case, as these typically allow the iPad to be dropped, rolled over, and tossed without damage to the unit.
Non-traditional Funding for an iPad
Insurance companies will not typically cover the cost of an iPad, but there are some non-profit organizations that offer assistance:
The Conover Company is devoted to making apps for individuals with disabilities or special needs. They offer a grant program, the Conover Mobile Technology Grant, to help children and adults live more independent lives through the use of their apps.
Danny’s Wish is conducting a fundraiser, iPads for Autism, where they plan to supply approximately 100 iPads to children in need. Anyone is welcome to apply, and they will choose based on those most in need.
iHelp for Special Needs is dedicated to raising funds to provide iPads and apps to children that are in need. You can help raise funds by shopping at your favorite sites through their links, making a donation or visiting sponsors. An application for iPads and apps is available on the site.