Okay, new year and a new series. Raymond was fortunate enough to receive an Ipad from the Autism Society of Northern Virginia. ASNV received grants from UPS, Peachtree and Children’s Charities that enabled them to give away 23 Ipads. Over 50 folks entered and we were one of the lucky 23 families who won one the lottery drawing! We’ve had it a month now and we have discovered some cool apps to make things easier.

1. iCommunicate – great app that does visual schedules and visual menus. It has a couple formats. The first is a 10 X 4 format that puts up to 4 pictures on a line. This one is okay, but my personal favorite is the task completion format. It leaves the current task up on the screen until you move it to the next task. Much easier for Raymond to follow and a usefool tool to get him back on task. It has over 10,000 of its own images but you can add your own as well. There is also a google image search feature which is quite handy. My favorite bell and/or whistle: you can record a verbal version of the schedule as well.
Cost: $49.99

2. iReward – made by the same folks that make iCommunicate, iReward is a token/reward system. Again, you can use your own images or use theirs. You get to set the number of tokens for the task, and when you get the final token keyboard cat plays you off, which Raymond finds hilarious.
Cost: $4.99

3. Time Timer – Yes, the Time Timer is on Ipad! The good news is that its easy to use. The bad news is that it only works when it is the primary app, so you can’t set it and then do something else on the Ipad. I dislike this, so I’ve written to the developer about it and hope they fix it. Still, if you need a visual timer this one is good.
Cost: $4.99

That’s all you need to get started. However, I did pick up a few other apps that I think are the cat’s meow.

iBiomed – Holy sweet mother of all that is awesome do I love this app! We’ve always been trying to find a good way to track supplements, therapies, journals, etc. This program lets us do all that! Treatments include supplements, medications, diets, tests and alternative treatments. The daily summary tells you what is supposed to be administered based on your entries, so if your child gets a medicine or supplement every day it shows up! There is a journal function and even a way to input evaluations. Best of all you can email reports or share them to another device. Highly recommended app.
Cost: free for the first 10 therapies, then $12.00 per person

Stories2Learn – Cool social story app, but requires some front end work. There are no stories loaded, so you need to get your own pics and transfer your stories. Not too tough for us, as we have a book full of social stories that we just had to type in. Once they are in, they rock. It does take some work though, so I know this app isn’t for everyone.
Cost: $13.99

There are also some free apps I suggest, like Kindle, which lets you download free classic books, and NASA, which gives you access to all kinds of cool space footage. However, you should tailor it to your needs. We have success using the visual component with homework. Making science visual is a huge step forward for Raymond. At any rate, if you have questions or want to recommend an app, please post it below! This list is by no means definitive, and I will be adding more posts in this category as we explore the Ipad.

One final note: buy a sturdy case. Ours has already gone sailing across the house…

twice. đŸ™‚

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