How iPads Can Help Children With Autism Learn and Play
Shannon Des Roches Rosa leads this in-depth workshop on how iPads can be a dynamic and cost-effective learning, therapeutic, and leisure tool for autistic children and adults. She will also discuss fundraising, research, accessories, and -- of course -- apps.Come! Please! It'll be fun, and ever so educational. Plus you can geek out with a bunch of other iPad enthusiasts.
If you're considering an iPad for your loved one with autism, already have an iPad but aren't sure how best to maximize its potential, or just want to talk about all things iPads & autism, this is the workshop for you!
Then I got a ping from my most excellent BlogHer editor, asking if I could turn around an article on the Marissa's Bunny Missing iPads debacle in under two hours. I am not usually a fast writer, which made the assignment a yipes as well as a must-do. But I'd also been talking about the matter over the weekend with one of my favorite people, Ellen of Love That Max, and so had a bit of a head start. Here's my article's intro paragraph:
I spend yesterday morning at a local university, participating in an autism study. Part of the study was an interview about my experience as an autism parent -- including whether there were any benefits to my son Leo's autism diagnosis. "Absolutely," was my immediate reply, "We have become part of an amazing community -- full of people who support, understand, and trust each other unreservedly." But what happens when someone in our special needs parenting community abuses that trust? That's what many of us are worried about, after the Marissa's Bunny Foundation solicited donations from parents of kids with special needs for the chance to win iPads -- and those iPads never materialized.For more information, Kristina Chew dubbed the situation "iPadgate" and covered it at Care2Causes. And Ellen's original post includes more than one update, plus extensive comments (160+ as of this writing) from parents attempting to analyze the matter, and a number of from Marissa's dad attempting to explain (if you're kind) or spin (if you're a skeptic) his position. I hope there's a way this can play out, other than wretchedly. And I hope none of this negativity affects Marissa herself, or interferes with her family's ability to support her.
free app Songify. All you have to do is say something -- anything -- into the microphone while Songify is recording, and your words will instantly turn into a song! The app comes with a few modes, and you can purchase more (which we might) but Oh My Goodness does this app motivate Leo to speak loudly and at length! The only problem is Songify's instant-addiction factor. Perhaps one day I'll share my "Maps, Giant Squids, and Carnivorous Plants" track with the world, but for now please entertain your self with Leo's own creation, "Pizza Please," and enjoy the satisfaction of championing a cool tune before it lights up the Internet, and comes to the attention of the less-cool.