iPad and Autism Workshops - That Work!

Yesterday's iPads & Autism workshop in San Diego was fantastic! The sold-out crowd of parents, professionals, and educators was enthusiastic, and had such great questions and input that I ended up talking for over two hours, and answering questions for almost two hours more.

It was a treat to meet folks from the welcoming, active, and well-organized San Diego autism community. I am indebted to host Janine from GoodKarma Apps -- developer of the crisis-defusing app FirstThen Visual Schedule -- for the invitation, and was delighted to meet her in person after a year of intense online conversations.

If you missed the San Diego workshop, there's always New York City on June 5th! Here are the iPad / autism topics I talked about yesterday; New York's talk will be similar:

How iPads Can Help Children With Autism Learn and Play
  • The iPad: Leo's Near-Miracle
  • Accessibility and convenience
  • Cost benefits
  • So much more than an AAC device!
  • Independent learning
  • Independent play
  • Social cachet - coolness factor with peers, and siblings
  • Evaluating whether the iPad is a good fit for you or your child
  • Overuse: Are we plugging our kids in?
  • iPad type and storage choices
  • Is an iPad 2 necessary?
  • What to do when an iPad is not in your budget - negotiating with school districts and insurance; online fundraising, etc.
  • Protection – insurance, AppleCare
  • iPad Protection – cases versus covers
  • Managing Media: syncing, backing up, preventing content loss
  • Accessibility and using Voiceover
  • iPads in the classroom
  • Apps and more apps! And then more apps!
Get your tickets now, and tell your friends to get theirs, too!

By the way, that online/community fundraising part? It works. Autism mom Deanne Shoyer, who has twins, made my day when she sent the following tweet out earlier this morning:
Special thanks to for the inspiration and support - I've raised all the $ I needed to get ipads for both my boys!
Hope to see some of you in New York! Or, hey, you could always ask me to come give a workshop in your town. :)


    1. Will you be visiting the Northwest any time? I would love to hear your talk up here.

    2. Heh. I'll be there next month, actually - but visiting family.

    3. Darn for the rest of us. I'll have to pass your blog around up here and see if one of the many groups can bring you up for a talk. :) Have a great trip!

    4. Anonymous6:15 PM

      Go Shan Go!
      You make me super proud!

    5. Am thinking we need to start lobbying etc to get insurance to cover iPads as AAC devices.....

    6. Deb, let me know. Would love it.

      Lea, :)

      Kristina, indeed. The irony, in our case, is that Leo rarely uses his iPad as an AAC device -- yet it has encouraged his learning and independence in ways we'd never anticipated.

    7. Thank you for this information on the iPad. I'm going to make an effort to learn more about the iPad and bring that knowledge to my own community. We need it! I see so much promise in this instrument and how it can change the lives of many of our kids. Getting the support behind me will be another matter. Thanks!

    8. Sue COTA/L9:56 AM

      Do you see a carryover from the skills Leo demonstrates on the iPad to using them in real life situations? I am trying to find positive justifications for the use of the iPad for motor skills, social skills, sequencing, etc.,during my OT sessions with my students with autism. Thanks! And great information on your sites!


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