There’s An App For Everyone— Even ‘Our’ Kids

H.A.L.O. has funded many high and low-tech devices to enhance learning and quality of life for children with complicated neurological impairment. They include communication boards, basic switches, Big Mack switches and iPads.

“Our kids are especially drawn to iPads so we use them for learning, motivation and recreation,” says Ellen O’Gorman, Executive Director of New England Pediatric Care, a skilled nursing home and day school for medically-fragile children in Billerica MA.

Tech-savvy staffers in the speech therapy department have compiled a list of developmentally appropriate iPad apps (applications). The top pick is the GO Talk app designed for those who have limited or no speech. Teachers also use Super Sound Box and Voice Changer to record and/or change vocalizations so children can hear themselves. Other apps include Pocket Pond, Proloquo2Go, Sounding Board and Fluid Monkey.

Ellen notes that using technology creates common ground between parents and siblings with their family member and increases interaction.

While many apps are free or 99 cents, the more sophisticated apps designed by speech therapists can cost as much as $499. NEPC actively seeks grants and donations to purchase apps and iPads.

Read reviews on apps on these websites: momswithapps.com, iheartthisapp.com, smartappsforkids.com and appstarpicks.com.