Parents agree that their children are more engaged with their learning when they have the chance to digitize their work and bring it home.
As a parent of special needs twins with autism, I have firsthand experience with how helpful using tablets with my children is.
Here are my 5 tips to help use tablet computers effectively with your child to revisit school lessons at home.
1. Set learning goals for using a tablet with your child. Work on goals that are included on your child’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and ask the teacher for input.
2. Read app reviews with your specific goals in mind. Your child’s goal may be how to express him or herself better, understand others’ feelings, learn vocabulary words or improve math skills. Locate the deficit you’re working on with your child within the app, or look for another.
3. Adjust the tablet settings based on your child’s needs. The device’s rotating screen can be confusing for some kids especially those with special needs. Use the settings to lock the screen. That keeps it in one position, no matter how your child turns it.
4. Monitor how long your child uses the tablet. It’s a tool for improving your child’s skills. Avoid letting them constantly play with the tablet. Alternate it with other learning tools, like books, board games or flash cards.
5. Customize the settings and preferences for your child. Make sure to open and review the “preferences” or “settings” in each new app (if offered). Customize them to your child’s ability.
Tablet computers are a game changer for many children with special needs, learning challenges or those who simply need extra work at home in some areas. Select apps that you can use along with your child.
A good learning program is designed so that you can interact with your child. Look for teachable moments. Pause the app and talk about the specific skill. Ask your child what he or she thinks is the right answer.