iPads for therapy: Using TinyTap for special needs
Parents, teachers and therapists of special needs children face many daily challenges that go far beyond what those working with other children are aware of. Among other things, these children require a very focused teaching strategy to help them overcome learning difficulties and enable them to blossom and reach their highest potential.
A stifling number of children’s apps and games exist in the digital realm today. Identifying apps that are suitable for a child is difficult enough for any parent, just as finding apps that can be integrated into a lesson is never easy for any teacher. For those raising and teaching a special needs kid, the search for the perfect app that applies to the child’s specific personal situation can be more challenging yet.
TinyTap is the answer to all of these difficulties. Many games on the TinyTap market are suitable for the targeted education of special needs children. In addition, parents and teachers can make use of the TinyTap app creation platform to create virtually any game that is not yet available on the market. This allows for a personalized and specialized teaching experience for children of all ages and capabilities.
A special ed teacher from Spain shared how she integrated TinyTap into her lesson using two different approaches. First, she instructed groups of students that needed language reinforcement to create a game in which they needed to recognize each classmate in a group photo by name. Recording each question helped these students practice their use of language. For a student with Down Syndrome, the teacher created an app that was more specifically geared towards remembering classmates by utilizing individual photos of each student and giving the option of two names below the photo. The student for whom the game was created needed to identify which name belonged to the student portrayed in the photo.
An early intervention teacher noted that the setup of TinyTap apps was specifically helpful for learners with special needs; after several wrong attempts, the correct answer is highlighted and the prompt is repeated. There is also a replay button, which allows for further repetition of the prompt. The teacher recommended the use of TinyTap for language, maths, literacy and English Language Learners (ELL) related objectives.
A Speech Language & Occupational Therapy specialist used TinyTap to convert books into apps, which enabled her students to interact with the books in a more engaged manner than they ordinarily would. Creating these individual book apps took her less than 15 minutes.
A specialist for integrating technology into special education recently ranked TinyTap as a top app for working with special needs kids, rating it 5/5 stars.
Check out some existing games in the TinyTap market and how they can be of use to special needs children:
Special needs kids can have a hard time differentiating between genders. This straightforward game was created by one of our Spanish users to help special needs children practice telling apart boys and girls.
This app helps children interpret outside influences and react to them. Kids must decide which clothes Billy needs to wear in order to keep warm, equipping them with the knowledge they will need when winter comes around. Special needs kids often find it difficult to adjust to changes. Practicing what clothes we must wear in winter helps these kids prepare for the change in weather and gives them a feeling of comfort and familiarity with this new situation.
Getting organized and preparing for daily activites can present itself as a challenge for special needs kids. In this adorable game created by one of our young users, children get a chance to practice going about a daily routine and can relate it back to their own day-to-day morning tasks. This app equips children with the tools they need to become more independent.
Special needs children, particularly autistic kids, can find it hard to understand idioms. Instead, they tend to take things literally, which can lead to great confusion in day-to-day life. A pediatric speech pathologist has created this great educational game to help these kids learn the figurative meanings of common idioms by providing them with context clues.
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