Ipads for Tots


“I’m old enough for my own ipad, Mommy. I’m sixteen months already!”

 

Ezer Mizion’s VOCA Division, which serves the speech impaired, is always in the forefront of new technology. The latest in hi-tech apparatus to enable communication without speech is made available to those in need. Many a community member, through accident or illness, has lost the ability to speak and no longer feels himself to be a member of the community in which he had played a significant role. Alone, separated from society, he has thoughts and opinions that remain imprisoned inside himself, unable to be shared with those around him, even his own family.

 

For the speech-impaired child, the situation is even more devastating as communication is essential to his development. The child who cannot make his needs and ideas known cannot readily move from stage to stage. His normal development is delayed or arrested and he remains cognitively disabled.

 

The special needs child whose speech has not developed due to his delays is even further delayed in an imprisoning cycle of his lack of speech hampering cognitive development which, in turn, hampers speech development ad infinitum.    For the special needs child, the equipment made available by Ezer Mizion’s VOCA Division not only ‘gives a voice to those who cannot speak’ but breaks the cycle and enables the child to communicate with those around him allowing him to mature to the next stage.

 

When iPads, iPhones and iPods were first marketed, there was a lot of talk about their potential for making video viewing, reading books and newspapers, games, social networking. office apps and more, easily accessible.

Millions of i-gadgets have since been sold around the world. With the development and increased presence of the i-devices, children have been exposed to them and are playing with them at increasingly younger ages.

The enormous potential of these devices for children with developmental delays was discovered. These i-devices can be used for learning, for promoting and broadening organization, time management and communication skills, developing language and social ability, along with behavior modification.

Ever since the initial appearance of i-devices, thousands of applications have been created geared to children with special needs.

Today the iPad has become one of the most efficient tools used by early childhood developmental professionals as part of their therapy agendas. It is readily available, relatively inexpensive in the long-term in comparison to other products (toys, books), and very attractive. For the early childhood developmental professionals, i-devices are practical and friendly.

This equipment has long been a mainstay at VOCA under the guidance of Yonit Hagoel-Karnieli, Director of Ezer Mizion’s VOCA Lending Center. At the recent Israel Child Development and Rehabilitation Organization National Conference, which brings together the elite of Israel’s early childhood developmental professionals, Yonit  portrayed in a fascinating presentation the marvels of iPads and their use in creating reciprocity, stimulating response, turn taking and language sequencing for special needs children.

For further info: ezermizion.org

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