#TechTuesday: Keeping your iPad safe but accessible for kids with special needs

2014-02-17 15:09:56 by Laurie Schueler, Media Relations Specialist, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

Michelle Cahoon feels the iPad has changed her 12-year-old son's life, and by extension, her family's.

"Our son, Tristan, has autism and severe anxiety," said Cahoon. "He is now able to go out into the community. The iPad helps him stay calm and he is able to use it to regulate his anxiety. We can attend family events and stay longer than 5 minutes."

When you have to take your iPad on the road to keep up with your family's busy schedule, not just any case will do. And when you have a child with special needs, finding something durable takes on new meaning.

Cahoon shared her case recommendations at a recent support group at Akron Children's Hospital for parents of children with special needs. The group meets every month, but the June meeting was devoted to enlightening families with special needs kids to all the resources available via iPads and tablets.

"We use the iGuy iPad case from Speck," said Cahoon. "Tristan is able to grab the handles and it sits up for him so he doesn't need to lean it on something. It also has a very thick cover which helps absorb any shock from being bumped."

The fun, foamy  iGuy looks a little like Gumby with arms that provide inviting handles for kids. And parents rest easier knowing that when they hear the iPad hit the floor, it is enveloped safely in plush plastic.

Cahoon also recommends these kid-friendly iPad cases:


Protecting the home button

While the iPad and its myriad apps are wonderful for kids with special needs, sometimes the home button poses a problem. Kids may hit it inadvertently (or not) and close an application or even find their way to the control panel to reformat the device (that's happened to me twice!).

Cahoon's son hasn't needed a home button cover, but she has heard other parents and professionals suggest covering the home button. It is just too inviting for kids to push.

One cheap way to cover the home button is by using special stickers called BubCaps. You can buy the BubCap intro pack from Amazon for about $6.99.

Check out more Tech Tuesday posts.

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