by Lizette Alexander OT Reg. (Ont)

In recent years I have incorporated the use of technology in OT sessions. It began with the use of  the chalkboard apps, as many of the children I work with are tactile defensive and do not like to use chalk when practicing letters or drawing.  I have found that the IPad holds their attention and engages them during lessons and have had great success in using it as a teaching tool. Since it requires the use of a finger (it’s excellent for teaching finger isolation) it eliminates the need to use a writing tool as they learn a new concept.  By the time a child puts pencil to paper they already comprehend the steps involved in making the shape or letter and can focus on the tool in their hand.

In addition, I have used a variety of games both for fine motor and perceptual development.  I have to admit that it’s always with a bit of guilt, as a mother of two, I’m always weary of the amount of screen time a child should get, however, as a therapist it’s been very effective.

I came across this video of a segment from 60 Minutes on the use of technology for communication for children with Autism which I thought was extremely interesting:

Tablets and are apps are expensive, but hopefully, as they become more mainstream, prices will come down.  I haven’t explored this, and it already might be an option, but it would be great if these devices could be prescribed and covered by medical benefits and/or specialized funding through the ministry of health.

Here is another related article:

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