Now, I’m not one to admit when I’m wrong and I never back down on an argument BUT I’m caving in and buying Jude his own iPad for Christmas. Sorry…Santa is bringing him one. And sorry for saying Christmas in October, it’s highly unlike me.

 

I’m not a technophobe and neither am I adverse to children being able to spend a bit of time playing games on tablets but what I detest, is people allowing their children to have them 24/7. I see children in restaurants staring at a screen rather than being taught how to converse and socialise in this sort of environment, I’ve also seen children in buggies with iPads which I find just bizarre because of the amount of wonderful things they can see when out on a walk. Now, I’m not making a blanket rule here and I’m sure people have perfectly viable reasons for using tablets so freely but, I’m mean and will only let the children have their tablet as long as it doesn’t take over their lives and they don’t morph into mute zombies incapable of expression or comprehension.

 

Thankfully for everyone involved, our children love being active, exploring the great outdoors and generally being busy so I’m not sure why I’m so phobic of iPad usage. 

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I’m quite lucky at the moment because our iPad is broken. It has a set entry passcode and yet again, Jude has put in the incorrect number too many times so it has permanently disabled (ironic use of language there Apple!) I will get it fixed but in the mean time, my rather archaic feelings towards technology is safe in the knowledge that the children cannot melt their brains through watching endless YouTube videos or by playing potentially directionless or somniferous games for hours. I think that’s my problem; I’ve always wanted them to have games and activities that can help them progress in some way and I, up until recently, could not see how a tablet could be used as anything other than a time killer or a free babysitting service.

 

But how wrong am I?!

 

I have been looking into reasons why iPads are not evil and how they are actually particularly useful for disabled children. Here is my conclusion in list form:

 

  1. iPads do not need you to have any particular strength so the touch screen really suits a child like Jude who has poor dexterity and even poorer fine motor strength. He can touch the screen with any particular force and it will respond.
  2. The apps can be as simple as you like and the ones Jude particularly enjoys, such as shape sorters or        object/number ordering, help him to problem solve and learn to work things out for himself. Apps often function in a naturally sequential way so he needs very little support in managing them.
  3. They help Jude’s verbal communication. When he has his iPad, it stops him getting trapped his routines and gives him another focus to his time. He often chats more openly through prompts on the screen (i.e. what he’s playing, what picture he’s made, colours, shapes, etc) and this allows him more material with which to fire up a conversation.
  4. Calming. Jude can sit and play games on the iPad for ages and it helps him to centre his attention on one thing and thus not run around like a lunatic for a short space of time.
  5. Some apps can teach children fantastic lessons. For example, Jude could learn to make music compositions by way of indication on the small screen rather than potentially feeling daunted in front of a room full of instruments and people. I know it isn’t “real life” but for Jude, if this isn’t an option then on screen is just as good and if it boosts his confidence then who cares?!
  6. Confidence.  Amazingly, despite his delayed level of understanding, Jude feels embarrassed at times and really hates to attempt things he isn’t familiar with. An iPad activity could give him the chance to try something new on his own, with no fear of judgement. He could trial a new skill and when confident, express his understanding to people around him.

There are so many other reasons why I need to just suck it up and let Jude have an iPad more often but these are the ones that initially spring to mind.

 

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Does your child have an iPad? Are there any particular apps they use most frequently?

 

I know I’ve mentioned it before but I’m going to do a bit of research this week and fill the iPad with apps for Jude. Now being me, they’ll have to be apps that serve a purpose and that will help him develop in some way however I’ll try and loosen up a bit and free the rein when it comes to iPad access.

 

What are your thoughts on iPad usage for children? Are they a good thing?

 

 

 

Tammymum

Comments

  • Suchitra on

    I am with you on a lot of points. I’d rather my kid play outdoors, get some exercise, soak in what nature has to offer, and in general be an all rounded person. The only times he is allowed to watch YouTube or other cartoons is when he has lunch so I can feed his baby sister and put her down for a nap undisturbed or if I have something really important that I need to get done or just need a break! I really appreciate how thought out and informed your post is! #familyfun

    • admin on

      Thanks for the comments, I agree they can be useful but am all for the nature option 🙂 A x

  • Two Tiny Hands (@IsntitprettyKTB) on

    We’ve had the TABLET conversation in this house recently. We’d witnessed a child with headphones on and infront of a tablet at a pub totally emersed in it, this wasn’t really the problem. The problem was that the Dad then tried to get his attention and ask him a question about what he was playing on. He was completely ignored. I felt a bit sorry for him as he wanted to engage in conversation with his son but couldn’t because they’d given him the tablet stratight away. We were sat at our table and a duplo train and making loads of noise too which probably didn’t help! lol. I think there is no escaping screen time as our kids get older but its working out how we can use them in a way that helps them and limit it and still get outside for some jolly good fun! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

    • admin on

      I agree. I just find it quite sad when people allow tablets/iPads at restaurants because I want to use that time to actually talk to the family. I guess sometimes you just want to eat dinner in peace so pros and cons! Thanks for the comment xx

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