Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our Morning "Special" K

Lily met her Kindergarten teachers yesterday at a morning meeting we had to go over this upcoming school year.  She'll go about 50/50 typical Kindergarten (K. . . I'll call it K from here on out) and "special" or "adapted special" or whatever they call it K.  Special K sounds so. . . morning breakfast.

Anyway, she spent most of the time outside on the playground with her grandfather while we discussed what her daily schedule would look like:  where she'd start her day, who would greet her off the bus, would she participate in 'circle' or 'stations', would she have adapted music or attend the typical music class (the only class that I think she probably could participate in without having it specially adapted). 

It was a good meeting.  The K teacher asked if Lily might enjoy working on a laptop, and I had to reply, "She might enjoy working on a laptop, but YOU might not enjoy her working on a laptop."  Later, Leslie thought we might parlay that into a iPad for Lily, since if you get those sorts of things incorporated into an IEP, then the School District is required to buy one for her.  And I had to push down mounting excitement and differentiate between whether I wanted an iPad for Lily or I wanted Lily to have an iPad for me.

Honestly, Lily might benefit from an iPad; something that doesn't require the sort of fine motor skills to hit buttons that a laptop's keyboard requires.  I downloaded a couple apps for her to try:  a program that gives her pictures of three objects and asks her to select one.  When she pushes it correctly, it cheers and the object multiplies and music plays as the object in question cascades across the screen.  If she pushes it incorrectly it says, "uh oh" and she gets to try again.  That one seems alright.  Another one required that she push the item five times as it bounces slowly across the screen.  Honestly, I failed to read the instructions and tried pushing it myself and got frustrated when nothing happened.  I thought I just had to push the (in this case) star and i'd "win.  I feel fairly certain the need to push this star five times will escape Lily's brief focus, so as an app, I'm tempted to judge it useless (for now), but I have to trot it out for Lily.

The iPhone's screen is so much smaller than the iPad's, if she can make the apps work, and is interested in it, she might get more success with the iPad, and we could treat it as "pre-writing" or "pre-typing" sort of training for her.  And honestly, if she DOES have some success, she might be able to satisfy some of her page-turning obsessions graphically, sparing some paper books the ignominy of her less-than-gentle handling.  You can't rip a touch screen.  Although. . . if you CAN rip a touch screen, Lily will find a way to do it.