Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Button, Button, Whose Got the Button?

I've started introducing Lily to the iPad a little at a time.  I'm not sure if I'm doing myself or my stress level any favors by not biting the bullet and purchasing some sort of case or cover to protect it from her rough affection (like an otter box).  Her fine motor skills consist of a lot of slapping of the screen and whole-hand swipes of it, which either reveal the taskbar at the bottom or exit the app entirely to the home screen.  

I'm not really sure what the remedy is, except to find apps that better understand my daughter doesn't "get it".  She is captivated. . . and that's key, and she likes making it do stuff, but she is not gentle, and her movements are neither precise nor controlled, and if I can't find apps that ignore some of that extra movement then they're not a huge helper.  I find myself hovering constantly, swooping in to remove the iPad, getting back into the application, then replacing it, while Lily grabs for it.

Unfortunately, while the iPad is playing pet mouse to her Lenny, my stress level, and recognition of how much we just blew invested in the thing becomes more and more focused, ratcheting up to the point where I finally give her the "three more minutes" schpiel along with promises of future play, though the iPad seems remarkably unfazed by it.  Though perhaps Lenny's mouse was too. . . until the bitter end.

"I want more buttons!" Lily informs me.

"We'll get more buttons, later, baby."

Here is my iPad to do list:
1)  Find some apps that appreciate Lily's relative skills at swiping, pointing, sweeping (or lack thereof)
2)  Find a cover that protects it from her particular ministrations.
3)  Adapt the cover to protect the "home" button. (I already have some ideas about this)
4)  Get our new wrap to develop some iPad specific goals that they can work on with Lily (new wrap starts up in December, after Lily's 6th birthday)


  1. We love the iPad - I call it "The best thing I've ever charged." We have a few apps for that - I'll check when I get home and let you know. There's a book my son LOVES - it's called "there's a monster at the end of this book" Ok - it's not an app but you can point and work on fine motor. And he laughs hysterically, his laugh is worth the price of the iPad.

  2. I got her two Seuss books that she loved in paper form: One Fish Two Fish and ABC's. They're really neat, because you can read it by pointing, or let it read to you, and it will identify things you point to. It's great. . . BUT. . . she still gets out of it accidentally.

    She needs someone to work with her on it. That's me currently, but I'm hoping wrap can direct her better to help her master it.

  3. How about Baby Rattle Toy? And iLoveFireworks? Would those work for your Lily? Nothing remotely educational about them but could be good for "working" the iPad practice.

    A cover - I like the Trident Kraken case better than the Otter Box, just my opinion. It's less bulky but still really protective. And I think you could hide that home button fairly easily. PLUS - it's cheaper than Otter Box.

    My Lily has discovered the Settings button and knows that's what I use to hide/display the youtube icon. So now she is obsessed with trying to "crack the code". If I could figure out a way to make that Settings button completely disappear, I would be a happy mom. But alas, my friends at Apple tell me it's not possible for now.

  4. haha. . . "I no like fireworks!". . . is what she'd tell me. There was an "incident" at the beach over the fourth of July.

    Trident Kraken. . . got it! I'll look on Amazon. Can I throw my iPad down a flight of stairs and smash it with a hammer? Because that's the kind of protection I'm looking for.

  5. She's adorable! And those monkey pjs are fantastic! You wouldn't happen to know if they come in my size?

  6. I don't know your size, I'll assume size 1. Yes, they have them.

  7. Buy Injini! Or at least try to the lite version (free). Other than pressing the home button, which you have a plan to cover up, it's really hard for them to get out of the games once they're in. Sound Touch is also a good one for kids like Lily and our AJ who like to just randomly run their fingers across the screen to see what happens.

    Are you going to share your idea about covering the home button? I might want to steal it after all...

  8. You're not the only person to recommend that one. I just may do it! I've gotten her bugsy pre-k and piano ball plus a couple Seuss books and some random labeling apps so far.

  9. I don't really have anything to add, except it's great that you're working with Lily with the iPad. I (and the rest of the teachers, and the parents) pushed and pushed for more technology (any technology, actually) at the last school I taught at--a private school for students with developmental delays. Most days I brought my personal laptop for students to use. Because the director and the founder didn't "get" computers, they weren't interested in pursuing purchasing them for student use. Such a shame.

  10. I hesitated to comment because I don't know if what works for my son will work for your daughter. But here I am anyway.

    First, get a cover right away!! Don't go all fancy and worry about the best indestructible James Bond model - worry about that later! Ours has a cheap "in case" cover on it which "I" got for "my" birthday when "I" got "my" iPad... It has saved us many times from dropping incidents - even on asphalt dropped from the car door opening!

    The only suggestion I'd make about apps is that you should get apps that are fun for you both and play them together - then she will watch and take over before you know it. Pinball was great for my son and most pinball games don't care how much you smack the screen - especially HD Pinball. Hello Kitty has a couple apps and my kid loves Doodle Jump even though we are all lousy players! The fun can promote the learning! Don't try to hard to make the learning fun... go for the fun - then the learning is just an added bonus!

  11. she's so adorable.. iPads are so versatile and there's a plethora of apps out there, I'm sure you can find a ton that she'll enjoy.. good luck!

  12. Otter box. Or bubble wrap.

  13. I so want to "invest" in an ipad. I have a feeling one of 2 things would happen. Either 1- i'll have to referee the fights for it between my technology addicted husband or 2- i will never be able to pry it out of the hands of Tommy who will use it for is addiction to youtube to watch Jack in the Box commercials over and over and... you get the idea. We have the iphone for Tommy. Talking Carl (and talking Carla) and Crazy piano are great entertainment apps.

  14. @handflapper - I realize that it was silly to hope for immediate mastery of the iPad, but it's so universally lauded as the "key to unlocking my son/daughter's inner language" that I hoped presenting her with it would be akin to flipping a switch. Then my brain took over for my heart, and now, yes, I'll be "working with her" on it.

    @Karen - so true. Even the kids that have similar skill sets are so different. BUT. . . I know my daughter, and if you give some app or software a good review, I'll check it out to see whether I think it makes sense for her. And I promise not to hold you responsible for anything but the most dramatic failures. . . And I'll probably get a cover for her for her birthday. Since presents are really hit or miss for her anyway, at least she'll get something that she'll actually get some use out of AND her birthday is only a month away.

    @chemgirljaime - i find that I alternate between pronouncing your name Jay-me and pronouncing it Hi-me. I'm sure it's Jay-me, but I think I'm leaning toward Hi-me anyway.

    @robotmommy - bubble wrap to protect something from an autistic girl is like flavored chapstick. . . it defeats itself. She'd pop all the bubbles and then try doing the same on the ipad. I'll stick to the otter box or (as noted in comments above) Trident Kraken (which sounds so much more badass anyway)

    @ Rhonda - Lily loves our iPhones, so we knew the iPad would be a hit. Our issue is PART of what she loves is prying the covers off of them.

  15. @Christy - wrt the ipad home button. I don't know if you'll see this or not. Maybe I'll try to do a brief post on it.

  16. Stop tempting me by flaunting your magic game window!!!!

    Is she getting OT? Over time, that will probably help her to better control her hand movements and dexterity.

    But I agree with Karen, get a cover quickly...that's an investment you want to protect.

  17. I was JUST researching them. I . . . mean. . . on my lunch break. I'll research them on my lunch break.

    Yeah, she gets OT.