How can I make things a little easier?
- Under settings you can find restrictions for everything from Safari to photos that are password protected. Enabling these restrictions will essentially turn these functions (apps) “off.” Next time you go to your homepage you won’t even see the icon for the app you have turned “off.” Meaning, your kids can’t access it no matter what! All you have to do is go back into settings, enter the password under restrictions, and turn it back “on” if you need to access a function. I have found this to be incredibly helpful for “deleting apps” and “installing apps” as may little fingers just love to clean-up those homepages (read: delete all the apps) or download those in-app purchases (and you never know when someone has memorized your creative, tricky password!).
- In addition, in system settings, there is a function called “Guided Access”; once set it is impossible to exit an application until you enter a password. I use this function all the time. Firstly, it is a great way to “lock” kids into a communication app (more on AAC later) or learning app for a given amount of time. I also use it quite frequently for “breaks” or reinforcement.
- Check out YouTube for some GREAT online videos about how to set and use these functions.
o BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT
- All IOS devices running have a timer function in the clock. If you are running ISO 7 you can swipe up from any location to access the Control Center, if you do not have the Control Center you can go into the clock app. Set the timer and it will make a sound when time is up. There is also a function, which works wonderfully with guided access, called “stop playing.” “Stop playing” will freeze the app once your timer goes off. To make the game magically stop when time is up: (1) Set the time with “stop playing” set (2) re-enter the app (3) set guided access and- voila! When the app stops (because of the timer function) you will need a password to press the button “ok” which would otherwise continue the game.
- Visual schedules: there are many apps that can function as visual schedules for kids. The First-Then app is a good app for simple 2 part visual schedules such as work-play or eat-park. If you need a more sophisticated visual schedule for you child Choiceworks has a great schedule board where you move the icons from the schedule side to an all done side as you complete the activity. Both these apps support photos and icons.
o PHOTOS & PICTURES
- If you are planning to use photos for a communication app or visual schedule I find it really helpful to create an email specifically for the device, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org. This allows you to take pictures anywhere and email them to the device without having to load and unload a personal email.
Finally, perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle, be sure to set up open lines of communication with you team and the people who will be accessing the table. If you have a clear picture of who is adding apps, who is modifying software, and who is backing up the tablet then you will be less likely to loose things in the shuffle. Also, communicate about the, seemingly, minor tasks. Where will the device be charged- at home or at school? Who will set the passwords if they need to be changed regularly (not uncommon for some of our kids who are fantastic with visual processing and memory)?
Lastly, I have discussed the iPad and ISO platforms purely because that is what I use and know best. There are many amazing tablets, with great apps available on the android market and on Google Play. Please make sure to do some research, and check with your child’s intervention team to decide what is best for your student or family!