Joshua was born in March of 1999. He was diagnosed at 2 weeks of age after several EEGs with total ACC (Absence of the Corpus Callosum). Â The Corpus Callosum is the section of the brain that connects the two hemispheres of the brain. Usually this is a symptom of a bigger syndrome but in Joshua’s case doctors were not able to pin point a particular syndrome for him. Â Joshua attends a public school in our small town of Thorndale, Texas. When Joshua was about 13 years old a group of people got together and purchased an iPad for him for his birthday because of his interest in playing computer games. He loves his iPad, but we have found it to be a much more useful tool than just to help keep him entertained!
The Special Education department at our school and I were talking one day and realized that we could use some of the apps on the iPad to help both myself, his teachers, and him. One problem we had been having is that Joshua has a short term memory issue, and often I would not get study materials home to help him prepare for upcoming tests in his General Education Classes. I had also found that helping him with homework could be difficult because I was not always certain of the assignments that were discussed in the classroom that day.Â As a result, Joshua now has an iPad that goes with him to all of his General Education classes.
Joshua has a Nystagmus that makes small print difficult to see, thus qualifying him for visual assistance.Â This means that he has access to Bookshare which has books he can download that are in large print and can be read aloud by the iPad or computer to him. He uses the Read 2 Go app on his iPad along with the books he downloads from Bookshare to help him participate in his ELA classes. The teachers tell me what book the class is reading and I download it from Bookshare into his Read 2 Go app. This allows him to either “read” (actually listen) to the book during class with headphones or, if they are reading aloud in class, he can follow along with them on his iPad.
We use the built in Camera so the other students or his aide can photograph the study pages.Â This allows us to re-size them making it easier for him to read. Â He also uses the Audio Memo app to record lectures in the classroom which allows me to listen to them at home and know what was talked about that day during class. Â The Face Time app and the Skype app on his iPad also allow teachers, his aids, or myself to speak face to face if needed.Â Or when he has fallen at school but says he is okay, the nurse can show me his injuries and feel more at ease if I tell her I feel comfortable with letting him stay at school for a simple bruise or bump. Of course the iPad has a number of other wonderful apps for people with disabilities and I am sure that as he goes through his High School years, we will find many more uses for his iPad!