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what works for your children?

Okay all you technology smart mamas–it’s time to help a dorky mother like me who is absolutely clueless (and I mean clueless) about all things modern, plugged in, with screens, with apps, or things requiring more than just typing a letter.  

Seriously, I got left somewhere in the 90’s with this stuff.  I finally entered the world of smart phones a few months back.  Sadly, my kids know more about the darn thing than I do. They thought I had hit the big time when I finally figured out how to send an e-mail on my nifty little gadget.  I have arrived! Sort of.

So I mentioned a few posts back that Haven is showing such an interest in the iPad.  She absolutely loves it when the speech therapist brings one and we are seeing her make some amazing progress.  We have been blessed with one that will arrive soon (much to our older children’s delight, of course. They had just about given up on us when it comes to owning the latest and greatest gadgets).

Anyway.  In that post I asked you guys for some suggestions of which apps work for your non-verbal children.  Many of you recommended Proloquo2Go.  We have looked into it and asked Haven’s therapist to give us her opinion. It looks so wonderful. But we feel that Haven is just not ready for something so advanced.  She is extremely passive–to the point of never acknowledging any kind of need whatsoever.  She will literally dehydrate before even pointing to the fridge to show us that she needs a drink, let alone press a button which would tell us that she is thirsty.  PTSD is so awful!  We believe with all our hearts that the day will eventually come when Haven begins to express herself with a communication tool (and someday with her own voice), but she is just not there yet.  She is not ready for something which communicates for her (yet!).

What she is definitely ready for are apps which are fun, interactive, stimulating, educational, and challenging.  Developmentally, Haven is around a three-year-old level.  She would do well with apps which teach basic words, colors, sounds, and all things preschool–the kind that makes learning super fun.

I thought I would open this up to all you moms who use various apps as educational tools for your children.  Would you be willing to share with us what you use, and why it works for your children?  I need someone to give me ideas, please.  When I search for apps and get thousands of results, well, it all feels daunting and I have no idea which to pick.  I don’t know which ones work, and which ones are a waste of money.

I know that there are probably other moms like me who would love to glean from your advice, too.  Not just for children who have special needs but for all children.  According to our therapists, gone are the days when people even use good old-fashioned flashcards anymore.  It is all going electronic.  Lord help me!

So. What works?

What do your children absolutely love?

What have you had success with?