Yep. I broke down and bought B a LeapPad 2.
I have resisted buying B a lot of “techie geeky” gadgets, mainly because we were encouraged to challenge B’s development in other ways. When he was younger and we were in EI, the SLP made numerous mentions of toys that “just made noises” and didn’t help develop B’s cognitive skills. So, we made a concertive effort to steer clear of a lot of gizmos.
However, we have seen that, sooner or later, we need to get back on the bandwagon. It’s not like he’s technology adverse. Far from it. He’s exposed to computers both in his ECSE and aftercare classes. He can work his personal DVD player, and more importantly, WHY you don’t press the “OPEN” button while the movie is playing. He understands the workings of our video system in our minivan.
So, when “60 Minutes” recently showed its segment on iPads and autism (Apps for Autism), I was intrigued. Maybe it was time to look into something more for B. Of course, I know the pricetag of an iPad and thought there had to be something else.
Then I remembered the LeapPad. I heard a lot about LeapPad from friends at the holidays – lines to buy it, sold out online, etc. And after reading the reviews, I thought it was a good start for B.
And, in an twist, I had JUST gotten an e-mail saying there was now a LeapPad 2. Seriously, just ask Husband. Plus, it was “only” $99 – and with no WiFi access, I knew there was slim chance of him downloading something. So I ordered it and hoped for the best.
We have had it for about a week. B is enamored with it. After setting it up and downloading the included apps – he first worked on his artist skills. Then he found all the “sneak peek” videos (you know, a cleverly disguised marketing scheme). And that sent me to Leapfrog’s APP store, where I got slight sticker shock over how much cartridges and downloaded apps were. Obviously, I didn’t research that part enough, lol. And so far, I ended up downloading PetPals and Cars2 Ebooks for him already.
He definitely seems to enjoy it. He definitely focuses more on his drawing (it has a little Stylus pen) and he’s very proud of his art. There is video on letters that he loves to imitate the sounds. He likes listening to the music on it too. I’m optimistic that he will get the hang of it, which means more money into apps and cartridges.
We very well may end up being one of those parents whose child will bring his tech toy to dinners out. But if he enjoys it, and helps him with dealing with his sensory input, well, I will gladly take the looks from Judgy McJudgersons.