The Socially Speaking™ iPad Seminar for Special Education: Which App to Use When?

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                        Isn't it time to add iOS technology to your toolbox?

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It is time for special education to include technology in best practices. Educational Technology  integration in special education has been recommended since the ‘90s, when special educators began integrating assistive technology (AT) into therapy sessions and special education classrooms across the country. It has gained momentum, since the 2004 IDEA revisions federally mandated a Behavior Plan as part of an IEP. eLearning is widespread today, thanks to the nature of technology as both an intrinsic reinforcer, and a gateway of information via the internet. The subsequent spurring of the Digital Age, and recent ease of ed-tech integration using mobile devices such as the iPad by Apple™, have made eLearning a viable, even preferable option, for many special educators and pediatric service providers in "the trenches" today. Research shows that children with special needs, particularly Autism, appear to be “visual learners”. They can greatly benefit from teachable moments about self regulation and language development, involving “whole body” learning, emphasizing the visual modality. 

            Word of mouth and popularity of eLearning using the iPad, is growing rapidly. The iTunes App industry is the fastest growing form of commerce in the world today. Parents, children, and special educators/service providers are all increasingly lauding and using the iPad, as a creative, customized, intuitive, and FUN educational tool. It is being used to both assess/treat (check out my Socially Speaking™ iPad App!) and implement lesson plans addressing IEP goals, and utilize behavioral strategies to foster self regulation and resiliency. 

            How can special educators/service providers actually integrate the iPad into curriculums, for developmentally appropriate, multi-sensory, practical, and fun “teachable moments”, which will really stick? How can parents use the iPad at home more effectively for recreational and academic activities to facilitate social communication development? This program was designed with you in mind. This program provides a “hands on” tutorial on implementing iPad Apps for a positive educational experience. It is geared for young children with Autism and special needs, who exhibit challenging behaviors. It provides an overview of iPad basics for the busy educator, developmental prerequisite skills to consider when planning goals/lesson plans with the iPad, and suggested practical strategies and easy to implement tips. They include ideas to foster self regulation, social skills (pragmatics), and language development, all using various iPad Apps. They address the need to target specific pre-literacy skills in a more methodical manner, develop increased “muscle memory”, subsequent “episodic" memory, and generalize learned skills. These are all needed for better social communication and Theory of Mind.

This practical, fun, and comprehensive seminar focuses on providing attendees with the developmental framework needed for best practices using the iPad. It provides tools and various evidence based, behavioral, and innovative strategies, for integration of play based and pre-literacy iPad Apps into IEP goals/lesson plans for young children with Autism/special needs. I touch on principals of ABA/VBT, TEACCH™, Floortime™, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Response to Intervention (RTI). Download a sample Conference Proposal/Agenda of the Day here. Click on my book below to find it on Amazon! 

My Bk


☛ Hire me to train & consult to your staff; Email me here.  

☛ Access my collection of iPad App Rubrics for Special Education here.  


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The Drive to Integrate Technology into Treatment Plans Begins Here…...

                                                Penina's Picks:

Penina's Picks

My Recommended iPad Apps:

Spring break and April holidays are a time of changes in routine, where we try to find ways to be productive, not just busy with our kids home from school. Finding the right balance between routines/structure and providing new, creative, and interesting teachable moments for our children with Autism/special needs is often a challenge, especially during school vacation.

That's why I recommend pairing toys and tech i.e. iPad apps in treatment/for homework for better learning outcomes! That's why specific iPad apps are on my radar at this time of year, to benefit both the adult and young child with Autism/special needs re: progress and process for IEP goal implementation. Learn more,  and find more suggestions in my book, Autism Intervention in the iEra or at my next Socially Speaking® Seminar! 

Good Luck and Happy Learning!

On My Radar:

(in an order that increasingly targets language, social skills,  and problem solving)

Paint My Cat

My PlayHome

Toca Tea Party

My Story Book Creator: School Edition

StoryBuilder by Mobile Education Apps

Toy Repair Workshop 

Lets Be Social PRO

Final Words:

Those of you implementing my Socially Speaking™ Program know that I believe in methodical documentation, visualization of the goals, and integrating technology into our workflow; for both adult and child. In treatment, I often seek out apps to help with data tracking, meeting and report notes, and apps that help the child carryover learned skills. In my therapy sessions, I have a few go-to apps I keep on standby to help me stay organized and effective. In my therapy sessions, I regularly use iPad apps first as behavioral reinforcement and then as supplemental lessons for the IEP goals. That's why these above mentioned apps are on my radar, and now yours! 

Make sure the apps you use for intervention are educationally sound, creative, and versatile apps. Apps which are customizable, easy to navigate, and provide visually appealing teachable moments. Ones which will provide insight and documentation re: the child's Theory of Mind, "inner landscape" and learning style, preferences, and the IEP goals. My published social skills curriculum and iPad apps suggestions are designed to help the entire IEP team stay focused, positive, and productive; adults and children alike!

- Penina

Penina Rybak MA/CCC-SLP, TSHH

Speech-Language Pathologist & 

Educational Technology Consultant

Founder/CEO of Socially Speaking LLC

Follow My Tech-Talk on Pinterest: Peninaslp


© 2016 Penina Pearl Rybak MA/CCC-SLP, Socially Speaking LLC, All Rights Reserved