Using technology to facilitate interaction with your child can be difficult, but it’s attainable by intentionally choosing activities. For parents, leaning into what your child is interested in and getting on his/her level can be the start of really beautiful engagement and interaction.
I have had great results using devices such as iPads and other tablets as tools to help children work toward their goals in therapy. Often, the iPad can provide extra fun and motivation when focusing on challenging motor tasks. The reality is, I get many more smiles when I bring out an iPad than a pencil and paper! The most important thing is to have fun with your child; the device is merely the facilitator. Below are some simple ways to direct your child’s media use for the purpose of interaction and therapeutic benefit.
Using cause and effect can be a fun and exciting way to engage your child. Think about the classic peekaboo game—the fun is the anticipation! The Peekaboo Barn iPad app features cute animals knocking on a closed door, just waiting for you to open it. The anticipation helps engage children as they giggle with you, waiting for the next animal to appear. I also generally love pausing videos if your child can tolerate this. Not only will pausing videos create this same anticipation, but it will provide an opportunity for either verbal or non-verbal communication, as you wait for what’s coming next.