Thursday, May 19, 2011

iPad for kids with Down syndrome


Marina Donadio isn't even in kindergarten yet, but the five-year-old is already learning to spell and read. Her mom, Kelly Donadio, says it's all because of apps on an iPad. "It's mind blowing to me that she's able to do that."

And since children with Down Syndrome often face challenges with fine motor skills, the iPad's touch screen makes activities more accessible.

Donadio says, "Holding a pencil is a chore sometimes for children with Down Syndrome because of the low tone in their hands. Eventually they do that, but this is a great way to help it not be such a challenge."

Now, other children like Marina will have the same opportunities to improve their education and communication skills. Recently, the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley gave away 21 iPads to member families.

DSAV Board Member, Chris Donadio says, "The iPad is a pretty big deal. It's being used in a lot of special education settings around the country, and right here in the Valley, we're on the cutting edge."
Parents say they expect the teaching tool will be useful both at home and at school.

The iPads were purchased with grant money from Ronald McDonald charities, as well as money raised from DSAV's annual Buddy Walk.


  1. We have a little boy boy born with down syndrome and really enjoys the iPad! We do a daily one minute video to showcase his life!

  2. We have a little girl (5yrs old) she also enjoys the iPads. We just learned of a lot of different apps. We are looking forward to using some of them. She really enjoys the iPad.

  3. Would this device be good for an older person with Down Syndrome? My aunt who is 62 years old lives with me, but since she previously lived with her older pareants and caregivers does not do to much. And I am just wondering if this device would give her something to do besideds watch movies all day.

  4. would i pads help me get my autistc twins who are non verble but like to draw

  5. My 20 year old sister-in-law loves her new i-pad. The down side to it is that she has become very anti-social. She is now obese, along with a pace maker, I am worried that her supposed learning tool is taking away from other important things in life! She used to love to dance and be a social butterfly, take walks, play basketball, now when asked to particpate in these things at home she makes up every excuse in the world not to and heads to her room to watch youtube videos and such, nothing educational at all. Unfortunately her mom enables this behavior and leaves us frustrated and upset about the direction her physical and mental and social health is going. She has even recently gone as far as hitting her cat and lying, things that before the i-pad were never a part of her behavior. So what do then?? It would be nice to see some kind of story on how much time a child with Down Syndrome should spend on an i-pad. Suggestions would greatly be appreciated!!

  6. i have a 1 and a half year old baby girl with down syndrome... she means the world to me and im looking and trying to find everything i can to help her reach her full potential... if anyone can give tips or knows of anything please let me know

    1. To Yolanda,

      We have a four year old. We have not started APPS yet. These are all the things we are doing now.

      I hope things are going well. Contact your local Down Syndrome Association. Your local library will help you find them. If there isn't one near you, Read these sites: National Down Syndrome Society, National Down Syndrome Congress, and Down Syndrome.Org. Go to a couple of conferences. And - teach your baby sign language. Start Now! Use Rachel Coleman's Baby signing Time. Your local library can get them for you. There are 14 DVD's at least. Signing will help your baby learn to actually talk! And read to your baby. Read to her every day several times a day and let her play with her favorite books. Also, try Raffi. His music is perfect for toddlers, and it can be very soothing. These CD's should also be available from the library. And sing to her every day. If you don't know any songs, ask the librarian to get you some songbooks for little ones. she will understand the songs long before she can sing along. She will love them. Don't forget to dance with her. All of this interaction will be right up her alley and will help her with her speaking and walking skills. And play ball with her. Happy times to you - pour yourself into her and she will grow and grow and greow. and don't forget to say no to her. She can learn what not to do as well. Just remember, she understands about 100 times of what she can say. So think about what Libby Kumin says: speech therapy is useful life-long. And! She loves to hug you! Hug her back!

  7. what apps are you finding successful?