A mother is appealing for information after a black iPad 3 belonging to her 4-year-old daughter went missing between Rose Inn St. and The Sycamores in Kilkenny city on Friday, Septembe 20r. The girl, who has autism and cerebral palsy, uses the iPad for educational purposes as a visual aid for learning.
Her mother explained the importance of the tablet worth nearly €1,000 in her daughter’s development through the use of educational apps that allow her to learn at her own pace. “Many children with autism have auditory processing disorders so it helps them to visualise rather than to hear when learning,” she said. The hundreds of specialised apps downloaded to the iPad include such that help with learning colours, numbers, and the alphabet.
This type of visual and interactive learning has become increasingly popular in schools. Principal of St Canice’s Co-Ed NS, Maria Comerford, supports the move due to the success of iPads and interactive whiteboards in the school’s autism unit. Interactive whiteboards connect to a computer equipped with different educational programmes which project onto the board that works as a touch-screen. This enables children to engage in classwork by physically touching the board, leading to more effective learning.
“A lot of children with autism would have language difficulties so it is very useful for children who haven’t got the language to touch and show you what they want,” said Ms Comerford. “Compared to past pupils without this technology, they are far more comfortable with everything and very clued into what’s happening and what is going to be their lives in the future.” Due to low funding, there is only one iPad between the 12 children in the autism unit. Ideally, Ms Comerford hopes for an iPad per child in the future, but for now most of the funding must go toward other resources. The missing iPad is in a black leather cover and has a newly repaired with screen with a mark on the right-hand side. Anyone with information can call 085 7824969, and no questions will be asked.
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