Welcome to OT’s with Apps

As an Occupational Therapist we work with many tools to improve fine motor, perceptual motor, sensory processing/regulation and perceptual skills and self care skills. I also recognize the power of visual, novel and interactive activities to aid in motivating and engaging students in learning. Many of our students with behavioral, attentional and mental health challenges have significant difficulty with motivation, specific interests to engage them in learning.  Although as OT’s we have many wonderful tools and tricks in our bag, an iPod or iPad is another powerful, highly portable, on demand tool that can calm, engage and teach our students!

This  goal of this blog is to share some of the apps, equipment and experiences  using iPods and or iPads for special needs students.  Although it has been somewhat recent, it has been an eye-opening and exciting journey.  I hope you find helpful information and also share your experiences and resources about the use of iDevices as another OT tool in the school.


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About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
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3 Responses to Welcome to OT’s with Apps

  1. Maureen says:

    Thanks for your help on this site Carol. We are trialing iPad use with a handful of students this year and I think this is going to be a great intervention for some of our kids.

  2. bonnie shams says:

    hi carol
    this website is great.i have been using the ipad for approximately a year now in the schools and in my private practice. i have found it to be tremendous in engaging the children and using it to support fine motor, visual motor dexterity and so much more. i am giving a course to the ot’s in my company on the use of the ipad as a therapy tool and finding this website is a great resource. i will be listing it as a must read and explore for our therapists!thanx

    • Bonnie,
      Thank you for your comment. I would love to hear about your use as a therapy tool. There is so much you can do with it, just the camera and video capabilities is a motivator for students/young clients! Do you do any record keeping with the iPad? Although not the best (of course there are more out there) I have been using Awesome note, since I had it on my device for a to do, calendar, alarms taking snap shots of student work and annecdotal running notes. I would love to hear what others are using.

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