Something was bugging me today. I received an email from someone whose specializes in software, hardware, and more for people with disabilities. Normally, I value what this person has to say, but today, I had to stop and re-evaluate whether I’ve been putting too much faith in them, or whether I’ve been a victim of great marketing.

 

So here’s the skinny. The email was about what makes a good IPad app for people with special needs. Of course, the email was also promoting the apps this individual makes. Now here’s my problem. It suggested that parent bloggers, who have children with special needs and had success using different apps, don’t have enough expertise in special needs to be writing about it. 

 

I have to say, this offended me. First of all, who better to discuss anything to do with children with special needs, than the parents who are there with their child every day? They experience the frustration and joys along with their child. They know what works and what doesn’t. I don’t think anyone should ever discount the expertise of a parent whose child has a disability.

 

Recently, I did a post on IPad apps for children with disabilities. It’s a list of apps based on my experiences and those of other parents. Does that make me an expert? No. Did I ever claim to be one? No. Is it definite that app will meet all the required needs of a child with a disability? No, of course not, every child is different. It’s a list of ones that are worth looking into to see if they will be good for your child. This is about helping each other so we can help our children.

 

There are thousands of apps out there. Personally, I don’t have the time to be sifting through that many. I find it very helpful to hear from other parents on what has worked for their child. It doesn’t mean it will work for mine, but it certainly gives me a heads up to check it out and see. 

 

The email also suggested the reason this was not acceptable, was because parents of children with special needs are just one disability group. Are we a group? What makes up a group? Should we separate ourselves by age, vision impairment, fine motor, gross motor, speech, cognitive disorders, etc? To me that feels familiar and uncomfortable. Is grouping in this manner, just like labelling?

 

In my opinion, the IPad is not the ultimate, magical tool for people with disabilities. How could it be? We are all unique and no one product is going to be perfect for everyone. Still, it can provide great opportunities for many children with disabilities to learn, share, communicate and have fun.

 

So, despite the email that sparked this post, I will continue to inform my readers of apps and other resources, products or tips that I believe are helpful to others. I also strongly encourage my readers to speak up and share your knowledge too. For the author of the email, should you read this post, you might want to choose your words more carefully and remember who your marketing too.

2 Responses to “Are Parents Experts? IPad Apps And Special Needs”

  • Therese Mc:

    Sharing ideas whether they be ipad apps or summer camps is such an important part of being a parent of a special needs child. Everyone has different ideas, methods, favorite technology that they use, and perhaps just one will be the key that unlocks something for a child to enhance their life….parents are the ones that network, search, test and make a decision..because they are the most knowledgeable about their children’s abilities and are the most driven to find the most effective ways to help their children thrive..so glad there are parents like yourself that are willing to share to make a less bumpy road for others……cheers!

    • admin:

      Thanks Therese. Your a fantastic mother too. The more parents share helpful tips, the better we parent and our children ultimately benefit.

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(Wheel-ist-ic) Adj: awareness or acceptance of actual fact, real existence, or truth with relation to inclusion, accessibility and/or persons with disabilities.

Let’s Be Wheelisitic is a blog designed to open communication, share and create change through parenting, awareness, inclusion and advocacy. Over the years people have encouraged me to use my voice and experiences with my daughter to help others with or without disabilities, or parents of children with disabilities. This blog is my way of doing just that. I hope you will find this site enjoyable, educational, helpful, and rewarding.
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“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” — Mary Anne Radmacher

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