Can adding an iPad® to therapy increase your patient's cooperation?

Lorelei Woerner-Eisner, OTR/L

Love 'em or hate 'em, iPads® are everywhere, and the younger generations have fully embraced the technology. If you're a parent, you know how hard it can be to get the technology out of a child's hands. As groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics stress to limit screen time for children, you have to ask: Is using an iPad in therapy interventions a benefit to your patient?

When you think beyond apps, games, and streaming video, the answer is yes.

Before integrating an iPad into a patient's therapy routine, it's important to first consider the social, physical, and cultural environments of your patient. Next, evaluate what the patient needs, what the environment supports, and match specific tools to their individual treatment plan. An iPad may be a great tool, but pencil and paper, a computer, or manipulatives might work better for the student for reasons as individual as the student themselves.

Lorelei Woerner-Eisner, OTR/L, suggests asking yourself these questions before using an iPad with a patient.

  • What are the goals for iPad implementation?
  • How successful has therapy been prior to iPad implementation?
  • What therapeutic problems does the iPad solve?
  • What can the iPad do that's not possible without it?
  • What is the role of the patient in iPad use?
  • How can we make the application of the iPad in the therapy setting more organic and fluid?
Not sure how you would integrate an iPad in a therapy session? Here are two unique ways that go beyond the apps.

How do you integrate technology into your therapy sessions?
Tell us in the comments below!

Want more ways to integrate iPads into your therapy practice? Watch the full video on iPad® Interventions for Occupational Therapists.

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