Often the question is asked why a student of RPM can’t just use the iPad instead of a letterboard? Why does she need the letterboard held up? Why if he can play games on the iPad can’t he just spell on it too? If she can type some words on an iPad by herself, then what is up with the letterboard?
Here one of my students and I are trying to show and explain this. (She has agreed in all clips that I film this and talk about it in front of her. We have previously discussed these kinds of things together and wanted to help others understand better).
In the following clips my student is playing on an iPad. Notice that she does the same movements over and over. (Most clips are well under a minute to watch. I apologize they are so shaky at times…I was holding the camera and then holding the board.)
Notice the repetitive movement of tapping (she is fairly intentional about where she is tapping when it comes to filling in a picture) and then the circling round and round. Notice in the following clip that she never changes the color. When I can tell she is tired of doing this over and over I will often direct her to change the color and she is able to stay on the page otherwise she will start randomly tapping for movement and stimulation. She is not yet able to change the color intentionally for herself. She knows WHAT to do, but hasn’t learned the purposeful action of doing so.
In this next clip she is dragging pictures over and over. This is a drawing app, but she only drags the pictures to the page. I ask her what she would like to be able to do on the app and she responds here.
Now take a look at what happens if I lay the iPad flat on the table and ask her to spell something.
As you can see, she is not ready yet to spell on her own. This is not a behavior. She literally can’t or she would. She doesn’t yet have the purposeful action to type in this manner without prompts to do so. This has to do with the connection and wiring between her visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile senses. (Please read any of Soma Mukhopadhyay’s books to come to a better understanding of an alternate sensory system) If she could she would. Wouldn’t you? (Anytime you see a action or behavior that your child NEVER or very inconsistently does, you know that your child has not yet learned the purposeful action. While your child might have the motor skills to do the action. The pathway in the brain to do it purposefully is not yet there. It has to be taught.
Now look at what happens when I hold the iPad up for her to spell and give prompts to choose (Here she spells a sentence. In this case, one she remembers from Dr. Suess. To next for math. For more see other videos under ‘home.’)