iPad mini: Is it really suitable for ASD therapy?
A few weeks ago, Apple introduced a new format for iPad: The iPad mini.
Since its introduction, I have received some emails from parents asking me on the suitability of the tablet, because it has a lower price tan the 10 inch iPad and therefore it’s more attractive to many families. I would write my opinion of this new iPad mini through this article, trying to summarize the advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional 10 inch iPad and always from the therapeutic point of view, responding to the questions of parents, mothers and psychologists.
Based on my experience, I personally would advise against buying an iPad mini when it is done for therapeutic purposes. While it is true that the iPad mini and even the iPhone or iPod touch (same as iPhone, but without the phone part) may be suitable in very specific applications and uses, the versatile of the 10 inch iPad, in my opinion, is a key factor. To defend this position I will focus on three key areas: display size, frame size and price.
Display Size: The Traditional iPad has 2 diagonal inches more than iPad mini and although 2 inch difference may seem insignificant, it is 80% more screen area for the traditional iPad. An 80% more to display more categories of pictograms in an application of AAC systems for non-verbal children, an 80% more to increase the size of the pieces of a puzzle when there are fine motor problems and low frustration tolerance and an 80% more in order to increase the number of facial expressions on screen when we are working emotions. In short, an 80% more of advantages to the 10 inch iPad.
Frame Size: Why in this case is the frame so important ? Because it is where children hold the iPad in their hands and a frame so narrow than this, turns easy to touch accidentally the screen.
Price: It seems the main attraction of the new iPad, but from my point of view it is not so. While currently the latest model of iPad is sold at a price of $499, that it is a significant difference with the iPad mini ($329) this comparison is not fair. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the iPad mini corresponds to a technical and performance characteristics equivalent to those of the iPad 2, which currently sells for $399. So that, the economical difference between the 10 inch iPad and the iPad mini is reduced to $70. I think that $70 when we are talking about a purchase of more than $350, it is an justified amount.
The final purchase decision in favor of either model will always be of the parent or the therapist, according to their needs or the needs of the child, but I think it is important, before making the purchase, to consider all arguments exposed in this article.