Since first posting about using our iPad to help Matan with speech therapy, this blog has been inundated with readers searching for different variations of “iPad” and “speech therapy”. It appears I’m not the only one interested in using this tool that’s so much fun for the kids.

I’m no expert, but I can affirm that since we began playing with the iPad application characters that repeat what you say to them, Matan has been adding vocabulary at the rate of almost one new word a day. It may not sound impressive to some, but from a child who did little more than grunt and say “na, na” for the first year, it is a huge improvement.

Of course, part of his interest in the iPad game is based on his readiness to speak. Earlier in the year, when we were working intensively with our occupational therapist, she advised that he was not yet really ready to begin speaking. His level of play was at a very infantile stage. But with her help and the wonderful caretakers at his pre-school, his play has evolved into something much more sophisticated than the passive wheel spinning, swing set riding and button-pushing-for-music that he thought was the end-all of fun when we first brought him home.

It was especially disconcerting to see him sit and spin wheels, whether on cars, stroller, or anything else for as long as he was left to do so. We put a lot of effort into working with him on less passive play, and today, while he still enjoys those things, especially when he’s tired, his play, overall, is a lot more active.

When we first met him, he was a 20 month old child with the development level of a 6-9 month old. Today he is still delayed, but much less so. We are hoping to continue closing the gap. He’s no where near the level that our daughter was at his age, but he’s made huge improvements in year+ that he’s been with us.