Choosing the best iPad case for kids with a disability is so important, as the right case means that a child can safely take their device anywhere to help them communicate, to calm or to learn. Here are 5 tips for helping parents and OTs choose the best iPad case for their child.
1 -Choose a rugged iPad case
iPads and tablets are mostly glass, which makes them slippery and breakable so we need to keep the tablet safe from drops and smashes. Rugged iPad and tablet cases are designed specifically to cope with drops, bumps and the occasional slap from a child.
Rugged iPad cases are built with materials that absorb pressure and vibration, and can include design features such as air chambers in the corners to absorb impact. A highly protective iPad case can have a dropproof rating to 2m and some are also waterproof – so it can handle what a child with a disability can give it. Many cases have inbuilt screen protection to ensure that grit and dirt from a school bag can’t be dragged across the screen to scratch the glass.
Choose a rugged iPad case from a quality brand so the iPad or tablet lasts longer. Brands such as Gumdrop, Catalyst, Brenthaven, Griffin or Otterbox are designed with engineered protection plus constructed from quality materials that can cope with drops, shocks and more. Extending the life of a device for a few more years can reduce the trauma of a change sensitive children, and reduce the cost for families.
2 – Choose an iPad case with strap or handle
Many children need to use an iPad or tablet for day to day activities, so making it easy for them to carry the device is helpful. Select a rugged iPad case with a handle or strap, so the child can keep the device close for communication, calming or learning.
3 – But handles can be a distraction
There are some exceptions with regard to having an iPad case with a handle, however. Some kids can be distracted by the moving hinge of a carry handle or port cover. This may mean that they won’t focus on the iPad or tablet screen for learning, instead moving the hinge until it breaks.
4 – Be mindful of screen covers
Same too for iPad or tablet screen covers. Some kids find the thin film of plastic across the glass surface distracting or even unbearable, and will try to pierce it to break it off. In this case, a glass iPad screen cover may be a better choice.
5 – A case with a stand helps with posture
Ensuring the child’s posture is safe while using the iPad or tablet can help prevent problems with neck or shoulder strain so a case with a stand built in can be a great investment. Some cases include a fold-away stand so that its out of the way when not needed, but so useful when it is. An iPad case with a stand means the child can use the device hand free, so its great for kids who have limited mobility or fidget a lot. A case with a stand also means its easier for the device to be used with a keyboard, or for viewing videos. Its much easier to share a device when it can be positioned on a table or on the floor between kids – no more jostling for the iPad!
If the need for a stand is ongoing rather than occasional, consider adding a table top or desk stand. A tablet or iPad stand can help position the device just where it is needed, for reading, viewing or communication. We can also help to mount a tablet to a wheelchair, so its securely in reach when needed.