“There’s an app for that”: Clinician perspectives on the iPad as an intervention tool for children

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  • Technology use in assessment and intervention in speech-language pathology is an area of rapid growth. Decisions about what type of device to use should be evidence based and take into account best practice principles (BPPs) within speech-language pathology. This study explored the benefits and limitations of the iPad as an intervention tool for children in speech-language pathology. Three groups of clinicians (students, new graduates, and experienced clinicians) discussed their beliefs about best practice principles in intervention and their views and uses of technology through initial and final focus groups. Ten themes emerged from the focus groups, and will be discussed in detail in this paper. The participants received instruction on the iPad and key applications for use in the profession and evaluated those applications by examining how well the apps align with best practice principles using an “iPad Application Rating Sheet”. This study demonstrated that speech-language pathologist’s (SLP) beliefs about BPPs are important when choosing materials. This paper will highlight the clinical implications of iPad use in intervention, the promise of the technology, the value of explicit consideration of BPPs, and the strengths and limitations of current applications. Clinician suggestions for modifications of applications, for desirable qualities in new applications, and for clinical use of applications will also be discussed.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International