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iPad helps keep Ben on task

14-year-old Ben Henson is doing better at school and becoming more independent with the help of an iPad he received through Therapy Focus’ GIVE Program.

Ben, who has Down syndrome, uses a number of apps on the iPad to develop his literacy and numeracy skills, as well as prompt him to complete his daily tasks.

Therapy Focus Speech Pathologist, Natasha Duncan, said the iPad is having a positive influence on Ben’s participation at school.

“Ben is highly motivated by technology and since he started using the iPad at home to improve his literacy skills, his classroom participation has increased,” Natasha said.

Ben’s mum, Kristie, says the iPad is helping Ben to become more independent, particularly with regard to his daily schedule.

“The Choice Works app has been great at prompting Ben to complete his daily tasks. Even though we already had a schedule on the wall, he is far more fascinated with the iPad app and more likely to complete things using that,” Kristie said.

Ben was one of 17 applicants awarded a share of $30,000 in the May round of the GIVE Program, which assists with the purchase of equipment, activities and resources for individuals and families accessing Therapy Focus services.

“When we found out Ben got the grant, we were so excited. The iPad is such a great learning tool, as well as a great reward tool to encourage Ben to complete his schoolwork or chores,” Kristie said.

But it’s not all work and no play for Ben, who also likes to use the iPad to show off his dance moves.

“Ben’s a bit of a filmmaker. He sets the iPad up and records himself dancing,” Kristie said.

Therapy Focus’ GIVE Program is made possible by donations from the WA community. For more information, or to donate, visit www.therapyfocus.org.au/GIVE.

Ben Henson with his therapists
Pictured: Ben with his Therapy Focus therapists, Ashleigh Sibbald (L) and Natasha Duncan (R).