Naseem had never used an iPad herself but with the help of Family Fund, she got an iPad for her three-year-old son Kabir, who has global development delay and autism. The iPad is a great tool for occupying him for lengths of time, especially when Naseem needs to attend to housework or talk to professionals at appointments. As Kabir has got older and started school, he’s learnt about Minecraft, which he enjoys playing on his iPad. However, concerns about internet safety, health, and emotional wellbeing prompted Naseem to find out more about how to manage Kabir’s iPad use more proactively.

The Family Fund iPad workshop in Birmingham presented Naseem with the ideal opportunity to do this and so she signed up straight away. “It was a dedicated time set aside to think about Kabir’s iPad use and its potential”. During the workshop, the trainer introduced the accessibility settings and parental controls within the iPad to the group, as well as dictation and using Siri.

“The training opened up a whole new world,” says Naseem. “I had no idea about the range of things the iPad could do and it’s inspired me to explore how technology can help Kabir and support him in his life. So far, we’ve set up Family Sharing so that Kabir can have his own apps, which is great.” She adds, “I’ve put parental controls in place which restricts where he can go online. This has taken away a lot of worry as I’m no longer anxious about him using the iPad on his own.”

Naseem feels it’s important for Kabir to have a good understanding of technology as he grows up. “I want him to understand how technology works and tailor the iPad to meet his communication and development needs, rather than just using it in a reactive way. I’m happy for him to play on Minecraft and watch things he likes on the iPad, but I think it’s important for him to learn how to use the iPad in ways that support him.” Naseem and Kabir have learnt to use Siri so that Kabir can call his mum if he feels anxious or gets lost. They have also used Siri for directions to help them get home and Naseem is finding that the iPad is replacing cards she used to make to support Kabir in his daily life.

Naseem has thoroughly embraced the iPad into hers and Kabir’s lives since the training, and they have continued their ‘iPad journey’ by attending further workshops at their local Apple store. So far, they’ve learnt about coding basics and sit down once a week to work through the Swift coding app. “We also spend some time learning how to talk to Siri to get it to do the things we want it to do.” Naseem is planning for her and Kabir to join a future workshop to learn about GarageBand, an app that allows users to create music or podcasts. “There’s so much to learn with iPads and I don’t expect to know everything – we just do a bit at a time and everything we learn gives us more confidence. The staff are amazing and Kabir loves going to the Apple store” explains Naseem. “As well as enjoying the excitement of a trip into town, Kabir’s really engaging with the workshops and he’s learning so much. So am I!”

Naseem hasn’t looked back since attending the Family Fund workshop. “I wanted to understand more about using the iPad and tailor the device for Kabir to support his development, but I wasn’t sure where to start. The Family Fund workshop was a fantastic taster session, introducing me to the iPad’s potential and setting me on the path to learn more. I’d really recommend it.”

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