The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a heartwarming story today about iPads as assistive technology for children with severe developmental delays. The child's father, who works for AT&T doing product development, brought technology ideas home to help his daughter communicate more effectively. The story reports that the child is doing much better in school since the introduction of the assistive technology. Particularly interesting is the mentioned of using social media to keep parents, teachers, therapists, and other care providers on the same page about the little girl's progress.
Many school districts already use assistive techology, although they aren't always using cutting edge equipment and they seldom use social media to keep everyone in the loop. A good IEP should have a some discussion of what assistive technology will be provided to support education. A picture system like PECS can be very helpful, but feel free to ask about computer based-systems at the IEP meeting. Implemented well, a computer system could easily provide more flexibility an customization for a particular child. And your child might be more motivated to participate if a computer, tablet, or smart phone is part of the system.
The father's name is Lee Mabie, and he has recently launched a website at http://www.connectedchild.net