Jump to content

Menu

Recommended Posts

What should I be looking for in a cheap computer for kids with dyslexia/ASD/ADHD? I was thinking of getting a Chromebook for my kids to use for school, because they are not at all gentle with my own laptop. They are already relatively comfortable using Google's voice typing online through Google Docs, but we have not really ventured into the world of tech too much with them outside of that and some basic stuff like XtraMath, Code.org, Typing.com, and Prodigy. Right now, most of our time is spent on daily living, learning how to get along with others, and Barton (I've got kids in levels 2, 3, and 4 right now! lol.) Eventually, I hope to do a bit more "school," with them so I'm trying to think ahead to what may be helpful. 
 
I really have no idea what I'm looking for. I guess that's part of my question. Anything in particular that is very helpful for a kid like this, from a tech perspective? It would be a school-only sort of computer, so I'm not concerned about gaming requirements or anything like that. My kids are rough enough on their stuff that I'm definitely looking for something on the inexpensive side.
Link to post
Share on other sites

A Chromebook would definitely be a cheaper option, both for the computer and for the free software. 
As your kids are already relatively comfortable using Google voice typing and Google Docs, etc.   Their wouldn't be a transition problem to a Chromebook.
They are also built to be used roughly by kids, which most laptops aren't.
So that Chromebooks would probably last longer.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

For the same money you could have an ipad and put it in a durable case. What are you wanting them to be able to do? On the ipad they could do inspiration (mindmapping software), use dictation, make all kinds of photobooks and visual presentations, use the Barton app, etc. The dyslexia school near us puts kids on ipads till junior high and then macbooks. 

Figure out what you want them to be able to do, but I think the ipad will bring app options you didn't realize. Then as you add tech you can keep their devices working together in the ecosystem. Timers, alarms, calendars, etc. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Through the Apple Education Store, my DD’s iPad cost $409 plus tax.  A basic Lenova Chromebook will cost less than $300.  

Apps are much better on the iPad and there’s no fussing with a microphone.  My DD uses Siri for speech to text, Inspiration, Audible, Scratch Jr. Programming, DragonBox, and types Google documents using a bluetooth keyboard.  Strangely enough, we have not used Pages.  

DS started on a PC using Word and slowly converted to all Mac products by college.  Mac works much better for accommodations and the Microsoft Surface products cost about the same as a Mac.

For the OP’s situation, I’d use either an old, stripped down PC or a Chromebook for typing.  Maybe, save and purchase a Mom iPad later.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Heathermomster said:

DS started on a PC using Word and slowly converted to all Mac products by college.  Mac works much better for accommodations and the Microsoft Surface products cost about the same as a Mac.

Exactly.

56 minutes ago, Heathermomster said:

my DD’s iPad cost $409 plus tax.

Was that with the apple pen? She can get into a refurb 5th gen ipad 9.7" with 128GB (which is astonishingly huge) for $309, which is less than the new 32gb unit and a great buy. So then she'd be comparing apples to apples pricewise, what she could get in ipad vs. chrome for about the same money. I've bought refurbs before, no issues, definitely recommend. It's a great deal, and that's a great unit. I bought a new ipad a year or so ago to update our aging ipad3 and just that base, cheap model that they were calling a student version has been GREAT. Now if she wants a bigger screen, etc. that's nice to think about too. But I'm just saying for $300 she can go either way, chrome or ipad.

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/FP2J2LL/A/Refurbished-iPad-Wi-Fi-128GB-Silver?fnode=0476752674c163d4119522d61e61500e12375f1cfea87ce25e16b06fa51ae9a280782bab5dda47b51da33a5f0961b12eb9e8e96d208966d035adffda2124c923c54807bdf74c9b063a7cf5ea7245304a

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Part of my problem is that I don't know exactly what I want it to do. Sure, I know what I want it to do *now*, but the main reason for this question to begin with is that I'm not sure what I'll want it to be able to do in the next few years! lol.

Right now, the kids primarily use my computer for
* watch Nova/Youtube vids
* Use Google docs for "writing" things (stories, summaries, letters, etc.)
* Web browser stuff like XtraMath, Alcumus, Prodigy, Code.org, Typing.org, etc. 
* Arduino
 
We do have a little iPad mini that they regularly use for Barton, and very occasionally get to use for stuff like DragonBox. 
 
So that's what they do now, and I'm tired of seeing them dragging my laptop around and getting it stepped on by the dog and the like. So I'd like to get them something more study and less expensive. IF that something could also have *things* that would help them as they get older (whatever those *things* may be - apps, accomodations, whatever), then that would be perfect. 

It will have to be something shared by all my children, rather than getting something for each individual child at this point, if that factors into the recommendation at all. 
 
Link to post
Share on other sites

We never connect our ipad to the internet. I think try your mini doing those tasks and see if they work (some things need flash) and if having the touch interface is a plus. Like if it can do everything you're already doing AND add some of the really strong dyslexia apps, that would be a win. The regular ipad is going to bring possibly more processor speed and of course a bigger screen. And if it can't do everything you want, then chromebook, boom, since your list sounds really important to you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/3/2019 at 9:27 PM, PeterPan said:

since your list sounds really important to you.

It's really not, actually. I only gave it as the example of how they use it NOW. If all that mattered were my current list - which boils down to web browsing and word processing - I'd just buy them a cheapo $150 Best buy back to school laptop like we got for DH (who really does only use those things). My hope here was to find out what sorts of things they could be doing on a laptop that would be very helpful, either now or in the future, and then buy something accordingly (with the understanding that, at this point, I don't want to spend $$$ on a macbook). 

So I do really appreciate your suggestion to look at a refurbed iPad and the other conversation about apple just being more accomodation-friendly. It's that sort of info that is helpful to me (along with figuring out what people actually DO that makes them more accomodation friendly). 🙂

Link to post
Share on other sites

The apple products will be more conducive to creativity and production using the apps, better for syncing across the ecosystem for EF support, and possibly just intuitive. There's sort of a running joke that people have mac brains or pc brains. Not really, but it is conspicuous. And you know I say all that and you can be creative on pc stuff, sync across platforms using google calendar, blah blah. It can be done. It's really smooth on apple products, one ecosystem, all there, easy peasy.

But you know since you have an ipad mini, let them play around with the app store and see. Or google for top dyslexia apps. It's kind of a quandry, because the kids need unfettered time to explore, but that's also the very thing you might be wanting to avoid to keep them out of stuff. So it's a tricky balance. Like my dd got onto Pinterest and would study costuming and collect ideas for projects. It's sort of a time waster and has some problems (strangers, perverts can write you, etc.), but it's also really great for feeding that creativity. So your kids will probably have their own things they want to do that are unique to them.

Just for your trivia, I was noticing our library does magazines online. I haven't looked yet, but if they have Muse or some of the other kid magazines from that publisher, that could be a really nice thing on an ipad. Or get the print magazine and have them use Inspiration for Kids or regular Inspiration with it to map/outline. Your oldest is probably about the right age for that. Can the laptop options do Inspiration? If they can, you could try it there, sure. We used Inspiration quite a bit, and iirc it was pretty inexpensive, maybe $25. We started with free apps and moved over. Great software.

Edited by PeterPan
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...