Little City uses iPads as occupational therapy tools

Although Wyatt has autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, he is continually excelling at Little City’s ChildBridge Center for Education — a leading-edge therapeutic day school.

Wyatt is one of the four students utilizing new technology and improving his skills with different educational applications (apps) on an iPad.

The ChildBridge Center for Education, located on Little City’s 56-acre Palatine campus, began using an iPad in the classroom six months ago in order to help students achieve their goals and monitor their progress. Little City is one of the few schools in the district leading the way in usage of this technology.

Wyatt has shown major improvements by using an iPad. He started by using his finger to interact and practice writing letters, but has since improved his fine motor skills and, now, has the ability to use a stylus, which acts as a pen.

His visual skills have also greatly increased. Wyatt only has one working eye, which makes visualizing and focusing on objects more difficult.

In addition to these improvements, Damon, a therapist, has discovered that students have an increased attention span while performing paper and pencil tasks that they are normally averse to. Since iPads are interactive and engaging, students will sit for longer periods of time working on the task.

Currently, students at the ChildBridge Center for Education use iPads twice a week for the last 10 minutes of their occupational therapy sessions. Students are allowed to pick from a predetermined list of educational apps that range from puzzles and interactive books to drawing and writing letters.

Thanks to a generous donation from Plexus Manufacturing Solutions, Little City will now provide iPads to each student. These iPads will not only be occupational therapy tools, but will also give students who are nonverbal a voice by acting as their communication tool.

For referrals, contact Admissions at or (847) 221-7859.

To support individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, visit

For complete information, visit or contact Lisa Hoffman at or (847) 221-7825

For more than 50 years, Little City Foundation has developed innovative and personalized programs to fully assist and empower children and adults with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

With a commitment to attaining a greater quality of life for Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens, Little City actively promotes choice, person-centered planning and a holistic approach to health and wellness. Little City’s ChildBridge services include in-home personal and family supports, clinical and behavior intervention, 24/7 residential services and special needs foster care and adoption.

Little City’s LifePath Adult Services offers a variety of residential options, employment opportunities, home-based services, case management, day supports, Special Olympics, an award-winning Center for the Arts and more.

For details, visit

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Wyatt uses an iPad during his occupational therapy session. Courtesy of Little City
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