Since March, I have been working for several hours daily as a mentor for an 18-year-old high school student with Asperger's Syndrome. I was hired mostly to be a "big brother" to him and help him socialize and be comfortable with himself (and all that this implies), which we're doing pretty well. Made some friends (though we infrequently do anything with them), have completed several projects, and I've introduced him to many new hobbies. Even got him a part in a local Shakespeare production alongside myself, which he's doing great in!
Anyhow, he also loves to read and be read to. He aspires to write, as well. There are some problems with this:
- He has severe difficulties communicating his ideas adequately. He is vague in his descriptions, to say the least, and will besides often say things such as "like that thing from the movie", without stating what thing from which movie or what it does. He picks up on suggestions pretty well (ex: if I say, "You mean the yo-yo that the cat was playing with?", he will say "Yeah, that."), but will often accept these as what he was thinking, even if they're completely off-base (to use the same example, if he WAS actually thinking of a yo-yo, but I said something like "You mean the massive chaingun Arnold Schwarzenegger had in Terminator 2?", he would probably still say "Yes" to it.)
- He cannot spell very well. He knows HOW to spell a lot of words, and can identify when he misspells something, but will ask for direct help (as in "how is this spelled?" rather than "is this right?") instead of working it out on his own. Almost always.
- He is not a confident reader, but I've helped him a lot lately. He has similar issues with reading longer/complicated words as he does with spelling; if he can't pronounce something or recognize it, he'll just ask me to read that word for him instead of sounding it out, despite my insistence. Lately, I've been working with him a lot on having him sound out new words sound-by-sound (syllable-by-syllable), and making little mini-lessons with him has has great results so far.
We read eBooks on my iPad, and he likes it quite a bit, because we can switch books (I don't allow more than two books to be read at once, though, which he accepts) and do other stuff. I have a couple of apps for learning (such as letter sounds), but I'm looking for others that would be geared more toward middle and high school age students with reading trouble (phonics and such) and less toward toddlers who are just learning to read letters.
Does anybody have any suggestions for some good iPad apps that might help with some of these skills?