"You could (and I know people who did) give an iPad to a child with learning difficulties"
I bought myself an ipod touch around 2008 and within days my autistic, non-verbal 10 year old son had managed to get his hands on it. It was a revelation! Before he had a big keyboard with a two line LCD panel which spoke the words he typed in, which naturally ended up not being used because it was too unwieldy. My son took to the ipod like a fish to water. He could play his music and more importantly type into it to tell people what he wanted, all in a light weight easy to carry hand held device. I think he is on his third or fourth ipod touch now and when this one dies I don't know what we'll do now that Apple have discontinued them.