Earlier this week, the team at Autism Speaks began packing and sending out the 651 iPads that we awarded to families and schools across the United States! Earlier this month, we opened an application cycle for parents, grandparents, teachers, and social workers to have the chance to apply for an iPad for an individual with autism. We received almost 12,000 applications! This process would not have been possible without our team of community volunteers, who read each application (with all identifying details removed) and chose the 651 recipients. We are sure that all of the individuals and classrooms that receive iPads will get life changing use out of the device.
We have received some great feedback from the lucky families. Here are just a few of the many wonderful stories we have heard so far:
"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving Marion the iPad. This is by far the best gift she has ever received; the gift of communication. I took her out for a special breakfast, and for the first time she was able to independently order her own drink and her own meal using the iPad. It brought tears to my eyes to see my child finally able to do what we consider such a simple skill with success!" - Johnna
"I'd like to express my sincere gratitude towards Sevenly.org, the James W. Pickle Foundation, as well as Autism Speaks for giving my son an iPad2. My son is now capable of communicating to us much more effectively than before. We are now able to understand his wants and needs and vice-versa. I can't thank you enough for giving my son another chance to better his life as well as ours. This means the whole world to all of us." - Daravy
"My son received his iPad last night and it's the greatest gift he has ever been given! From the moment he took it out of the box it opened him up in a way I have never seen before. He's 6 years old and nonverbal, so I never knew until now the amount of information he absorbs. He was spelling out December and October and using a magnet app to assign Santa’s and pumpkins to the appropriate month. Watching him work with that iPad literally brought tears to my eyes! But the greatest moment of all was when he used the PECS app to tell me he wanted a drink of water! All I've ever wanted for my son is the ability to communicate and this iPad is giving him that. I can't thank Autism Speaks enough!" - Tiffany
"Thank you soooo much for my sons iPad2!!! It was a huge surprise when the box arrived. My son who is 8 years old loves it!! I have found some apps where I can include our own pictures in some social stories that will hopefully help with some of his fears. I have also found some apps to help with his IEP goals from school. I can't wait to see all of the positive outcomes for him and us! Thank you to EVERYONE that made this possible. We appreciate it more than you will ever know." - Kim
To stay informed about our next round of iPad grants, sign up for our Community Connections newsletter!