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5 People Whose Lives Were Changed by Autism Speaks' iPad Grant

In 2014, Autism Speaks will have provided more than 1,200 iPads to those in need. Help us increase that number in 2015! $1,000 provides 2 individuals on the spectrum with iPads, allowing them to access apps that help advance communication and learning skills.

Your donation today, for #GivingTuesday, is tax-deductible and will be matched! Donate now: bit.ly/ASGivingTuesday

Here are some heart-warming testimonials from families who have received iPads from Autism Speaks:

From mom Bridget Murray:

Dear Autism Speaks, 

I would like to thank you and all the charitable organizations that made my amazing son Ryan extremely surprised and happy. Since Ryan struggles with sensory processing, fine motor and handwriting this wonderful iPad 2 gift has given him more opportunity for self-success.

Ryan uses it everyday at school and his daily home-log reflects the positive change it is having on Ryan.

Now Ryan is more engaged and able to take notes and do his school work more independently. Prior to this Ryan was struggling primarily in his honor's ELA as not understanding how to pull emotions from text such as interpreting plays, poems, books along with visual difficulties on small book font. In turn this increased Ryan's anxiety which carried over with all class work demands.

We are truly appreciative for this technology and look forward to Ryan's continued success while building self-esteem and independent living skills. I know Ryan has come a long way and continues to work on challenges but I know he will and can do amazing things in his own way. 

Thank you again,

Bridget

From mom Nancy Owings:

Here is a photo of Daisy using her iPad at school! She is loving it! It's such a wonderful tool — it entertains her but it's an amazing learning tool! I am going to send you another photo of her that I JUST took. She is sitting beside me playing Umi-Zoomy Numbers and counting and adding, and doing number recognition and giggling the whole time!

Thank you SO SO Much!

God Bless

From mom Megan Davis:

Dahlia's Christmas was certainly Merry!

Thank you to Autism Speaks and its collaboratives who made several kids' Christmas bright this year with the iPad 2! It's the perfect device to help children with Autism learn and more effectively communicate.

Dahlia is using hers to learn to spell, write and add more words to her vocabulary so that she can communicate  what she wants/needs to us. It will also help her develop her gift of music!

Not only does the iPad help Dahlia learn, it keeps her engaged when she has extended stays in the hospital. Because she has a chronic illness that sometimes requires her to be admitted, with an IV, the staff would use the iPad before surgical procedures and tests to ease Dahlia's anxiety. It may not seem like much, but indeed it is!

Thank you once again for blessing our family, we are truly grateful!

From speech language pathologist Gretchen Storm: 

Dear Autism Speaks,

 
I am a speech-language pathologist who applied for an iPad for one of my underprivileged clients with Autism. I have worked with him for four years. Early last year we started seeing tremendous gains in his interest in learning to read, write and do math. 
 
His verbal communication dramatically increased after I started using my iPad to visually support conversation topics and his participation and behavior increased once he learned to follow a schedule app used for each session. Myself and his family realized his progress was increased with his interest in learning through iPad apps. 
 
Right before Christmas this past December I got the pleasure of presenting the client and family with their very own iPad from the Autism Speaks foundation. Words can not describe the tears of joy and pure gratitude in the room when this family opened the iPad. The child's mom stated, "This is the best Christmas ever!" 
 
In the past month since receiving the iPad, this child's behavior has improved at home, his writing skills have improved following frequent use of a stylus on his iPad, and his success with verbal communication has improved, now that he has a way to visually support his speech. 
 
This iPad has truly changed this child's and this family's life forever. Thank you so much for everything you do! 
 
Gretchen Storm 
M.S., CCC-SLP 

From mom Stephanie Torres:

I wanted to provide an update on what this gift has done for Kiki. 
 
For someone who spoke few words without prompting, he has come a long way since December. With the shipping delays due to weather, it arrived the day before the beginning of the holiday break. We wanted to share the moment with his teacher, Valerie Jones, so we arranged to have him "open" the package in his classroom. She recorded the action on her iPad. 
 
Upon returning to school after the break, Mrs. Jones stated she knew we had worked with him over the break and his favorite word became "iPad. 
 
Kiki has always been able to repeat words and phrases. What he is able to do now is provide more eye contact and to request things. "iPad please" "a ride" "crackers" and "anana" (banana). 
 
Two wonderful things happened last week. When Mrs. Jones asked him to put on his backpack, he looked at her and said "bus"! 
 
At home we have been working on how he needs to communicate to us when he needs assistance when he is finished. We've tried to get him to say "help", "done," or "I finish". As usual, he stepped out of the restroom and grunted and pointed to get my attention and his sister and I were occupied, but I walked towards him and he stepped back into the restroom, but I stopped to finish what I was doing and he stepped out and said, "I finish, I finish!" 
 
I know this improvement is a result of the iPad, the work with his teacher and speech pathologist and his will to communicate! 
 
The iPad has also provided peace of mind when we are in the waiting room for appointments, trips to the grocery store and while we sit on the porch waiting for his bus to take him to school. We want to express our thanks for awarding Kiki with the iPad. 
 
Sincerely, Stephanie, Rebecca, and Enrique "Kiki" Torres

To be kept up to date and enter next year's iPad grant, sign up for our Community Connections newsletter here: /family-services/community-connections 

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.