Tuesday, March 22, 2011

iPads and Autism Resources: Fundraising, Donations, Research, and Education

Shannon Des Roches Rosa

Leo playing Swapsies
While so many of us are waiting for our iPad2s, many (too many) kids with autism and other special needs are waiting to get any iPad -- any iPad at all. Families who want to buy iPads privately often don't have the means (these devices are expensive!), and school districts and insurance companies often cite the lack of longitudinal studies supporting the effectiveness of iDevices in special education.

To address both areas, I've been updating our iPad Apps for Autism spreadsheet with links to iPad Fundraising & Donations, as well as Research & Education links. I've pasted in the current listings below, but will be updating and expanding the list as more resources come in -- or are brought to my attention (hint, hint).

If you want to help a child get an iPad, look through the Fundraising & Donations section for ideas on agencies that are donating iPads to kids in need, or for instructions on how to run your own fundraiser (another hint: fundraising is really easy).

If you are hitting roadblocks with insurance companies or school districts that want official research to justify getting a child an iPad, look through the Research and Education links. Though, as I've said before -- the irony in Leo's case is that he probably wouldn't have qualified for an iPad as an AAC device, since he speaks "fluent requesting" -- yet his iPad has improved not just the quality of his learning but increased his learning opportunities -- he can learn anywhere he can take his iPad

If you'd like to help out a specific children in need of iPads, consider donating to:
I'm very proud of SEPTAR, the local Special Ed PTA co-editor Jen Myers and I helped co-found  -- because of our own successful fundraising, we were recently able to  donate ten iPads to our district's Special Ed department! We're doing real good and making a real difference on a local but district-wide level -- more reasons to consider starting a Special ED PTA in your own area.

iPad Resources - Fundraising and Donations
iPad Resources - Research & Education

This article was previously published at www.squidalicious.com.