There is a surprise application of the iPad that is gaining traction in the autism community: picture communication and therapy for special needs kids!The iPad is so effective at allowing special needs children to communicate via pictures, the buzz is alot. The Dayton Chapter of the Autism Society is on board! It now offers grants to families for purchasing the iPad, alongside grants for speech therapy and medical supplies! Especially is the iPad effective for non-verbal autism. One family recently in the news is Grady Oathout, 3, who exhibited classic autism signs at 18 months – not speaking, and flapping his hands, according to Scott Hilyard in his April 10th article Illinois Mom: iPad Helps Autistic Child, in the Paducah Sun, and Tara, pictured above, and Floyd Oathouse, his parents. At 2, Grady was diagnosed with autism. Tara, 25, applied herself to research, and found families are having success communicating with autistic children by using an iPad. At $800.00 with software loaded, it was prohibitively expensive for this family living paycheck to paycheck. Tara found a way. She raised the funds using a Facebook tool. iCommunicate is a digital version of therapy regimen PECS, or Picture Exchange Communication. With 10,000 different pictures, voiceless youngsters can point to a picture on the touch screen. Almost immediately, Grady’s vocabulary moved from zero words to ten! He has lost the frustration of not being able to voice his wants. When he’s hungry for a piece of fruit, he points to a picture of a banana on the iPad!
Ref: Autistic child transformed through help from iPad – by Scott Hilyard, PJStar
More References to the iPad’s usefulness with handicapped children:
Autistic students teach classmates about their condition
How devices like the iPad are helping special-needs children, hospital patients
iPads, iPods aid communication in Elgin special-needs classes