Look what was inside Johnny’s school bag today!!! An iPad to use at school!!! 2 years of advocating relentlessly to the school, Autism School Services, and to the School Board with Daddy attending monthly Special Services School Board meetings for one year getting to know department chiefs by their first name and making sure they knew about Johnny. We knew there was money allocated for each special needs child but we needed to work the system and show them Johnny needed it and would flourish. He has worked very hard at school and is in a regular grade one classroom working at grade 1 level as well as working hard with any of the therapists that come to the school. Now he will have the iPad with him all the time at school!
How will it help him? Well originally when he was 4 and non-verbal in Junior Kindergarten, he was placed in a pilot project for enabling children with iPads at school and it was going to be used as a speech augmentation device. Now he is speaking a lot but is still building he repertoire and the iPad can help with that. He also has fine motor skill challenges but its easier for him to write using the iPad as well as they can quickly take pictures of things or projects at school that he is working on so he can make presentations in front of the class and he can at least read a script if he has troubles just speaking in front of the class then point at the pictures. Apraxia of Speech can give him articulation challenges so the iPad will augment his speech then as well as when he needs help saying longer sentences at school. There are lots of visuals that one can use to help a child with Autism stay on task but the old school way is creating them on computer printing them out and laminated them. With an iPad you can create something in minutes to share with the child which we have done on the fly when we are on vacation.
I guess the moral of the story is to never give up and just stay at it because if you believe that its the right thing you can make it happen.