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Ipads to Help Autistic Children Communicate


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teacher, children with autism, and iPad

Children with autism at the Baudhuin Preschool at Nova Southeastern University's Mailman Segal Institute are learning to communicate using iPads.

Credit: Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University's Mailman Segal Institute (MSI) launched a new initiative, "18 iPads in 18 Days," to help facilitate the learning process for children with autism at MSI's Baudhuin Preschool. The preschool provides services to children with autism through a contract with the School Board of Broward County, Florida and is recognized internationally for their innovative programs for children with autism spectrum disorders.

Technology continues to revolutionize the manner in which teachers meet the needs of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), a group of developmental disabilities caused by a problem with the brain. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an average of 1 in 110 children in the United States have an ASD. Children with ASD can exhibit problems with social, emotional, and communication skills.

iPads are now being used with children who have communication challenges. The devices provide an alternative means of communication between children with autism who have difficulty speaking, and a teacher. Thanks to the generosity of several donors, MSI will be able to place an iPad in each of the Baudhuin Preschool's 18 classrooms just prior to the Christmas holidays.

"Autism is a lifelong disability that affects the way children communicate and relate to others and the world around them," says MSI Dean Roni Leiderman. "We are grateful for the incredible generosity and support of our donors, who are responsible for the success of this initiative."

Donors contributing to the "18 iPads in 18 Days" initiative include:

  • James A. Scott
  • A.L. Mailman Family Foundation
  • Roni Leiderman and Philip Klein
  • On My Own–Sylvia's Place Boutique
  • Joel and Jamie Mayersohn
  • Malin, Haley, DiMaggio, Bowen & Lhota, P.A.
  • Panza Maurer

Each iPad is equipped with applications like Proloquo2Go, which is designed specifically for children and individuals with special needs. The touch pad is user friendly, features colorful symbols, natural sounding text-to-speech voices, and an extensive vocabulary.


 

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