Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mission Two: Special Needs iPad Giveaway for the Holidays 2011


Who'da thunk it? Here it is at last.

Got a bit sidetracked earlier in the week. A bit of a cold bug, which I wrote about in my own personal blog. No need to go over it here. So here we go, on with the actual giveaway parameters for the launch of our second iPad Mission.

We're handling this Mission a bit differently, like I said before, because, well, Mission One was more of a Restoration Effort. From here on out, we get to do what we want to do. And since Mission Three is much broader in scope, Mission Two is much tighter, because of the time frame.

Essentially, we've got two iPads to give away.


These are the 16GB, Wi-Fi models that we gave out in Mission One. Not the 3G capable kind. They are both black. The color is not negotiable because we have them in hand already. They were each received by Heather via unique and interesting circumstances, and I'll be sharing the stories here in the coming days.

In order to become eligible to enter this giveaway, you need to do the following:

1. Take a photograph of your child or use an existing one you already have and host it somewhere on the Internet.
2. Write a statement of no less than 100 words about what your child's communication-related disability is and why you believe your child would benefit from this groundbreaking technology. Why the request for the photo and the text? WE WANT TO GET TO KNOW THE PEOPLE WE SERVICE. Plain and simple. We like pictures of kids, and it is important to not just be names and numbers. This is still about community.
3. Post a link to the photo of your child at the end of your comment.
4. Post the entry here.
5. NOPE, the link doesn't count as part of the 100-word count, silly!
6. Please limit your comments in this blog post to entries only. I have a separate post, called Mission Two: Questions and Answers, all ready to go if you have any Questions (or even comments). (EDIT 12/03/11: Comment away and ask your questions here. I gave it some thought and after seeing that there wasn't really a deluge, and also realizing that I was making this whole thing a bit more complicated than it needed to be, I'm revising #6. Hey, so I made a wee bit of a mistake...happens. :) )

If you are selected as a Recipient, you MAY be asked to fill out an Eligibility Form, Release Form, etc., similar to the ones we had up previously on our site (I will get the revised ones up shortly with Mission Two specific parameters), and this may or may not include various documentations such as a letter of need from a Speech Therapist or Physician in your child's life. (But don't sweat any of this kind of thing PLEASE...and remember...full Privacy applies to this part, any of that kind of info stays private.)

These types of things are vital so that we can verify that any Recipient is a child in need of an iPad and that said child does indeed have a communication-related disability. We are, after all, trying to fulfill a Humanitarian mission here, and we don't want to just give out iPads to everyone, though that would be super radiliciously awesome if we could, 'natch.

This giveaway starts as soon as this post goes live and the acceptance for entries will remain open until Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 12:00 PM EST. It is open to U.S. Residents only this time around I'm sorry to say. But I assure you, all future Missions are not going to be limited in that fashion.

Yup, that's 2 weeks. 2 iPads. 2 families. Mission 2. It's liked I PLANNED IT!!!!


THE SKINNY
(Or if you prefer: The Specific Rules of Entry)

- Only one entry per household, even if you have more than one child with a disability.

- No entries will be accepted past the deadline. There will be no exceptions to this whatsoever, sorry.

- A valid e-mail address is absolutely required. If you leave a comment and you do not have a valid e-mail attached to your commenting name (as in you already write a blog or some such), then you MUST leave your e-mail address in your comment. If there is no e-mail, your entry will not qualify. (ADDENDUM: If you feel weird about leaving your e-mail address in a public forum, you can send it to me privately at residentlilly@gmail.com. I have no problem accepting it there.)

- We will assign everyone who enters a number after the giveaway is closed, and using the website random.org we will determine the Recipients. We will announce the Recipients here on this site, and if they respond and are reachable, as soon as we have confirmation and verification and all the ducks are a'quacking (that means everything checks out) we will ship out the iPads.

- If you are chosen as a Recipient, and the announcement is made of such a position, it is your responsibility to be available and able to be contacted regarding the details of the winning the giveaway (see above RE: valid e-mail address!) If you do not respond to our post or our message to you about your status within 24 hours of our announcement, you will become ineligible and the next family in sequence will become the Recipient of the iPad.

- As stated above, because of the short time frame, if you enter this contest, BE AVAILABLE. And be sure you have an e-mail that works. If you are worried about your e-mail functioning, then privately send me your phone number. Because as I said, if we do not hear back from a Recipient in 24 hours, another winner will be chosen. The idea is to get an iPad into the hands of two families for Christmas, not Easter!

- As a Recipient, it will also be up to you to move quickly as well on the paperwork side of things. I am going to work it out so that you do not have to mail it for this Mission. I am going to work it out so that I can have you send me what I need electronically. The forms will still be there, for reference sake, but I will work with someone so that at least for this Mission we have the ability to just do a transfer of info very fast. But if you do not have the Eligibility info available within 7 days of being informed of becoming a Recipient, you will become ineligible and the next family in sequence will become the Recipient of the iPad..

- These rules are flexible, as in subject to change and variate as the giveaway progresses, and there is no fee for entry.

That about covers it. If you have any question, fire away. Other than that, go ahead and get started!

Good luck!

PEACE.

-Ken
On behalf of:
The Mission: iPossible! Group

46 comments:

Emilia said...

My son William, who is 7, has Asperger’s Syndrome on the Autistic Spectrum scale. Even though William is verbal and speaks, he has quite a few significant communication impairments and delays – in the areas of social communication, oral and expressive language communication, writing and movement communication, reading communication, and comprehension and problem solving communication, which are outlined below.

Social Communication: William handles frustration with outbursts or aggressive behaviors. William does not maintain eye contact during a conversation. William has many sensory sensitivities that also impair him from interacting and interacting appropriately with his peers. William frequently responds negatively to loud noises. He will hold his hands over his ears. He frequently makes excessive noise during transitions or makes unusual noises to himself, to try to drown out the confusing background noises. He wears noise canceling headphones most of the day at school and frequently at home. He has moderate auditory withdrawal. When William interacts with others he is immature and can often be oppositional; he has moderate social withdrawal.

Oral and Expressive Language Communication: William’s speech is monotone and immature. His nonverbal communication is very poor in mental status and imitation. When William was 6, he had an oral expression at 13%. The Psychiatrist has diagnosed William with an expressive language disorder, with scattered and suppressed verbal skills. William often has temper tantrums that disrupt his learning and that of his peers. He also frequently has these temper tantrums at home, even with a behavioral chart with rewards implemented. Typically his fits are the result of a request being made of him. Typically it is something that he sees himself as unable to do. William’s anxiety level is heightened when he is expected to complete a lengthy task at once. It works best to break the task into smaller more manageable tasks which prevents him from becoming overwhelmed. William also has tantrums when a change in routine is experienced. William uses a picture schedule system (on paper - PECS) to help him move from one task to another. William has difficulty when routine is not ridged and adhered to. William plays repetitively during free time much of the time. William has friends, but it is difficult for him to resolve peer conflicts without an adult. When tested at school and at the Psychiatrist, William has a definite dysfunction with social participation and oral and expressive language.

Writing and Movement Communication: William is below average significantly for his fine motor precision and integration, his gross motor precision and integration, and his manual dexterity. William can do alternating gross motor hand movements, but he cannot do alternating fine motor finger dexterous movements. He struggles greatly with learning how to spell words, writing words. When printing William starts most strokes from the bottom-up. When William was 6, he had an alphabet writing score of less than 1% for his age/grade level. William draws his “7” and “9” frequently backwards. William is able to draw a stick figure, but often is missing the arms, face, and any features beyond a circle for a head, a line for the body, and 2 lines for the legs. William has great difficulty cutting and pasting and most general tasks in art. William has difficulty grading his movements. He frequently spills contents of opened containers. He moves his chair roughly, runs instead of walks, stamps his feet when walking, slams doors with excessive force, has great trouble writing and what he writes is illegible the majority of the time.

Continued...

Emilia said...

from continued...

Reading Communication: When William was 6, he had reading skills score at 16%. William continues to read way below grade level, mostly at a beginning Kindergarten level, even though he is in the middle of first grade. William still identifies letters and the sounds that they make wrong.

Comprehension and Problem Solving Communication: William is frequently unable to solve problems effectively. Performing tasks in proper sequence is challenging. He frequently fails to complete tasks with multiple steps, has poor organization of materials and has difficulty correctly imitating demonstrations. He does best when presented with a model. When tested at school and at the Psychiatrist, William has a definite dysfunction with planning and ideas. He also has difficulties understanding cause and effect, and sees most things as black or white. He has a hard time understanding the moral of the story and does not comprehend reading well. When William was 6, he had a listening comprehensive level at 23%, math problem solving score at 29%, and a passage comprehensive score of 11%.

continued...

Emilia said...

from continued...

So, how will William benefit from an iPad? In my mind there could be so many benefits! I myself am an educator and have seen the benefits of the iPad in the classroom (and would purchase one immediately if I wasn’t currently laid off and could afford it). William would definitely benefit with his social communication, oral and expressive language communication, writing and movement communication, reading communication, and with his comprehension and problem solving communication through the various apps that exist for the iPad. William could benefit from what the iPad has to offer as a functional tool by enhancing and developing his communication skills, learning how to adapt to situations, and develop social skills. With my interaction with special education students, and through my own personal investigation into apps for the iPad for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, I am familiar with many of the apps. Apps that I believe that would benefit William and how are: Autism Timer could help William with his transitions; Behavior Assessment Pro would help identify factors related to problem behaviors; Awareness! Would allow William to listen to his surroundings while also engaging in another activity such as watching a video; Everyday Skills would help William become more self-directed and more independent; ArtikPix would allow William to practice sounds and words at home; Aurify would allowing William to practice his sounds and words at home; iEarnedThat can help with tracking behavior goals and rewarding for achieving designated behaviors; iWriteWords could help William with his fine motor skills and practice writing letters, number, and words correctly; Idea Sketch William could draw mind maps and flow charts of his ideas; Off We Go! would help William with becoming more comfortable in changes in routine and new situations; AutismXpress would help William recognize and express his emotions more appropriately; Story Builder could help his auditory processing; Which Does Not Belong would help William with vocal imitation and his monotone speech; iThought would help William not see everything in black and white, realize the big picture, and concentrate on more than one thing at one time; Stories2Learn would help William with social skills and literacy by creating his stories; What Rhymes would help William with his reading comprehension; Bigger Words would help William with reading, iPrompts could replace his PECS at school and help William with his schedule, making choices, and expressing feelings, Sentence Builder would help William build grammatically correct sentences, iCommunicate would help William with his language comprehension, Expressionist could help William with his expressive language and expression skills, Model Me Going Places would help William with social skills and appropriate behaviors, ABC Animals would help William learn his letter names and phonetics, abc Pocket Phonics would help William with letter sounds, letter writing practice, and sight words, and Chicktionary would help William create words and understand word definitions . I know that there are many more apps that I am unfamiliar with or have not found yet that will also benefit William with his communication deficits. Additionally, the iPad would be mobile and allow William to take his assistive technology with him, from home to school, and everywhere in-between! William would be able to work on developing and improving his communication skills in ways that he has not previously explored, and would help give William a voice more easily where he has previously struggled. The iPad will have the potential to unlock William’s true potential more and more day by day.

Thank you for your consideration. My email address is emilia.hackney@gmail.com. A picture of William is located at: http://raising-three.blogspot.com/2011/12/picture-of-william.html

blogzilly said...

Now THAT'S some entry. HOLY CRAP!

Thanks for sharing William's story, and yours too.

Considering that so far you are the only person who has entered, right now? Your odds are looking VERY good. ;)

I think I am going to ease up on the no comments in here thing. I expected kind of a lot of entries, and I am not so sure anymore, so why not...besides, if I'm wrong and there are a lot of entries, not like I can't just sort it all out.

Anyway, welcome and Good Luck!

Anna said...

Our daughter Grace was adopted from Ecuador last summer at 4.5 years of age.(after an almost two year process)At the time she had no verbal communication. We didnt realize the dire situation before traveling but had thankfully taken volumes 1-3 of Signing time videos in Spanish. By the time the adoption process was complete and we were headed home, eight weeks, she had learned 20 signs. Grace has very few "clearly" spoken words, approx 50-100 that our family understands. Most importantly she has a vocabulary of 300 +/- signs that she uses in context! We are so thankful for this avenue of communication and know that she comprehends and could learn even more than we could imagine given the right tools.
Grace was born with congenital cataracts, which were surgically removed at a year of age. This has also been a huge detriment to her learning ability. Due to the language barrier we never fully understood why she didnt wear her glasses every waking moment in the orphanage.(she has no lens. Without her glasses she is blind) We were able to purchase new glasses while in Ecuador and she has gone from walking like a blind person to running and jumping.
I have been working with Grace teaching her to read by sight by creating my own powerpoint slide shows so that the print can be large and bold, plus back-lit. She has learned to read 20 +/- words. Grace loves music and bright colors, I have done some research on various tablets and feel that an IPad would help her tremendously after seeing all of the apps that can be used that will draw her in using music, being backlit, and having bright colors. I know it would also help with her hand eye coordination, fine motor skills and many other areas that she is severely behind in, not just communication. Also, since they are used as a teaching aid in our school system it would be a huge benefit to prepare her for the transition from home to a classroom setting.
I know with or without an IPad Grace has the potential to touch lives and learn. Our family is committed to her and facilitating her education which is why I am sending you our story, as humbling as it feels, to ask that you would consider her as a recipient to an incredible device.
You can find a photo of Grace here
on my blog: http://fromtheheart-anna.blogspot.com/2011/10/day-22.html
You can contact me at my email address: Pansi2@aol.com

Sweet Pea's Mommy said...

My daughter "Sweet Pea" has Down syndrome and has the all too typical speech delays that come along with that diagnosis. She is 2 1/2 years old and has 100+ signs, but less than 10 words that people can understand without being in a very clear context. She is going to start preschool in a few months and I'm very nervous about the school personnel being able to understand her needs since most of them don't know sign language...and especially not my daughter's unique version of it.

I've seen Sweet Pea interact with a relatives iPad and she is beyond fascinated with it. I think that the apps that respond to the sound of her voice by doing something would really motivate her to do more verbal play because she is really good at mimicking. Teaching her one of the PECS type apps out there would also help for when she is at school and wants/needs to express a need.

You and your team that have put the original iMission and now Mission Two and soon to be Mission Three are amazing and I just want to thank you guys for all you have done for so many kids! I love knowing that these iPads will go to deserving kids...and if one happens to be my daughter then that is even better! ;-) Thank you!

You can find lots of pictures of Sweet Pea on her blog http://lifewithsweetpea.blogspot.com/

Eric said...

I posted this on three facebook sites Ken, "ohtahara.org", "ohtahara syndrome", and my own "severely mentally and physically compromised children". I figure it's all about getting the grassroots message out and showing what caring and organization can do. Hopefully it will inspire.

blogzilly said...

Thanks Eric, I really appreciate that.

Carolyn said...

Daniel will be thirteen years old on December 23, 2011. He is non-verbal, but communicates with gestures. He points and reaches for items he wants.
We live in Florida, and in our school district Daniel is not provided with speech therapy .I fought that decision and he was given more communication goals and an assistive technology screening that resulted in PECs being introduced into his IEP.
A month ago Daniel was approved for private speech/language therapy. His therapist is working with the pictures, but feels they are difficult for him to access. She recommended an iPad, and his teacher agrees that it would be a crucial piece of equipment that will heighten his ability to communicate.
I would love for Daniel to be able to let people know what he wants and needs, as well as what he’s thinking. If we don’t win this contest, we’ll be entering others and trying to save so that he can eventually benefit from this technology.

(Pictures of Daniel are posted on my blog, and connected with this comment.)Thank you so much!

NK said...

My 12 years old son, Kai has "classical" autism and is practically nonverbal. He has very few expressive vocabulary - "open", "Dorito", "please", "more", "mommy", "daddy", "tea". He has significan behavior issues and local school cannot find a placement for him. So he goes to a facility specialized in autism, about 1 hour and 40 minutes away from home. There he uses PECS and staff works on his oral language as well, yet his autism is so severe that his expressive language is very limited.

I am VERY positive that iPad will be of great help for him. First, though he is considered very "low functioning", he can use PC and he can browse YouTube on his own. He enjoys some toddler games as well. Second, I'm amazed at how he figured out how to use my iPhone. He can swipe to activate, tap YouTube to open, tap his favorite video, and he can browse on. What a genius Steve Jobs was in making things so intuitive and usable for anyone! The problem is I cannot let him use my iPhone so freely. So if he has an iPad of his own, with communication software, he may be able to expand his working vocabulary.

I hope Kai will win the iPad!

You can see his photo at:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/OvMsQVY8E3o-fmhb6RYI6t3K8SWInv833l1aihM5Qjg?feat=directlink

nicole said...

My son Ethan, who is 4, has Down Syndrome and also diagnosed at 11months of age with Infantile Spasms. Ethan now has outgrown the Infantile Spasms and has myoclonic seizures. He is not walking yet. He as of right now is nonverbal just has dadada and currently is using a switch at school to communicate if he wants more etc. He doesn't use any sign language. I know he could effectively use an ipad and help him communicate. I find he likes my Iphone but the screeen is too small for him so I think the IPAD would be perfect for him. I know the school speech therapist has worked with him using her ipad and he loves the apps she has and all the musical things she can do with with him.

Ethan though 4 is about at the 18 month old level or younger at some points. The seizures have developmentally delayed him alot further than we would have liked. He also has a mild to moderate hearing loss so the ipad would help him communicate in that manner as well. We would like to see Ethan to be able to concentrate on a specific task a little longer than he does and all teachers agree the ipad may be the answer with the brightness and the loudness it can produce with the apps. Ethan also doesn't have the best fine motor skills and we know the ipad would help in that! along with the hand eye coordination.

We also would love to be able to let Ethan start to have choices of things he would like or dislike and having the ipad would give him this opportunity. We could also put pictures of family members and work with him on recognzing them without having him tearing them up which happens all to often with paper ones.

I am not too familiar with all the different apps out there but I do know that I know there are a lot and a lot for special needs and I know there has to be some that can help Ethan communicate with his mommy, daddy and little brother so that we know when he is not feeling well, hungry, thirsty, wants to play etc.

Thanks for allowing us to put in Ethan's name!

Nicole
nmills25@verizon.net

MommyofEthan said...

Hi – My son David is four years old. He was diagnosed with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy with developmental and speech delays. He is able to make sounds but struggles to put words together. Currently he has a vocabulary of less than 5 words but knows about 20 signs in ASL. We are trying to teach him more signs but sometimes he lacks the dexterity in his hands to correctly perform certain signs. He loves to try to imitate sounds of animals and tries his hardest to sing along to songs by moving his mouth to the words. He is a very bright boy that just needs help overcoming some challenges – especially in communication.
I believe David would absolutely benefit from an Ipad since he loves electronics and computers. His teacher is amazed at how well he responds to activities on the computer and how well he maintains focus. Both his Occupational therapist and his Speech Language Pathologist use these types of devices during their sessions since he is so amiable towards it. At this time, David is unable to verbally express himself effectively and is limited on signs so an Ipad would be a wonderful tool in assisting him to express himself to us and others in an understandable way. For example, one day he woke up crying and was in pain and had no way of letting us know what was hurting him. We kept trying to use signs to figure out but he just couldn’t explain. Most of the time if he doesn’t know a sign and wants something, he will communicate to us by pointing or pulling us over to what he wants or to a picture of it, if one is readily available.
I am thankful for an organization like yours and am sure whoever receives the Ipad will be blessed and thankful.
Sincerely,
Priscilla.
You can see a picture of David at http://mommyofethan.blogspot.com/2011/12/blog-post.html. My email address is daveandpri@gmail.com. Thank you!!

blogzilly said...

On behalf of Nicole, I am posting a photo by her request of her son Ethan, as she wasn't sure where to host it. Well, as luck would have it, I gots lots of space!

http://www.creatusmaximus.com/transfer/lilly/mip/mission2photos/ethan.jpg

JennH76 said...

Dear Mission iPossible,

Thank you for the Mission Two: Special Needs iPad Giveaway for the Holidays 2011. I am writing to you about my daughter, Rowan, who is 2.5 and has a severe right-sided hearing loss and significant speech delay.

Rowan was born at home with a midwife in 2009. She seemed perfect with little ears that were somewhat pointed, almost like an elf (which we didn’t mind given that her middle name is Elanor, after the beautiful little flowers that grow in Lothlorien in The Lord of the Rings). When she was about six weeks old, we took her to an “early intervention” state agency for a newborn hearing screening. To my surprise, she failed the test in her right ear. I spoke with Rowan’s physician about the test, but neither of us was concerned, as Rowan seemed to respond to sound appropriately. We chalked up the result to possible fluid in her ear, and I (mostly) put the test out of my mind.

When Rowan was 14 months old, the state agency contacted me to see if we had ever followed up on her failed hearing test. I responded that we had not and why, so they offered to re-test Rowan’s hearing so that we could confirm normal hearing. Rowan failed the test again. The state agency talked about the type of things parents might notice in a child with unilateral hearing loss/deafness. When she mentioned children having difficulty with echolocation, or finding people/objects by sound, I realized that Rowan struggled with this. We went to a pediatric ENT and audiologist for additional testing. A sedated hearing test confirmed that Rowan has moderate to severe (depending on the frequency) hearing loss in her right ear. At this time we do not know why Rowan has this hearing loss.

Once Rowan’s hearing loss was confirmed we began early intervention services with an itinerant teacher for the deaf/hard-of-hearing and speech therapist. A global developmental evaluation at the beginning of the services confirmed something else that we suspected: Rowan also had a significant speech delay. At 18 months she said little beyond, “mama,” “dada,” and “ba,” and didn’t even use those sounds very often. We followed the intervention recommendations from her teacher and speech therapist and started to teach her sign language, among other activities. Thankfully, Rowan picked up sign language fairly quickly and we were finally able to engage in two-way communication!

This past summer, Rowan got to participate in a summer program for children with hearing loss that focused on listening and speaking. During this program she experienced group and individual speech sessions that utilized multiple types of therapies, including electronic media. She loved attending this program and we started to hear more attempts at spoken, not just signed, communication.

In the meantime, we continued to work with Rowan’s teacher and speech therapist. Over the past year, they both mentioned how they thought iPads would be useful with their students/clients, as there were many programs for special needs children. Both have now purchased their own iPads (since the state couldn’t afford to buy them) to use with students/clients. My daughter LOVES it when they bring their iPads to our sessions and allow her to interact with it.

Rowan has definitely made progress in regards to her speech delay in the past year, though she still lags behind her peers. I’m sure that this will continue with or without an iPad. However, I think an iPad and the amazing apps that are available (such as those mentioned by Geek SLP) can help engage my daughter in different ways and allow us to closely track her progress, and perhaps she’ll learn to verbally communicate more quickly and efficiently.

Once again, thank you for this giveaway. I am amazed by the stories I’ve read in the comments, and I appreciate the opportunity to submit my daughter’s story, too.

(If I do this right, I think Rowan will be my "profile" photo for this post.)

JennH76 said...

Maybe this will work for a photo:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/zM6bCq1s4Jd9ynWvxfrdptMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

dolcezza said...

I have 3 amazing special needs boys. I will post a picture of the boys, however I can't post one of them using an ipad or other device because they do not yet have any.
I have twin boys who are nearly 5, Randy and Brayden who are both non-verbal. They were diagnosed with a global developmental delay for now. We are planning on going for more testing, however Brayden had pneumonia last winter, and he has to have surgery for a hernia.. therefore those things need to come first. Since they do not yet communicate other than to put my hand to what they want, the BIGGEST way an ipad would benefit them is easily communication. They are starting to make more letter sounds, so I am hopeful that one day they will be speaking, and there are apps for that. It will be a while though, so I was eying quite a few picture communication apps... it would be an amazing thing if they could tell me what they want!!!
They go to a special needs pre-k and their teacher has expressed that an ipad would be a great tool for them. She has introduced one once or twice with success, but it is her personal ipad, and it becomes difficult to let them use it without including the other students, therefore it is an "occasional treat". They are making slow but steady progress in all areas, and I know having tools at home that I could work with would help boost that progress greatly!

My oldest, Jason is 12 and has pdd-nos. He is an amazing intelligent person, and also goes to a school for kids with neurobiological disorders. He has recently taken interest in learning how to program his own video games and apps, and if we had an ipad it would be an amazing project to see what he could learn to develop. I do web site programming myself, so I would love to work with him on learning to program ipad apps, and see what a special needs kid comes up with first hand... and what he comes up with for his brothers. He also has a lot of trouble with schoolwork, and remembering the things he needs, chores, etc... This would be a great tool to make organization a bit more fun for him.

Thanks for considering me for this contest, and good luck to all!!!
Here are some photos of them, although again we have no ipad to show them with!:
https://picasaweb.google.com/117990730274987812890/December82011

Susan Kieser
suenbrad@optonline.net

dolcezza said...

sorry.. link doesn't work... try this:

https://picasaweb.google.com/117990730274987812890/December82011?authkey=Gv1sRgCJK4pJWSk-6lkgE&feat=email

Charissa said...

My friend Justine Foster told me about your ipad giveaway and I wanted to enter, before it's too late! My daughter Zoya, age 6 1/2, was born 13 weeks premature with a cleft lip and cleft palate. She was abandoned at the hospital by her birth mother and spent 5 months alone in the hospital, with no parents, being fed through her nose to stay alive. Not only did she never learn to use her mouth muscles to suck and eventually chew and swallow, she never learned to properly use her mouth to communicate. She also is affected by fetal alchohol effects, which results in some moderate delays both mental and physical. Most significantly, her speech is affected. We are working hard to teach her to use her lips to form words but as long as she has the cleft palate open, and until she can learn the proper way to use her speech muscles, (her first surgery last spring failed and is rescheduled for a second this coming April), she cannot be understood. She definitely knows what she wants to say, but can't quite get it across most of the time. I observed the speech therapist today using an ipad today to teach verbal sounds, and Zoya really responded! She loved the first words app and was trying so hard to make the right sounds to repeat the words! I would love to have the ability to work with her more at home with some of the new speech apps on the ipad. Please consider Zoya for the giveaway/drawing. A picture of Zoya can be found on my blog: http://urbanfunnyfarm.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-kindergarten-graduates.htmlShe is the second picture down. Thank you!

Charissa said...

Oh! And my email is charissaurban@yahoo.com. Thanks so much!

stephbraun33 said...

My son Caden is three years old & has cerebral palsy and is non verbal. I do believe that he understands, and knows things, however he cannot physically get out his wants and needs. We can ask him where his mama/dada/grandma etc and he will look around the room, find them and smile. He can communicate by licking/thrusting his tongue asking for his pacifier. As far as being able to communicate, that’s about all he can do. He gets frustrated and whines and I think it’s because he cannot tell us what he wants. I think an iPad would benefit our son, and help us communicate with him, he is a boy trapped inside a body with all his thoughts, needs, and wants that he cannot get out and an iPad could be an opportunity to help him out tremendously!

My e-mail is Stephbraun33@yahoo.com
& here is my beautiful boy!!
http://i41.tinypic.com/9ut3bt.jpg

blogzilly said...

Hello, hello...

Was contacted by a woman named Suzie who asked me to post this entry on her behalf so that I could host the photograph for her. Here ya go!

Our daughter is Helene Lapp, a vibrant and hilariously funny 9 year old. Helene does not “suffer from,” rather she seemingly flourishes, in the confines of a genetic disorder in the family of overgrowth syndromes. While the specific syndrome is cannot be pinpointed (probably a mutation of one or more), Helene has autism, a very limited vocabulary on one-two word phrases, midline asymmetry (one side of her body is slightly larger than her left), a disregard for many social norms, and unbridled enthusiasm for all things related to sugar, electronics, and Dora the Explorer.

She currently steals and plays with my battered iPhone, changing the wallpaper to images that suit her (photos of her birthday cakes, her lovely countenance, or her toes) or letters/languages that intrigue her. This week…Portuguese. She is clearly creative and funny, with limited avenues for expression. For instance, she recently seemed to find it amusing to watch us find toys she had hidden in food. A small plastic baby found in the simmering tomato sauce, a tiny plush cookie monster upside down in a glass of milk, Dr. Doom staring up at me when I opened up the sour cream.

Her creativity, and her interest and instinctive aptitude for electronics astounds us. We, ironically, are speechless when we see her play with a friend’s Ipad. We believe there is a bigger world inside of Helene that is yearning to be expressed. We would be thrilled and humbled to be a recipient of your wonderful giveaway and have the means to provide Helene with an outlet for communication and self expression.

-Suzie
hsconv@sbcglobal.net


http://www.creatusmaximus.com/transfer/lilly/mip/mission2photos/helene.jpg

JordanM said...

Would an entry from a teacher be considered? I have no children of my own, but 8 precious babies at school that could truly benefit from an ipad. Thank you!

stephanie said...

My daughter Emilia is three years old and is quite frankly.... the air we breathe. We are a large crazy family and she is the baby. She fits in perfectly with her three sisters and one brother. Em just started school in October and is having the time of her life. She is the only girl among seven little boys in her class and is now thoroughly convinced she is a Princess. She is healthy and we are beyond blessed.
Em was born with Down syndrome and has made amazing accomplishments. Every day we celebrate something. A new sign, stacking blocks, an understanding look. All huge, major celebrated events.
Em doesn't talk yet. She has a few words like hi and bye, da da, but that is it. She has beautiful jargon and tells delightful stories including hand gestures and hysterical faces. But no words. an ipad would, I believe, bring her to the next level. The thing with Em is, I know it's all up there in her little head ,just bursting to get out. The frustration that she has when she cannot tell me what she needs breaks my heart. This happy delightful girl will get to the point of literally banging her head on the floor or pulling out her hair due to frustration. I try to understand her sounds and her needs but sometimes I just can't figure it out. But she is so close to making the connection. It's like she's in a room with no lights trying to find the door, and she is just all around it. if she can just find that stinkin doorknob, all the light in the world is going to come flooding in. An ipad will let that light in, I just know it.
She learns by watching,and she likes to use her hands. The benefits of an ipad would be, well, it would be her ticket to a verbal world! i can't even begin to imagine how wonderful it would be if she could tell me when she doesn't feel well. I'm sure she has had a tummy ache but i have no idea.Something so simple as being able to tell me what hurts or a simple need. It would mean the world to Em and to all of us.
Buying an ipad is unfortunately not an option. Like I said before, we are a big family and we have had some difficult years financially. Food and shelter still have to come first.I do believe this is the only way Miss Em will get one. So that's why I'm here. And i have to say thank you for all of this. I can't believe how amazing Mission1 went. and know here you go again! Thank you!

You can see a picture of the Dumpling on my blog http://ourdailysmiles.blogspot.com/2011/12/miss-em.html

my email, Rarefindings@verizon.net

The link above takes you to one picture of Em. Please feel free to look around. I wanted to leave the link to my blog not just one post but I don't want to change it now because if I lose this comment I'll freak...

blogzilly said...

Hey Jordan,

I can't open it up to teachers on behalf of students for this Mission as far as actual entry, because it sets precedent for friends on behalf of friends, and so forth. But nothing is stopping you from telling eight sets of parents about the giveaway.

I told people at Bennett's (my son) school about the giveaway, who passed along the info, some of whom are entered above!

Cathy C said...

My son Jake is 14 years old. He has Down syndrome and Autism. He also was diagnosed in Aug., 2008 with Hodgkin's Lymphoma (cancer) stage 3 B. The cancer was in an advanced stage and very aggressive so had to be treated aggressively as well. He went through some very difficult in patient chemo, with 8 different Chemo drugs, for several months and then radiation therapy. The aggressive type chemo was necessary but came with a lot of side effects. One of the side effects of the treatments he received is difficulty in learning. Just what a kid who has Down syndrome and Autism needs. He is now thankfully in remission but has been left with Chronic Fatigue as a result of the cancer treatments. Which makes everything more difficult.

Jake was beginning to learn to read when he got sick. It has taken us to this point to get him back to about where he was in 2008. He has a hard time with communication. He tries but his speech is difficult to understand and he only uses about 3 word sentences. He helps us out with sign language (mostly his own) but gets very frustrated and gives up a lot of times saying "oh, nevermind". It is very disheartening. It is even more difficult for him in school. He is having behavior issues and outburst which his teacher is attributing mostly to his communication difficulties and frustration with it.

His Teacher was recently given 1 ipad to use in her classroom. Unfortunately there are 12 kids with Special needs to use one ipad. She said Jake LOVES it. He stays on task and does a great job with everything she has tried. His time to use it is very limited though. She feels as though he would be able to accomplish so much if he had one of his own. I don't know much about apps or which ones will best suit his needs as I have never even held an ipad. I have some great friends who use them with their kids with Down syndrome that are willing to help us get him going with the apps that will most benefit his specific needs. His teacher will also be a great asset in helping us determine what will work best for him. Once we get going I will of course devote every minute I can to helping him succeed and make the most of this great gift. We do have wi-fi available so this would be perfect for Jake. The 3G ones would, as I understand it, require a monthly internet charge which really isn't feasible for us.

We were hoping to get one for him for Christmas somehow but have been unable to make that happen. A friend who knows our situation sent this to me last night. This would be a dream come true. Thank you for this incredible opportunity. Whether it is Jake who receives this or one of the other applicants, it is an amazing gift that will provide a child with a tool that will unlock many learning possibilities for them. It is a wonderful thing for you to do. Merry Christmas!!

I will send you an email with my phone number privately as my internet service has been down at times for 24 hours and I would hate to have that happen in this situation! Jake has a carepage, would that or facebook work for pictures? If not I could sent them to you. I don't have a place to post them. My email is CathyCollard@gmail.com

Cathy C said...

I think this will link to pictures of Jake. At least i HOPE it will!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2461707896235.2115734.1058330304&type=1&l=5ce05216ab

blogzilly said...

It did!

Unknown said...

This has to be the perfect place for my questions :-). I hear a lot about parents of special needs children wanting an iPad for their children to enhance learning and communication. I myself have a daughter with Down syndrome but as I don't have an iPad or iPhone I am curious as to what exactly the device offers. In what ways can it enhance speech articulation and language? Is there a monthly fee to use an iPad the way there is on an iPhone? Are applications expensive? Thank you very much to anyone able to answer for me. All the best to the entrants and providers! Laura

Coley said...

My son, Noah, is 15 years old and has Cerebral Palsy, Autism, ADHD, Epilepsy, and Scoliosis. While he is technically 15 years old, developmentally he is much younger.

Noah is confined to a wheelchair and does not speak. He knows a few modified signs that help him communicate along with communication cards at school. Although he can’t speak, he understands a lot and is very aware of his surroundings, wants to interact with his peers, tell us about his day, talk about his hobbies; all the things any child wants to do but when you only know a handful of signs this is very difficult.

As Noah is becoming a teenager, the lack of communication is becoming frustrating to him and often leads to meltdowns. I’m sure we all remember how difficult the teenage years were. Now think about experiencing your teenage years and not being able to speak!

Noah loves technology, such as the computer, so I think an I Pad would probably be easy for him to learn.
Currently, Noah has no way to voice his fears, his concerns, his desires, wants and needs. An I Pad could be Noah’s voice. Please help give him a voice.

Link to picture: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wvMUyD3KSWo/TuFUXt8aMyI/AAAAAAAAEtM/m4GjfVpsu1w/s1600/Angel+Choir+Boy+BW2.jpg

Coley said...

Forgot to include my email.....

It is coleybelle(at)gmail(dot)com.

Dani said...

good morning : ) I am the proud parent of little miss E-V who is 3 years old and has Down syndrome. Her communication skills would benefit greatly from an IPAD. She has not said any words..knows less then 20 signs- so we struggle trying to communicate with her. She has started to make more sounds, so I know speech is coming somewhere down the road. She absolutely LOVES my iphone and even though they say her fine motor skills need some help - she knows how to point and start the videos of her favorite Barney. Because she is so fascinated by the phone- the IPAD would be even more amazing to her. There are applications that would greatly benefit her ie: PECS system where you can personalize it with pictures of our own family and our voices. I think the IPAD gives children who cannot communicate verbally a way to communicate. I know one of my greatest fears is what goes on at school, her interactions with her classmates, teachers & para's because she cannot tell us about them : (. If she is picked to receive an IPAD I would be more then happy to share how she progresses using one of the greatest tools ever invented..Thank you for what you do to help all of these children. God Bless xxx

Dani said...

oops and link to her picture:
http://dani-ourlittleangele-v.blogspot.com/

blogzilly said...

Hi Laura, this is Ken...

Your question was fairly complex, so I wrote a blog post about it. You can find the answer here:

http://blogzilly.blogspot.com/2011/12/ipad-question-or-2-answered.html

Stephanie said...

My son Vincentio is 6 years old. He was born with Down syndrome as well as many other health problems. He has been in speech therapy since he was only a few months old because he was also a preemie and had not developed the proper oral motor responses before birth. Those issues combined with his many surgeries and illnesses, he has had major delays with developing his communication skills. Vincentio is very verbal and vocal, but can only speak the first syllables for a few words. He communicates mostly through his own personal verbalizations and by pointing to things he wants. Sadly as he's getting older and wanting to be involved with other children his own age he's becoming more and more frustrated by his inability to communicate.
I believe he would greatly benefit from a device like an iPad because he is a very intelligent child. He is a very visual thinker, and has the capability to match what he wants to say to a picture. His therapists have proven this with pictures on paper. He tries so hard and I believe that if he were to have the chance to use a device like this it would open up so many possibilities for him. He would be able to communicate his wants and needs, and without so much frustration I feel his learning potential is endless. Thank you.
Vincentio's photo is my Facebook profile picture. Here is the link

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000409206275&success=1#!/profile.php?id=100000409206275

Stephanie said...

Oh, I forgot to add my email address. It's stephsnfrd@gmail.com
Thank you!

The VW's said...

My son Gavin, age 5, was born with Down syndrome. Along with the Ds diagnosis, came a heart defect.....which caused Gavin to spend much of his first year of life in the hospital. While recovering from one of his 5 surgeries that year, he suffered a hypoxic brain injury (AKA: stroke). Unfortunately, Gavin's stroke was due to a medical mistake that could have been prevented.

At birth we were told to expect that Gavin would have one heart surgery at around 3 months of age, and then Gavin's life would be full of the typical promises that a child with Down syndrome has. These expectations all changed after Gavin's brain injury occurred. Gavin's brain was severely affected by the stroke, and many complications came about because of it.

Gavin began having seizures, which today are mostly controlled thanks to medication. His sight was also affected by the stroke. He has cortical blindness, which means his eyesight is mainly good, but his brain can't always tell him what his eyes are seeing.

Gavin is 5 years old, but functions at a 4 month level (physically and developmentally). According to doctors, he is unlikely to progress much further than this level.....but Gavin has proven doctors wrong before! It is our hope that Gavin will progress throughout his life, but he needs lots of stimulation and therapy to make this happen.

A couple of issues prevent Gavin from getting the necessary therapy that he desperately needs. Because of his heart defect and lung issues, when Gavin gets sick, he gets really sick. We have had to make the decision to keep Gavin out of school this year, because he was always getting sick last year when he attended his special needs school. He does receive one home visit per week from a teacher or therapsit, but this small amount of time with them is not benefiting him as much a going to school would.

It breaks my heart to watch my child grow bigger in size each year, but stay at an infant level mentally, at the same time. I am constantly looking for things to stimulate his brain, hoping that even a little bit of progress will eventually be made!

I've heard that iPads have worked wonders with children with special needs. And, I hope that someday I will have one for him, hoping it will help him in even a tiny way. Gavin adores music.....he becomes alive when he hears it, and opens up to us in ways that he normally does not, when he hears it. I've heard that iPads have many music apps, that Gavin could benefit from. And, even though Gavin can't see a whole lot, he does visually respond to lights, which is also another reason I believe an iPad would be a great resource for him. And, one more thing.....Gavin loves to touch things! He is constantly feeling for something to touch and explore with his fingers. I'm confident that he would gain a lot by having the use of an iPad, to be able to touch, hear and experience new stimulations that his brain so desperately needs to grow and heal.

Thank you so much for this opportunity, and for caring about the special needs community! Your team is surely helping so many!

You can lay your eyes on my sweet boy, by visiting his blog: (www.gavins-voice.blogspot.com). We have many cute pictures of our warrior boy on there! He is the light of our family's life, and we are blessed beyond measure to have him as one of our best teachers in life!

Thanks again for this wonderful opportunity! You can reach me at javanderwall@yahoo.com if you have a need to contact me.

Thank you!

Alicia Vander Wall

KellyDugan said...

Hey, Im Kelly and my sons name is Carson. He is 20 months old, and is lucky enough to have an extra 21st chromosome (Trisomy 21, Down syndrome).

He was diagnosed postnatally. I declined prenatal genetic testing because of my age (26 at the time), and because we didnt care. He was our son, genetic anomoly or not.

Almost immediatly after birth Carson fell into Chronic Heart Failure. He was rushed to the local childrens hospital where we spent five weeks in a variety of NNICUs and Special Care Nurseries.

Our main reason for the stay was his lack of interest in food. As in, no interest at all. Actually he was quite averse. So ended up getting a G Tube surgically placed while we were there, got trained to used it and hit the road.

We were absolutly terrified to bring him home at first. We are first time parents so we didnt know much about babies, let alone babies in CHF equipped with a lot of DME. Things didnt go well at home and we spent the next three months in the hospital trying to figure out what was wrong.

Turned out his Surgeon placed his G Tube in the wrong place and it was blocking the entrance to his small intestine causing him to vomit everything and anything that came near his stomach. We felt a sense of relief that there was a reason he was so sick. We also felt a huge sense of anger that the careless actions of a surgeon cause him to be so sick, and that he had to have an unneccessary surgery. So he had a second G Tube surgery and then a week later he had the biggie, Open Heart Surgery. It went well and we havent looked back.

His lenghty history brings us up to the present. Carson is wonderful, people are drawn to him. He is the happiest little boy. He is always waving at everybody and blowing kisses. Since he had such involved medical issues he is/was pretty delayed. He couldnt even hold his head up until he was almost five months old, smiling came around that time as well. He just started Army crawling at 18 months and is still not really weight bearing on his legs, but is getting better.

We just switched to a new speech therapist who primarily works with kids with Down syndrome and Carson has really had a huge burst in his communication.

As of today he has 39 signs (most of them acquired in the past two months), yet no real words. And as far as signing goes, he will do them if we ask him to, but wont use them to ask for things or tell us what hes thinking. Hes trying, but we arent quite there yet. At this point in his life I think the iPad would be invaluable. He is picking up things so quickly I think it would really allow hime to express himself better. We have just started using the PECS method, and hes interested but the cards are distracting for him. Not only is the iPad beneficial for Speech, but its huge for fine motor as well which is another struggle.

We would love to be able to get him one ourselves but alas, we cant afford one. We are both students (nursing and culinary) and unfortunatly only working part time aside from that so Carson doesnt have to go to daycare.

I think what you are doing is wonderful. I watched Christopher get his iPad after being scammed and the joy on his face was amazing.
(If you need to contact me please use KDugan1@live.com as I use that more often)

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!!!
Kelly

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.892885518327.2380705.22602801&type=3#!/photo.php?fbid=10100155740052707&set=a.892885518327.2380705.22602801&type=3&permPage=1

(I hope that worked? Im not very computer savvy...)

Laura said...

In 2002 my life was blessed with a beautiful angel girl who carried something special in her. An extra copy of her twenty first chromosome made her all the more precious in my eyes. The only time my heart was pained was when they told me her tiny heart would need some repairs but she sailed right through that surgery being the champion she is.

To this day it is hard for me to think of her as having a disability because she is just Sophia. Everything about her seems just as it should be to me and I don't spend time wishing she were any different (OK, maybe less stubborn but aren't all children desiring autonomy?). Being her Mom I know what she asks for or says most of the time because I'm familiar with her pronunciations and mental associations. Unfortunately many others and of course strangers don't have that advantage and so are not able to have more than a few words interaction with her if they understand her at all. The general public also is not accustomed to the various sign language signs she uses particularly when she is tired.

In my desire for Sophia to be able to fully enjoy the world around her and relationships with other people I know she needs to be able to communicate in a more comprehensive manner. Due to the brilliant writing by Ken at Blogzilly (shameless flattery acceptable as this is a random drawing) I have come to see the iPad as a possible tool for Sophia to expand her communication skills both verbally and hopefully written someday. It would be exciting to see accelerated progress in her learning.

Merry Christmas and thank you again for proving the drawing. LauraCW62@gmail.com

https://picasaweb.google.com/LauraCW62

Sarah9699 said...

My awesome little brother Samuel has Down Syndrome. He is five years old and is currently in his 3rd year of PreK. He will transition to Kindergarten in February after his 6th birthday. While Samuel's speech has really grown this past year and he is adding new vocabulary every day, his speech limits him in social and play situations with his peers. Samuel is an eager little guy who loves any type of technology, especially things with touch screens. He 'interacts' with learning games, repeating phrases and words. An iPad would benefit him greatly. He could use the huge amount of games and apps available to help build his vocabulary. He loves to 'steal' my iPhone and take dozens of pictures of his toes, toys, and the ground, so I'm sure he'd have it figured out in no time. :) Thanks so much for this opportunity!
email: Sarah.Davidson@selu.edu
picture: http://s1184.photobucket.com/albums/z330/SarahD56/?action=view&current=Samuel.jpg

newborn1000 said...

Hello, I am Rebecca;I am contacting you on behalf of my son Andrew, who is a vibrant, smiling, growing 11 year old growing boy. He has a contagious smile and laughter that can fill any room. Andrew is also the strongest, bravest, most hard-working individual I know. Andrew came to us via an emergency c-section that nearly took my life and forever changed his. Andrew began his early development meeting every milestone. He smiled early, "cood" early, and sat up early. It wasn't until around 4-6 months that we realized that something odd was going on with Andrew. He would be smiling and laughing as my dad would bounce him on his knees or as my husband would snuggle and cuddle him, then suddenly his head would fall forward as though he had been startled. These episodes (for lack of better word at the time) became more and more intense as Andrew grew. At the age of 6 months, Andrew was diagnosed as having a fluid filled cyst in the left hemisphere of his brain that was causing cerebral palsy. We were referred to a neurology doctor in Nashville, who immediately diagnosed Andrew with Infantile Spasms-a form of catastrophic epilepsy. Heartbroken and grief-stricken, we learned to administer ACTH, one of the worst medications available to give to small babies, YET if it works, one of the best options for curing the epilepsy. We endured the months of agonizing shots and tummy aches and the nights when he just could be soothed only to find that the ACTH didn't stop Andrew's seizures. Therefore, we began the trial and error phase of drug medications. Drug after drug, we survived side-effect after side-effect. We finally reached a point to where he could learn to walk around 26 months. This was an amazing time for us. He showed the ambition to stand and step and we had to find a way to get him moving! We built window inserts for him to pull up to, we build a set of parallel bars for him to cruz along and then walk with-in, we took the legs off of a geriatric walker and made it Andrew's size. Then we built a walking cane for a 2 year old from PVC pipes. To some, I am sure this was the craziest thing that they had ever seen. To us, it was a way for Andrew to do something he wanted to do. He wanted to walk. The cane gave him the ability to walk; until one day, he didn't need the cane any more. Although Andrew's seizures were still raging, we were seeing progress made in his psychical areas and that was encouraging to a degree.

newborn1000 said...

continued...
Beginning school was very difficult for us. We had always treated Andrew like any other kids gets treated. He had been taught responsibility, etc., but when we arrived at school, the school very quickly began to assimilate groupings for children. Andrew was put in a CDC grouping because the teachers feared he wouldn't be able to sit still in the regular classroom. It was a bad decision for Andrew. We began to draft him back to exposure in the regular classroom. However, public school still views Andrew as an "extra" he's that "special ed" kid at school. Even worse, he's the "sick kid with seizures in spec. ed." at school. We learned of his autism during this time period.

In looking at the methods that we have tried to help Andrew one must consider the major surgical options that have been explored and have possible lead to our communication issues today. When Andrew was just 7, the first VNS was implanted into his chest cavity. In March 2009, a corpus callosotomy was performed to help stop the drop attacks. In Sept. (after the Corpus Callosotomy), the VNS had to be replaced. While all these surgeries have been necessary evils, one must also respect the negative consequences of the surgeries as well as the positive. Positive consequences include: we have a method of providing care for seizures at home via the vns; we have a plan. The callosotomy did stop the violent seizures that were throwing him to the floor and did open up areas of the brain to be functional.

ON the flip side, we also opened up a much more violent and aggressive area of Andrew's brain. AT one time we were told that Andrew was healing from a very tramatic time in his life and that his healing would require boughts of depression and anger. So much of what we were being told made sense to us on the left, but on the right, it just ripped us to shredds. This is where we gained the diagnosis of behavior disorder.

Today, after 11 years of OT/PT/SPH, chiropractor appts, 2 eye surgeries, 2 VNS surgeries, deep muscle massage, and one major brain surgery Andrew has made some significant progress. He walks, he runs, he has limited talking, he is learning to get in and out of the vehicle alone, enter the bathtub alone, and become fully functional in the bathroom alone (although that is probably down the road a ways yet.)

We are struggling to teach him to read! We see progress, but it's slow. We want to see him hold his pencil and write. We want him to be able to tell time and do simple math such as count out the correct change for buying a pepsi at the store.

We are trying to teach him social skills and interactions with people, how to call for danger, how to contact mom, how to cope in the world around him. We are working to have those labels rendered inactive. We are making much progress, but again, it is very slow moving process.

newborn1000 said...

Continued...
Due to the very limited access that Andrew gets when he's allowed to "play" with ONE at school, I know it would help him tremendously to have one in his hands where someone is willing to sit down and work with him. I personally have witnessed the iwrite app in action for Andrew. AT the beginning of summer school, it took Andrew a very long time to trace the letters with his fingers. Shortly thereafter, he was able to increase his speed and now is attempting his name on paper. I know that the ipad would dramatically increase Andrew's ability to communicate in the world and thus change his life even if he could only learn to write basic information. Let alone if he could learn to read something!! Understand a clock, etc. So much of the aggression bouts from Andrew spawn from our inability to decipher what he needs or wants. If we could ever get a tool into his hands that would move him closer to talking, closer to understand us, it would change our lives forever. Brian and I are looking to dig into our "savings" (which is really more of a joke than a savings) to see if we can find a way to get Andrew an ipad. This is final effort before the money that we work from to by medications and emergency needs will be considered. We know he needs it, we just got to get it worked out as to how.

Below are two different records of our story. I hope that this will help you understand how much an ipad could do for Andrew. I know that it would increase his speaking skills, handwriting skills, thinking skills, processing skills, behaviors through ABA apps, math skills and reading skills. A local neighbor has made a living at learning the ipad and she has volunteered to help us learn it and set it accustom to Andrew's needs. Please know that your endeavors and wonderful and tremendously encouraging to parents like myself. Hope you enjoy more about our story in the links below.

http://www.carepages.com/carepages/AndrewNewborn

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtUrU3OcVt0&list=UUxERCbU5rNCmB6B_fToBaKA&index=1&feature=plcp

newborn1000 said...

Also, I can be contacted at newborn1000@yahoo.com

Anthony said...

My son Anthony is 16 years old and attends a center for children and teens with autism spectrum disorder. Anthony has Autism and a Moderate Intellectual Disability. He is a warm and affectionate child, he is full of joy.

Anthony experiences an increased level of frustration because his communication is limited to the icons he has available and at this point it would be a hindrance to keep adding icons to a PECS book that already weighs approximately 5 pounds. This is also not socially appropriate and may lead to increased stigma by the outside community.

It’s possible to have conversation using PECS with both disabled and typical peers but as you can imagine very frustrating to Anthony and his peers while they have to wait for him to leaf through pages and pages of pictures.

Anthony will often vocalize and look at others in attempt to engage them in conversation, and it would be wonderful if he could more easily socialize.

Anthony is completely non-verbal, he can make certain vocalizations but in no way do they approximate actual words. This leaves people often having to guess at what Anthony is trying to express and his frustration is clearly evident. Despite this, Anthony does a great job of using appropriate coping skills but having an IPAD would really open up a new world of functional communication that I truly want my child to explore.

Anthony‘s only mode of communication is through the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Over the past few years he has made great strides in expanding his lexicon, expanding his communication with both instructors and peers. Although he’s made these great strides there are limitations due to the nature of PECS-sorting through hundreds of pictures, having to carry a heavy binder, and the fact that if something new comes up that he wants, he must wait for someone to find an icon, print it and put it in the binder.

Anthony’s PECS book is massive, he carries it with him at all times and he has hundreds of pictures to sort through. Due to the large amount of icons he has, he often loses some which clearly inhibits his ability to communicate as he must wait for someone to replace the icon before being able to ask for the item or activity.

Anthony has come a long way, he used to significantly struggle with aggression towards others and property destruction. His instructors and I both agree that these problem behaviors are almost always due to frustration because Anthony cannot express his wants and needs.

Thankfully through intensive behavioral intervention, these problem behaviors have decreased but Anthony still struggles and on occasion reaches his limit and has an outburst. As a parent, it is heartbreaking to know that Anthony has so much inside he wants to express but doesn’t have a “voice”.

Please consider him for this IPAD giveaway. I would be so appreciative and I know Anthony would be too.

Anthony said...

The picture of my son Anthony didn't show up, let me try this again!

blogzilly said...

OK, just for the record, it's after 12:00 PM EST, Thursday, so the deadline for entries is now here. From this point forward, no more entries will qualify.

Appreciate all of you taking the time to put your kids in for consideration. Let me get your numbers assigned and get this worked out and try to get an answer for you soon!

Thanks!