Author Bio: My name is Elijah. I am 14 years old and in the 8th grade. I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at 8 years old. Recently, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), and it was found that my working memory, the part of my brain that holds little bits of information while a task is being done, is very low functioning.
When my mother and the school were writing my IEP, she found out that the school did not have any technology like a tablet, and was not required to buy one for me to use. The insurance company would not pay for one because I am too high functioning. I was using a netbook, a camera, a watch, and to PDA, to do all the functions that I needed to even begin to get organized. Sometimes I forgot to set an alarm or forgot where I had put my camera. It was hard to keep track of so many different items.
My mother got together with iTaalk Autism Foundation and their Vice President, Tammy, to set up a way for Mom to raise money to buy an iPad for me. Working through Facebook, she was able to raise the money in less than a week! Mom bought a Clamcase so that I have a keyboard attached all the time and it is more protected.
With my iPad, I keep everything in one device that I have with me all the time. I have organizational apps that keep me on track; my calendar, my schedule, my assignments, my chores, all in one app. I use Pages for writing any assignments and all word processing. I use the alarms to remind me to start or stop a task. I use the camera to photograph the board where my assignments are written, which used to take me as much as 10 minutes to write down. I also photograph powerpoint notes.
I can use Siri or Dragon to dictate writing. I can type at 11 words per minute now and I am using typing programs to help me practice to increase my speed. I am told there are even apps that I have yet to discover to help me learn and even exercise my working memory in the future.
I began to think that other Autistic kids must have this problem too. I talked to Mom and she said that Tammy at iTaalk told her that there was. Many kids fall in between what the insurance company will pay for, what the schools are required to provide and what the parents can afford. I decided that I would help Mom and we would keep raising money for other Autistic kids to get iPads. We spend too much of our time trying to keep up in class that it is hard to really learn.
We have set a dream goal of 500 iPads for 500 kids!!
Right now we are working to get one for Kyle, who is a Senior at our high school. Kyle has apps that work for speech therapy. You can read more about him at www.itaalk.org/kyle.html. We are more that half way to raising enough for his iPad. Some kids are even non-verbal and will use their iPads to communicate.
Read more about all of us……
iTaalk Autism Foundation: www.itaalk.org
Elijah: Twitter: @itaalkelijah
Facebook: iTaalk with Elijah
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