‘Reach for the Apps’ Aims To Give Every Autistic Student Access To An iPad
Non-profit charity launches today with the goal of providing an iPad to all children on spectrum who would benefit from this important learning tool.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 18, 2012
Reach for the APPs wants every child on the autistic spectrum to gain access to iPads through their schools. This non-profit organization, which launches today, is partnering with school districts across the country to provide special needs students with greater access to this technology.
Reachfortheapps.com offers people and organizations the opportunity to donate both money and/or iPads, with all of the proceeds going toward the distribution of iPads and apps to schools throughout the country. The site was built with a donation from Managed Digital.
iPad apps have proven successful in helping children with autism, many of whom cannot speak or have significant language delays, to better communicate with the world around them. Improvements in communication can also help reduce frustration among children on the spectrum and vastly increase their ability to learn.
Given the coordination or learning difficulties many children on the spectrum experience, the iPad touch screen is easier to manipulate than more traditional educational tools. Many apps can help develop fine-motor skills, which promote functions like writing or manipulating small objects. Some experts say the iPad lessens the symptoms of the disorder, helping children deal with life’s sensory overload. For example, various apps help children learn to handle social situations that can be stressful, like crowds at malls.
An estimated 1-in-88 children have some form of autism, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports. This is a 78 percent increase from just a decade ago.
There is wide demand for learning tools. iPads are significantly cheaper than other augmentative communications devices previously available. However, there are long waiting lists at many schools for children waiting to receive an iPad. As a result, these children are losing valuable time during critical years of development.
Lois Brady, CCC SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Assistive Technology Specialist and author of the books “Apps for Autism” and “Speech in Action” said, “I have spent years working with the most challenging students that are considered profoundly disabled, and I have seen some small miracles when I introduce the iPad into our therapy, as the children have made huge gains in attention, focus, communication, language and literacy skills.”
Reach for the Apps is partnering with pilot districts at launch, in the Los Angeles area; the first two having over 16,000 special needs students who could benefit from an iPad.
Nancy Reiser, along with her husband Marc, founded Reach for the APPs because they have seen the benefits of the iPad first hand. “Our 10-year-old nephew has increased his verbal skills dramatically as a direct result of using his iPad along with Apps chosen especially for him by his therapist. However, he wasn’t allowed to use his iPad in school since it is personal property. And, since his school doesn’t have enough iPads to go around, he is without one at school. This motivated us to start working to get more iPads into the schools.”
For children on the autism spectrum, “the iPad is not a toy, but a tool that works best when there is a ‘team effort’ between parents and therapists encouraging its proper use,” said Reiser. “Our goal is to provide schools with iPads so they can reach every child on the autistic spectrum. We can’t do it without your help.”
About Reach for The Apps
Reach for the Apps is a non-profit organization that has filed for its 501(c)(3), whose solitary goal is to provide schools with iPads and apps, so they can more effectively support students on the autistic spectrum. The Los Angeles-based Reach for the Apps was founded by Nancy and Marc Reiser who have seen, first hand, the powerful effect the tablet had in helping their nephew learn. For more information about the organization and to learn how to donate go to: http://www.reachfortheapps.org