The devices, which are often used to aid in the growth and development of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), were presented to Oxford’s ASD classrooms at Lakeview Elementary on December 15. One individual, a fifth grade student whose autistic seizures have escalated since her father’s sudden passing last month, also received a special “Christmas” iPad. According to her teacher, the girl relies on the technology to communicate at school but has no similar resources to support her in her home.
The iPad Touch frequently helps children with autism and other disabilities more than other computer systems, mainly because of its portability and ease of the touch screen. Although still relatively cheaper than other augmentative communication devices, the cost of the iPad – usually in the range of $500 to $800 – is often a hindrance for autistic families who would benefit from its downloadable games and applications.
Corner Pieces was founded by Ben and Tiffany Duff of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, after their own son was diagnosed with autism in 2008. In addition to iPad distribution, the organization strives to raise both awareness and funds for autism advocacy and research. In April 2012, the organization will “Light It Blue” in recognition of Autism Awareness Month, a project which will light the Mackinac Bridge blue for the entire month of April.