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This fundraiser ended on 03/31/11

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This is a fund to raise money for Alana's Birthday to purchase an Ipad to aid in her daily life.

Ipads have proven to be an invaluable tool for children with autism. It helps them communicate, become more independent, helps them learn with modified applications specially designed for children with autism. In lieu of birthday gifts that Alana usually doesn't play with because they are not developmentally appropriate, her interests are very limited so she may just not be interested, she may be scared of the toy etc. This is one gift that will be a lasting and beneficial gift.

In lieu of gifts and gift cards we are politely asking for cash/check contributions towards the purchase of an IPad for Alana. IPads are a very useful tool in communication and education for a child with autism or other non/minimally verbal children. There is applications that range from flash cards to a touch screen McDonald’s menu (other restraurants as well) that would allow Alana to order her own meals (While most wouldn‘t think of this as a big deal, she will eventually be an adult and we are striving for her to be as independent as possible and this is one tool that will aide in that goal) There are also applications to make social stories and download books, text to speech software that you type the words and/or choose pictures and it speaks what you want to say but cannot. “Just because I can’t speak doesn‘t mean I have nothing to say.”
Posted on December 18, 2010 at 10:00 AM
Updated Saturday, Dec 18 at 1:41 PM
Kyle and Tina Carkhuff have plenty to celebrate. Their five year old son Evan was diagnosed with autism. Like many autistic children he cannot talk. But in the last two months he's made astonishing progress.
"He started to play more with his brother. He's more interactive with us," said Tina Carkhuff, Evan's mother.
The couple purchased an iPad, then discovered it had many learning applications that help give Evan a voice.
"We started using the iPad to put pictures of the food on the iPad. And then Evan can tap or scroll and show us exactly what it is that he's looking for," said Tina.
Now Evan has a voice through pictures. His dad, Kyle Carkhuff, said Evan can tap out sentences such as "Evan goes to the car. Evan goes to the playground."
The director of the autism psychology services program at Seattle Children's said the staff is helping parents customize applications for their children.
"It's really been a match between the kids and the iPad applications. But uniformly the kids love it and the parents love it as well," said Dr. Felice Orlich.
Orlich said kids are not only able to make themselves understood. They're also learning social skills.
"For example they're going into a new group of kids, it would kind of tell them a story or show them in pictures how to say "Hello", how to ask "Let's play together," she said.
Centers that provide therapy for autistic children, like "Spectrum of Hope" in Texas, are now using iTouch and iPad. Parents call it a breakthrough.
"It's a way that I'm going to be able to get to know my child. He's a joker. He likes to kid around. He makes jokes and he loves to laugh. But we've known he's laughing, but we've never been able to hear about what." said Laura Theriot, mother of ten year old Tom who has autism.
The technology won't fix autism, a developmental disorder that affects the brain. But it's a leap forward.
"Now that he has a voice we'll get to know what a great kid he is," Laura Theriot said of her son.
Children with autism aren't the only ones who will benefit. The new applications are also showing promise for kids with other language and communication disorders.
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