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This fundraiser ended on 07/15/11

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Please help provide assistive technology for a nonverbal, tech-loving 5 year old with Autism and Down Syndrome to use at school. Thank you!

Clara is a 5 1/2 year old with Autism, Down Syndrome, and Dysarthria of Speech who will start kindergarten this fall. She is currently receiving community based AAC therapy with a Dynavox V. She says about a dozen words a day and knows over 400 signs, but it is very difficult to understand her words or signs. Speech generating assistive technology, such as the Dynavox, is used so others can understand her.

Her Dynavox weighs almost 5 pounds, and Clara needs an adult helper to carry it for her. The battery life is about 2 to 3 hours, so she will need to be near an electrical outlet to make it through the school day. The battery dies on long field trip days.

We want Clara-Bear to use an iPod Touch for communication at school during activities outside the classroom such as lunch, PE, and field trips.

She has anxiety in doctor's offices and sensory overload in public places, so we hope it will provide a way for her to relax and reduce stimming. Of course, we love the thought of educational apps. We also want to provide her with a way to play with other children that is appealing to her and does not require her to talk. And we really want her to enjoy more independence when she plays with other kids.

Her speech therapist is familiar with communication apps and will work with her on using the iPod Touch. She will also show me how to use the Dynavox for educational support and create a communication system with the two devices. She loaned us a Touch and Clara-Bear loved it!

Clara-Bear is a techie at heart, so we are introducing her to the computer at a young age in the hopes that it will become a way for her to express herself and to complete school assignments. She learns quickly from developmentally appropriate computer software. An adaptive mouse, special keyboard and software are also part of her tech needs.

Funds requested will be used for:

*a 32G G4 iPod Touch with accessories
*a way for her to carry it
*communication and educational apps
*an inexpensive Android based touchpad to run Android only apps, act as a backup, and to help us as parents deal with the inevitable sibling jealousy
*an adaptive mouse
*an adaptive/child safe keyboard
*computer programs
*gas to get Clara-Bear to the therapists who help her learn how to use her technology (sad, isn't it?)

I am a thrifty mama, and if there is any money left over after purchasing the above it will stay in a tech fund for Clara-Bear. It will be used for future app purchases, equipment repair or replacement, and any other tech needs that might pop up during the next year.

I can be reached using the contact form on my blog, www.able2able.com if you have any questions about Clara-Bear’s needs or ideas for fundraising.
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