Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hollyrod's fundraising campaign to give away iPads to people on the autism spectrum is a great idea

I reprinted a press release over on the CDREA news page, that the Hollyrod Foundation is taking applications to give away iPads to qualifying individuals on the autism spectrum.

The other side of this is the fundraising campaign to pay for the hardware as well as the special applications that will be needed.

The more money the Hollyrod Foundation can raise, the more iPads they will be able to give away.

My daughter Hannah has just started with using a Dynavox, but I got her an iPad to see what else it could add to her learning experience.  I have been absolutely amazed at the variety of games, stories, puzzles, and other activities that are available for children like Hannah.  If you've never met a child who is physically incapable of communicating with you verbally, it can be hard to imagine the pure joy they get on their faces when they start to "get it". 

This is a great idea, and I hope it catches on.  From the standpoint of a mom, I don't think there's ever been a greater gift I could give my daughter than the ability to communicate with us.

According to the Hollyrod Foundation's website,

Inspired by a father and son, actress, author, philanthropist and co-host of "The Talk", Holly Robinson Peete and retired NFL quarterback, Rodney Peete founded the HollyRod Foundation in 1997. The HollyRod Foundation provides medical, physical and emotional support for those living with Parkinson's Disease and Autism.

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About Me

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I'm the mom of a child with disabilities. Hannah's first neurologist said she might never develop beyond the level of a 2 month old infant, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The brain damage was just too severe. Nine years later, she walks, uses a touchscreen computer and I've just been shown she can learn to construct sentences and do simple math with the right piece of technology. Along the way, I discovered I needed to teach myself what Hannah's rights to services really were. Learning about early intervention services led to reading about IDEA and then to EPSDT. I've been waiting for the Obama administration to realize the power and potential of EPSDT for the medical rights - including the right to stay at home with their families - of children with disabilities. The health reform people talk about long term care, and the disability people talk about education and employment, but nobody is talking about EPSDT. So I am.