Autism - iPads and Kiwanis Help Students
22 May 2013
By Jerry McCormick, Elm Grove Golden K Kiwanis
Picture by John Troglia
Did you know Autism affects one in 88 children in the United States? That really should be no surprise as most everyone is aware of families who have children whose daily life is challenged by Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Communicating, interacting and learning through normal method are challenges for these children. A breakthrough that helps most autistic children is use of iPads with special apps as the key tool in communicating, interfacing and teaching Autistic Children.
The Kiwanis Clubs of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan have organized the Autism Project. The goal is to raise $500,000 this year to provide iPads to 1,000 autistic children whose families are recommended by school counselors. The iPads are furnished with apps for learning language and math, for communicating wants and needs, for iTunes and apps calming behavior especially selected for each student. Former Green Bay Packer great, William Henderson, has endorsed the iPad Project and is a strong spokesperson. The Elm Grove Kiwanis Golden K Club has joined the effort.
The Elm Grove Golden K Kiwanis Club, one of the 141 Clubs in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, has set a goal for the project of 15 iPads to be presented to area children. Parents may obtain grant applications from Special Education teachers or school counselors.
The first of these iPads was presented to Taylor Dorn who is in the second grade at Brookfield Elementary School. Her mother, Kate Dorn, said, “We are very grateful. We would like to thank everyone involved in the Autism iPad Project, especially Kiwanis and Taylor’s amazing teachers and administrators at Brookfield Elementary.”
An enormous upsurge in understanding Autism and treating options available has occurred. In the 50’s and 60’s Autism was practically unknown, but thought to be caused by the children tuning the world out. The condition was usually referred to an Infantile Autism. Treatment options were usually tranquilizers or antipsychotic drugs. Today the developmental disorder includes Asperger’s Syndrome and Retts and is often referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder. There are many more positive treatment options. The iPad with special apps is a valuable tool.
The Autism Project is a partnership between parents, teachers and Kiwanis to offer children with Autism hope, opportunity, love and a brighter future. Lynn Raines, Principal at Brookfield Elementary, said, “We are fortunate to share in this partnership. The iPad serves as an assistive device to support children’s social and academic success. We appreciate the commitment of the Kiwanis Club and we are thankful for their generosity in supporting the children and schools within our community.”
Elm Grove Golden K Kiwanis Club has over 90 senior members committed to service the community and the nation. The Club meets Fridays at 9:30am at St. Mary’s Church Senior Center in Elm Grove.
For more information, a copy of the student grant application form or to contribute, contact co-chairmen of the Autism Project: