Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

iBelieve

with 19 comments

From before you could buy an iPad, I knew I wanted one for Pudding.  When Cubby was born, his father bought me an iPod Touch.  When I was nursing the newborn, Pudding latched on to the iPod.  I was amazed how well she could use it, how naturally the touch screen and visual layout came to her.  I downloaded some apps for her, and uploaded some cartoons.  It came so naturally to her, she learned so easily in this format.  I didn’t know at the time that she was a visual learner, like many other children on the spectrum.  Of course, I didn’t even know there was a spectrum back then.

I didn’t notice then that her fingers didn’t work quite as well as they should.  I remember during her initial OT evaluation remarking that there was no way she could have significant fine motor delays, as she was so very capable with my iPod.  I was wrong, and following the diagnosis, I observed how her little fingers would struggle and wished they made a bigger iPod that would be just the right size for her.

Months later, that was exactly what Apple did with the iPad.  By that time, however, the device was way out of our budget.  I told myself we’d save up for one for her for Christmas, but finances just became more and more difficult.  We couldn’t afford the therapy our doctor recommended, then we had to let go of her occupational therapist, and speech therapist.  We’d purposely remained in the US to provide the best treatment options for our girl, we’d never imagined how difficult that would be.

I started to read about how the autism community had discovered the same thing with this technology as I’d observed with Pudding.  The iPad tapped right into our kid’s strengths.  Developers created and marketed apps directly to those with communication challenges.  The iPod, and later the iPad, became a more affordable communication device.  Families discovered how it helped their loved one to remain organized, with visual schedules and social stories at the touch of a button.  Pudding’s teacher introduced them to the classroom, and is undergoing training to help Pudding and her classmates use them to their full potential.  Apple had created a revolution.  I told myself one day, perhaps after returning to work, we’d become part of that revolution too.

I didn’t have to wait.  Pudding is the very fortunate recipient of an iPad.  A gift of kindness so touching I can hardly find the words to express my gratitude.  We aren’t waiting for Christmas, she is using it right now.  Though she can use it to access entertainment, it isn’t a toy.  She uses it, she doesn’t play with it.  It is fostering her independence as she makes her own leisure choices.  It is teaching her how to write the letters of the alphabet, and the basics of reading.  It is a tool that works with the way her brain works, rather than struggling against her differences.  I’m busy learning about other apps to organize her day, and encourage appropriate behaviors in unfamiliar situations.  If anybody reading this can recommend apps, please do so in the comments.  We’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m already amazed.

And I believe.  I believe in kindness and goodwill.  I believe that this world is becoming more accommodating to those with differences like my girl.  I believe in my girl.  I believe in her future, with all the tools she needs to succeed in life.

I believe in Santa.

*****

If you have anything left over to give, please consider making a donation to the Autism Society of America, so that other families might benefit from this amazing technology.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 24, 2010 at 8:47 am

19 Responses

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  1. Wow…what a lovely Christmas story , I’m so excited for Pudding. I am so very happy and I can just imagine her sitting using it right now. I am a visual kinaesthetic learner, but I didn’t even know what that meant until 2 years ago. I really struggled with simple things like holding a pen to write, I got so told off at school because my art was so good but my writing was terrible. Partly my dyslexia, partly because of the amount of pressure I have to used to control a pen. I went onto a computer course and used a computer for the first time 2 years ago and it opened up so many doors for me. I learn everything visually and watching YouTube tutorials on art techniques is wonderful for me. All the things I can’t read about because of the layout of books comes alive.
    I am so very happy and excited for pudding what a wonderful gift, I am actually tearing up.
    Love and hugs and Merry Christmas.
    Lisa. xx :)

    alienhippy

    December 24, 2010 at 9:01 am

    • I’ve used the wrong word…yes, stupid dyslexia and spell check didn’t help much either did it.
      I meant to say, “I am quite tearful.” I get so embarrassed by my spelling and bad grammar.
      Oh well…at least I among friends. xx

      alienhippy

      December 24, 2010 at 9:07 am

      • Or even…I’m amongst friends….I give up, that still doesn’t look right. I haven’t even had a drink. I think all this Christmas excitement is getting the better of this Aspie, I’d better go and get some time out. xx :D lol

        alienhippy

        December 24, 2010 at 9:11 am

        • Don’t worry, I knew exactly what you meant. Don’t worry, Lisa, you are among friends here. I’m so pleased that you found a way to connect through computers, and that we met online. Have a wonderful Christmas, my friend. :-)

          Spectrummy Mummy

          December 24, 2010 at 11:15 am

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Elise . Elise said: RT @spectrummymummy: iBelieve: http://wp.me/pZNhv-iT [...]

  3. that is the most wonderful story I’ve heard. awesome for you and Pudding. i believe in santa and the power of giving too. Merry Merry Christmas.

    akbutler

    December 24, 2010 at 9:29 am

  4. That is so awesome! Merry Christmas and enjoy the holidays!

    goodfountain

    December 24, 2010 at 11:48 am

  5. That story brings a smile to my face this Christmas Eve. :)

    courtney

    December 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm

  6. This post had me in tears. Thanks for sharing.

    Becky

    December 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

  7. so so awesome!!!! Honey Boy’s therapist brings her iPad to use in sessions as well – and we knew right away that we needed to get one for him. I have never seen him so attentive and focused. His fine motor skills are developing much more because of it. He’s learning how to request things by pointing…we hope one day to get one as well. We found out about the HollyRod Foundation, and how they were giving them away to qualified children, but they received such an overwhelming response that they had to stop accepting applications (just before we were able to submit his :( I’ll try to find out the names of the applications that his therapist uses and let you know! :)

    Kathy Murray

    December 24, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    • We have a kid who doesn’t have autism but who is highly visual. I would love to see the resources that you all use.

      Becky

      December 24, 2010 at 7:38 pm

      • I’ll try to find out and let you know :) She won’t be back until Tuesday next week, but I’ll get the info from her :)

        Kathy Murray

        December 24, 2010 at 8:10 pm

  8. This week’s State Department Blog Round Up is here:

    http://smallbitsfs.blogspot.com/2010/12/state-department-photo-round-up.html

    and you’re on it! Please let me know if you have any objections and would like to be removed. Thanks!

    Becky

    December 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm

  9. Merry Christmas. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. Wishing you all the best in 2011!

    Laura

    December 24, 2010 at 10:31 pm

  10. What a wonderful discovery! I am so glad she can get so much out of an iPad and now has one! Thank goodness for teachers who are capable of adapting to the needs of their students as well! I don’t use an iPad, but my kids love to play with phone apps and although we do not have to deal with autism and they are older, there is definitely a difference between how I enjoy phone apps, and how they do. I’ll keep an eye on what they use and see if I get any ideas to share. I am so happy for your daughter!

    connie

    December 25, 2010 at 3:43 am

  11. That’s so awesome! So glad you were able to get one! Merry Christmas!

    Jen

    December 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm

  12. Oh, i believe too! And I most certainly do now after reading this post!

    I am thrilled for you and Pudding, what a fabulous learning tool for her. Such a pity ipad and iTouches weren’t around when WiiiBoy was younger.

    You know, you’ve just given me an idea. i wonder if the ipad would be a useful organisational tool for WiiBoy when he goes to Secondary (middle) school? I must check that out… thanks!

    Merry Christmas to you :-)

    xx Jazzy

    Jazzygal

    December 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm

  13. [...] children to school this morning, they both pointed out the iStore as we passed by.  The iPad was the most incredible gift to our family.  I’ve even written about how the iPad helped my two kids to connect with each [...]

    Legacy « Spectrummy Mummy

    October 6, 2011 at 4:08 am


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