Little Star Center recently received a grant from Answers for Autism (AAI) to further its mission to help individuals with autism become more independent.
Project: It’s my Turn to Talk focuses on increasing and improving communication for all of our learners. Statistics estimate that as many as 14 to 25 percent of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present with little or no functional speech (Lord & Bailey, 2002; Lord, Risi, & Pickles, 2004). The ability to express primary wants and needs is severely limited for these individuals. This affects every aspect of their lives.
With the generous help from Answers for Autism, an organization that raises funds to provide grants to Indiana programs that serve individuals with autism, we are able to provide iPads to several of our non-vocal learners. Each iPad will be individually programmed for the specific learner with items, places, people and sayings that matter to her/him.
We started this mission back in 2011, after receiving a grant from Answers for Autism that allowed us to purchase four iPads and an advanced communication app. Since then, we have successfully improved communication for more than 15 learners who previously did not have an effective mode of communication. A parent of one LSC learner described the impact the iPad and communication application have had for her family:
“I couldn’t be happier with how well he is doing and it is SO nice to be able to ask him questions and know that we are getting HIS answer instead of just making a choice for him…
“…It’s a little step perhaps to some, but for us… it’s HUGE. Last weekend he told me that he wanted to play with his cars which I had all put away. Had he not asked, I would have never known that’s what he wanted, but once I knew- I got them out and he was thrilled. And I was thrilled. Life changing!” –Margaret Young, parent of a LSC learner
Thank you to Answers for Autism! For more information about Answers for Autism, please visit www.answersautism.org