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Ipads Help Autistic Children Communicate

Author: NSU Office of Public Affairs

Published: 2010-12-28

Synopsis:

iPads are being used as a means of communication between children with autism who have difficulty speaking and the teachers.

Main Digest

Nova Southeastern University's Mailman Segal Institute (MSI) launched a new initiative, "18 iPads in 18 Days", to help facilitate the learning process for children with autism at MSI's Baudhuin Preschool.

The preschool provides services to children with autism through a contract with the School Board of Broward County, Florida and is recognized internationally for their innovative programs for children with autism spectrum disorders.

Technology continues to revolutionize the manner in which teachers meet the needs of children with Autism spectrum disorders. Referred to as ASDs, the disorders are a group of developmental disabilities caused by a problem with the brain. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) estimates that on average; about 1 in 110 children are identified with ASD. Children with ASD can exhibit problems with social, emotional, and communication skills.

iPads are now being used with children who have communication challenges. They provide an alternative means of communication between children with autism who have difficulty speaking, and the teacher. Thanks to the generosity of several donors, MSI will be able to place an iPad in each of the Baudhuin Preschool's 18 classrooms just prior to the Christmas holidays.

"Autism is a lifelong disability that affects the way children communicate and relate to others and the world around them" said Roni Leiderman, Ph.D., and dean of the Mailman Segal Institute. "We are grateful for the incredible generosity and support of our donors, who are responsible for the success of this initiative."

Donors contributing to the "18 iPADS in 18 DAYS" initiative include:

Each iPad is equipped with applications like Proloquo2Go, which is designed specifically for children and individuals with special needs. The touch pad is user friendly, features colorful symbols, natural sounding text-to-speech voices, and an extensive vocabulary.

About the Baudhuin Preschool: Located on the main campus of Nova Southeastern University, the Baudhuin Preschool is an internationally recognized program for children with autism spectrum disorders. The programs are designed for children three years of age through pre-kindergarten. The therapeutic programs focus on cognitive, social-emotional, adaptive, behavioral, motor, and communication skill development within a relationship-based environment. Currently the Baudhuin Preschool provides services to over 150 preschoolers with autism through a contract with the School Board of Broward County. For more information call ( 954 ) 262-6928 or visit www.nova.edu/msi/earlylearning/baudhuin/index.html

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