MORRISTOWN Union Local Elementary school has written and received a grant to purchase 12 Apple iPads to be used for students with Autism.
The grant was written by researcher Helen Puperi for $10,000.
"We received a grant from E-tech Ohio to purchase iPads," said Puperi. "The iPads will be used with our students with autism What they are doing is differentiating their instructions with the iPads."
The students will be using the iPads in the classroom. Teachers received an in-school iPad training session on Aug. 31. Parents, as well, received a training session on Aug. 29. The training sessions were given by Michele Carlisle and Marilyn Roder from the East Central Ohio ESC.
In the classroom, teachers will be using the iPads as a strategy and giving these students access to the core curriculum.
"The research on using iPads for students with autism says that it very very engaging for the students, it keeps their interest. These students have multiple problems with the way they learn. Parents all other the world are saying this is a miracle tool for students with autism."
The students that have the iPads could take the device home for individual use, depending on their Individual Education Program or IEP goal. Students with severe speech problems will use the iPads as well. The iPad with not be the only thing these students use, they will still use books. The iPad will aid students with motor skills and will help to communicate emotions and feelings.
"We have apps loaded (on the iPads) to help with communication. We have apps where they can communicate their basic needs and wants," said Kara Erwin, Behavioral Specialist at Union Local Elementary. "We're hoping that we can use the iPad as a form of communication for children on the autism spectrum that are non-verbal."
The iPads are already filled with apps, free and those you have to pay for, that students can push a button to show what emotion he or she is feeling. Through apps like Proloquo2go, students, who are non-verbal can communicate their wants and needs.
"We have apps where they can communicate their basic needs and wants. We are hoping that we could use this iPad as a form of communication for children on the autism spectrum that are non-verbal," said Erwin. "... Instead of them not communicating, they are going to use this iPad as a tool for the communication. These apps give students a choice, which are very important."
Van Dyne may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org