Program provides iPads to children affected by autism

December 12, 2012  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Ten Greater Lafayette children affected with autism will receive early holiday gifts of iPads through a program sponsored by the Lafayette- based Eagle Harley Davidson and administered through Cornerstone Autism Foundation. The iPads are evenly divided between GLASS (Greater Lafayette Area Special Services) and the Bauer Family Resources Center, and will be distributed through those organizations.

The iPads will be distributed:

*11 a.m. Thursday (Dec. 13) at the Bauer Family Resources Center at Dayton Elementary School, Head Start classroom, 730 College St., Lafayette, Ind.

*12:30 a.m., Friday (Dec. 14) at Cumberland Elementary School with GLASS, 600 Cumberland Ave., West Lafayette, Ind.

Becky Pitt, Consulting Teacher for AAC/AT GLASS at Linnwood Elementary School says, "The donation of these iPads will be immensely beneficial to the population of students we serve with autism and developmental disabilities. In our line of work, we haven't encountered any other product as universally appealing and motivating as the iPad."

iPads assist children dealing with Autism by lessoning the symptoms of the disorder by reducing "sensory overload," according to Meredith Logsdon, Cornerstone Autism Center's clinical director, who is certified through the Standards for Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst.

"[Cornerstone] uses iPads every day as an integral part of therapy delivery," Logsdon said. "Each child's individual set of programs are created and then downloaded to the iPads. The kids love to use educational apps, games, and even the photo booth and video camera. Our speech pathologist uses different applications for therapy sessions as well. Through video modeling, different applications, and motivation to use the iPad, we have seen a lot of progression in our clients' skill set, including social interaction and speech."

Autism Spectrum Disorders is a developmental disorder, affecting the brain and making it difficult to communicate and interact with others. The disorder affects each person in different ways, and can range from very mild to severe, according to Logsdon.

She added that specific applications children with autism enjoy and may benefit from include: Autism and PDD Basic Questions; Autism and PDD Reasoning & Problem Solving; Autism and PDD Grammar; Autism and PDD Opposites; Autism and PDD Concepts; SPEAKall; MotivAider; VidRhythm; and PBSKidsPlayer.

"The opportunity to distribute an additional resource like an iPad to children with autism and knowing that the technology will make a real difference means so much to them and to us," said David Ide, president of Cornerstone Autism Foundation and co-founder of Cornerstone Autism Center, an educational center based in West Lafayette, Ind. and Greenwood, Ind., focused on helping children with Autism.

Funding for the iPads came from the Jerry & Annie Charity HOG Ride and the Cornerstone Fall Festival.

"Each year we hold a Jerry & Annie Charity HOG Ride to raise funds for a worthwhile program," said Kathe Bell, owner of Eagle Harley Davidson and organizer of the charity motorcycle ride. "We heard about how much iPads can help children with autism and contacted Cornerstone to see how we could help the children and their families in Tippecanoe County who struggle with autism and with finding the resources they need."

Held last summer, the Jerry & Annie Charity HOG Ride included riders of all types of motorcycles. Hundreds participated in this event, which raised around $5,000 for the program. The funds from this event and Cornerstone Autism Foundation's first annual Fall Festival have now been used to purchase iPads and deliver to children in Tippecanoe County who struggle with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

According to the Center for Disease Control, autism affects one out of 88 children in the United States and one out of 83 in Indiana. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.

About Cornerstone Autism Foundation

Founded in December 2011 by David Ide, Debbie Ide and Ken Weadick, who also make up the Cornerstone Autism Center leadership team, the foundation provides grants and sponsorships. Its support helps programs at schools and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, as well as charitable fundraiser events, that directly serve and benefit children of autism here in Indiana.

About Bauer Family Resources 

Bauer Family Resources provides comprehensive service to the community by facilitating the development of children and youth, meeting concrete needs of individuals and families who are in times of crisis and partnering with the community to further community goals. All programs offered are free of charge and completely voluntary.

About Greater Lafayette Area Special Service Cooperative

Greater Lafayette Area Special Service Cooperative (GLASS) oversees all children with special needs, including individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, for all of Tippecanoe County.

Contacts:

Natalee Mace, Cornerstone Autism Foundation, parent and advocate of Autism, 317-373-7073, nmace@cornerstoneautismcenter.com

Cynthia Sequin, Purdue Research Foundation, (765) 588-3340, casequin@prf.org

Sources:

Cornerstone Autism Center: David Ide, CEO & Meredith Logsdon, Clinical Director and certified through the Standards for Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst, 765.838.3547

Greater Lafayette Area Special Services: Rebecca L. Pitt, Consulting Teacher for AAC/AT, GLASS at Linnwood, 1415 Ball St., Lafayette, IN 47904, 765.476.2900, rlpitt@lsc.k12.in.us

Bauer Family Resource Lauren Gilmore, MS, Executive Assistant, Bauer Executive Offices, P.O Box 1186 Lafayette, IN 47902, 765.742-4848

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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