Haddonfield resident Brad Bono recently donated six Apple iPads as well as four interactive applications for the Child Development Program of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center to enhance the curriculum for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Lourdes Child Development Services provide home based services to over 270 children with special needs and their families in Camden City and throughout parts of Camden County. At any given time, at least 20 percent of children in the program are diagnosed with ASD and require a significant amount of intervention and parent training. As a way to enrich the lives and education of these children, Child Development Services began seeking donations for Apple iPads.
Bono, a board member of the Lourdes Health Foundation whose 11-year-old son, Ben, has autism, jumped at the opportunity. He has experienced firsthand with his own son, a die-hard technology enthusiast, how effective technology is in strengthening interactive and communicative skills in children with ASD.
He wanted to help other, less fortunate children reap the same benefits.
The iPad’s easy touch and swipe screen allows children with difficulty grasping a crayon or pencil due to poor fine motor skill development to operate the device. The predictability of the device also has greater appeal to autistic children rather than the unpredictability of adults and peers in social interactions.
Additionally, communication through the iPad is believed to contribute to positive social behaviors by decreasing frustration and aggression in children with autism.