During the first week of December my Uncle let me know about an organization that provides under privileged families that have an autistic child with an iPad. It was very interesting to since at Grady's school, all of the special education teacher's had just gotten trained with autistic computer programs and were really struggling attempting to get Grady to learn the mouse. They had approached me just that day about the possibility of getting something touch screen like an iPad to which I had replied, "Ha!" I was extremely excited about the prospect of getting an iPad through this program, PLUS it came with an iTunes gift card to purchase the amazing applications available that would make it possible for Grady to begin to communicate with us.
Very quickly I found out that my family did not qualify for the program. We had missed the maximum gross income mark by two grand. I was crushed. I felt heart broken that I couldn't give my son this amazing opportunity. But after some encouragement from a couple of friends, I started a fundraiser on facebook with very small hopes of raising the money needed for the iPad and the very expensive applications.
The most amazing thing happened. In less then 48 hours, Grady had the entire amount raised. People I had never met before contributed to a cause that wouldn't benefit them in any way. They wanted my son to talk. They wanted him to say I love you. They wanted him to tell me his needs. They cared. It was beyond overwhelming. I was a wreck! As the donations flooded in, tears poured out. Ha ha! I started the fundraiser on Monday, December 6th and on Friday, December 10th we bought the iPad and downloaded the first communication application. Saturday morning Grady used it to ask for his first things: Grape juice and granola!
We want to use this blog to document his process as he uses this amazing tool. I'm in love with it. I plan on making youtube videos, taking pictures and blogging on a regular basis. The other aspect to this journey is something called "Nourish Life: Speak." Something that is kind of a known fact in the autism world is the fact that autistic kids tend to be vitamin deficient. Grady is an extremely picky eater, thought to be because of his sensory issues. As of one week ago, December 5th, we started Grady on a supplement that has vitamin E, omega 3, GLA and Vitamin K. He also takes a multi vitamin. I want to keep track of this too.
I love you baby boy. :o)