Auction Draws Attention to iPad Apps for Kids with Autism

A nonprofit organization looking to provide iPads to chlidren with autism is helping shed light on the power of the device in this area.

Tomorrow, Danny’s Wish—a nonprofit organization created by a 13-year-old boy with autism “to help provide life enhancing resources and experiences for kids and families that deal with Autism and Autism related spectrum disorders”—will kick-off its “iPads for Autism Online Auction.” Set to run through Sunday, December 5, the online auction will feature a Ferragamo Handbag, Sports Collectibles, Hotel Packages, Restaurant and Retail Gift Certificates, Birthday Parties, Admission Passes to Long Island's Premier Attractions, and much more. View the whole list of items, including pictures and detailed descriptions, at the karma411 website.

"Our mission at Danny's Wish is to provide life enhancing experiences and resources for kids and families dealing with Autism and Autism related spectrum disorders," said Dino Sgueglia, president, Danny's Wish. "We're very excited to have started our latest fundraiser, iPads For Autism Auction. The iPad provides alternative communication and learning applications that allow Autistic children to flourish. These applications grant children new and amazing opportunities by fostering enhanced communication, independence, daily life skills, and developmental growth. More importantly, the iPad gives those without a voice a chance to be heard. Join Danny's Wish in raising money to provide iPad's for schools and individuals with Autism!"

In fact, the tremendous benefits that the iPad offers to children with special needs—virtually completely overlooked in the media—have been experienced firsthand by Danny, who uses the device for entertainment and for assistance in communicating with his family. Hence the desire by Danny’s Wish to host this auction, which hopes to raise $50,000 to supply iPads to schools that specialize in the development of children with autism and families that are affected by the condition.

Among the applications that grant children with special needs the opportunity for enhanced communication, independence, daily life skills, and developmental growth are spelling applications like iWriteWords and First Word, and story-making apps that help children with communication difficulties adjust to social situations like Stories2Learn.

“More importantly, the iPad gives those without a voice a chance to be heard,” said Danny’s father Dino Squeglia. “My son is without speech, and uses TapToTalk to communicate. This application uses picture identification to create sentences that are spoken from the iPad. My biggest wish is to hear my son say ‘I love you,’ and thanks to iPad technology, I finally can.

What other potential does the iPad have for children with autism? For children, and adults, suffering from any number of conditions? For you and your practice? Tell us how you and/or your patients are using the iPad. Share your stories to spread the word and help someone learn of an app they could use.