Project Description

iPads Opening News Worlds for Damar Clients

Nearly every client Damar serves has some type of communications need. To address these needs, Damar Charter Academy and Freeway Academy have each student evaluated by a speech therapist who recommends an individualized plan, which could include sign language, pictures, a lamp device and/or a more expensive technology such as an iPad.

Erin Crick, Director of Educational Services at Damar, explains that each plan is tailored for the particular student. Some kids communicate by pointing to pictures on the iPad, while others put sentences together. Some work on tracing games, and others work on math equations.

“A huge thing for our families is keeping their child entertained,” said Crick. “It’s incredibly helpful when a child with behavioral problems can learn to occupy their own time, and iPads have helped us teach them to do that. Believe it or not, for these kids, learning to tend to a game on an iPad can be a huge accomplishment.”

On campus, iPads are in short supply, primarily because kids who are behaviorally challenged put a lot of wear and tear on things. “We’ve discussed a really durable case that increases the lifespan, but we still have to replace and repair our iPads often,” said Crick.

Crick tells the story of one student, Daylen, who only had a dozen-word vocabulary when he arrived on campus. He stayed on a unit with other nonverbal kids with autism. With Damar’s help, he’s come a long way and no longer needs any special communications helps. He’s very independent and articulate.

To make a donation to help fund communication technology, contact Donna Stutler at donnas@damar.org or 317-856-5201.