(donations over the goal line will be put in an R2 account)
Most of you know R2, either in person or from the ol' blog here. For a recap, he was born at 24 weeks, and suffered severe brain damage as a result of his prematurity. He's amazingly functional, despite having large gaps in his brain and being legally blind.
One of the hardest things for us has been his gradual move towards being completely nonverbal. In the last several years, he went from being able to answer questions and talk in brief sentences to where he is now, totally non-verbal except for the occasional grunt and, on bad days, screaming.
We've been researching communication options for a while, and the old technology would have cost thousands of dollars, so we never considered it an option. When the iPad came out, we started hearing stories about breakthroughs in communication with autistic kids, and that research has been growing. There are a lot of apps designed specifically for this purpose- giving a voice to special kids!
We were able to get his school to allow him to use one on campus, with good success at expressing his needs; he's skilled with computers. Now we're hoping to continue his success by buying an iPad and apps to use at home. I can't tell you what it would mean to be able to communicate with our son again, and to be able to teach him.
Over Christmas, 2 people spontaneously gave donations toward an "R2 iPad Fund", which surprised and blessed us, since we've been trying to find some way to budget for this and have been unsuccessful. Our goal is to raise $800, for the iPad, the heavy-duty case, and several apps that have been recommended. If you want to be a part of helping us reach this goal, you can email us for a mailing address or give online through ChipIn.