SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake school for kids with autism lacked the funding to get iPads to increase the learning for their students. But a local Salt Lake company saved the day by donating the iPads.
Teachers have found that iPads really help autistic children to learn. With the colors, sounds and hands-on technology, the children stay more focused on their work. The students had a lot of smiles and tears when boxes and boxes of donated iPads arrived at the Carmen B. Pingree School in Salt Lake.
"That's more important than getting an iPad fro Christmas," said Pete Nicholas, the Director of Pingree Center. "You're changing somebody's life. These kids can learn so much with these iPads."
The Apartment Management Consultants donated 45 iPads to the school. Originally, the iPads were going to be given to their employees instead of going on their annual retreat. But, then the company president found out what the iPads could do for the autistic children.
Children with autism thrive with sensory and different ways to learn things, and we can use the iPads for functional skills, for communication, for all kinds of learning.
–Cheryl Smith, President of the Autism Council of Utah
"He caught a 60 minutes show that actually went over how iPads benefit autistic kids and he decided to donate all thsoe 45 that we were purchasing for our RPMs to the school," said Jaren Bradley, the Senior Vice President of Operations at AMC.
On Wednesday, those iPads were opened up and the children were thrilled.
"The kids just take right to them," said Cheryl Smith, President of the Autism Council of Utah. "Like ducks to water. They know what to do, they're interested."
Cheryl Smith has a student of her own at the Pingree Center and she says that getting kids to focus in the classroom is extremely challenging. The iPads change all that.
"Children with autism thrive with sensory and different ways to learn things, and we can use the iPads for functional skills, for communication, for all kinds of learning," she said.
These iPads will be loaded with all the various programs and apps that the school uses. The students will also be able to check them out to take home with them on their various classroom projects. iPads cost about $500 each, so receiving 45 donated has made all the difference for these children.