Thanks to St Helens Autism Support, primary school children diagnosed with autism have received a tablet device to help them with their everyday
Formed in 2012, St Helens Autism Support (SAS) is a local charity whose
aims are to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorders and to support
diagnosed people and carers in the St Helens area.
Towards the end of last year at their annual fundraising ball, a campaign
was launched to make an iPad or tablet device available in the homes of
every diagnosed child in the borough that would benefit from one and make resource packs available to teachers, parents and children by Autumn this year to enable the most effective use of apps and the device.
Due to the help of schools, 70 devices to date have been distributed to
children across St Helens Primary Schools by the end of the summer term – much to the delight of the recipients.
To celebrate the success of the initiative – that has seen sponsored
cycling and rugby events organised to fund the tablets – a handful of
youngsters were invited to receive their device before the Saints vs
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats match and enjoyed complementary tickets to watch the game with their families.
According to research, the consistency provided by tablet devices is easy to understand and comforting, and children find that tapping and sliding motions are much easier than typing. The iPad puts this comfortable, predictable teaching friend right in the hands of children with autism, regardless of where they are.
St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools and Lifelong Learning,
Councillor Jeanette Banks, said: “I would like to congratulate those
involved in delivering this terrific initiative that will have a positive
outcome on the child’s educational needs. The devices can also go wherever the child goes, meaning they have ways to calm, focus, and learn while on-the-go.”