How iPads will make a world of difference for family of eight special needs children

One young autistic girl who fell through the cracks in the education system is changing the experience of other struggling children. 

The young western Victorian girl created not-for-profit organisation Keeley’s Cause after feeling there were hundreds of children like her who could use technology for special needs learning.

The charity donated six iPads to a Hepburn Shire family of children who have autism or an intellectual disability on Sunday.

Keeley’s Cause director Sharon Murphy said every child regardless of their disability deserved and had the right to a proper education.

“We want to make sure the children who need electronic hardware in schools are having it full time, not just an hour or two,” she said. 

“We want to give them the potential they need to get their education to the best of their ability for them to function in a normal world.”

Rodney received a donated iPad at a Keeley’s Cause presentation on Sunday. 

Keeley's Cause director Sharon Murphy and Rodney.

Keeley's Cause director Sharon Murphy and Rodney.

Rodney, who is non-verbal, will now be able to make informed choices and communicate to others in everyday life. 

Rodney’s parent Lisa said the iPad was his key to independence. 

“This can help him make clear choices in his day to day living, but also to become an independent young man in his community. He is a very fluent hand signer but no one knows enough hand sign in his day to day journey through life,” she said. 

“It means that now he can make choices and communicate, something as simple as ordering his own meal. Even at home we sometimes have communication breakdowns and that can lead to him being frustrated. He deserves better. Just like you and I, we want our message to be heard.

“I am really excited for the world that will open up for him.”

Lisa said the iPads would also help the younger children in her care overcome their literacy and numeracy challenges. 

“Having access to literacy and numeracy programs on a daily basis, regularly and it is very interactive, it is very positive for them and will really improve what they are doing not only at home, but in their school setting,” she said. 

Visit http://www.keeleyscause.org.au/ for more information.