Amanda Chu, an 11-year-old girl who started middle school this fall, was awarded an iPad Pro, case and keyboard from The Eric Fund to increase her independence both at school and at home.
Amanda’s mother and the people who assisted with assessing Amanda’s technology needs, feared that she was at risk for developing a “learned helplessness” and low self-esteem if she had to continue to rely on others to help her communicate and do her school work. Amanda is able to both write and type, but her spastic quadriplegia makes it difficult for her to write for long periods of time, so her preference has always been typing. She uses a computer at school and her mother’s iPad at home to do homework and FaceTime her teachers with questions. Her mother’s iPad is old, and does not have the necessary storage to accommodate both her work and Amanda’s work.
With her own iPad, Amanda will be more organized and be able to work more efficiently since she can use the same device at school and at home. The WiFi and cellular will ensure that she is covered in an emergency should she need to text or FaceTime her mother, a teacher or a friend. Lastly, and most importantly, having an iPad will – over time - increase Amanda’s ability to live a more independent and full life.