Ammar Walcott is the older of two autistic twins who just celebrated their 18th birthday. (He is also one of six children!) His autism primary affects his communication skills resulting in the need for a high level of support to participate in social and functional activities.
Ammar attends high school as part of a certificate program, where he receives special education, occupational therapy and speech therapy services. A visual learner, he has had success in school using an iPad, where visual applications like Boardmaker Online and ChoiceBoard Creator provide the visual and auditory cues that are most effective in getting him to “use his words” to express his needs.
These programs enable Ammar to access visual communication boards that help guide his verbal output. They also provide things like checklists, visual schedules and timers, which all help promote independence with completion of functional tasks like meal prep, cleaning and working tasks.
The Eric Fund is pleased to award Ammar his own iPad (and necessary apps) for use at home so that he can have continuity from school to home, a necessary component of his path toward increased independence. His mother was effusive with her appreciation, and loved the timing – he received his iPad so near his birthday, it felt like a birthday gift. “This is a real gift for Ammar,” she said, “and the ability to communicate better with Ammar is a gift for our entire family.”