Jake Jaffe is a kind, loving 11-year-old boy who has Down syndrome and autism spectrum dis- order. The combination of these disabilities makes communication the most challenging issue that Jake confronts daily. He has challenges expressing himself verbally, and is only able to use two-word sentences to express his needs. Jake has difficulty connecting with other children because he doesn’t have the words to engage in social interactions.
Jake tried a variety of augmentative communication devices (AAC) but as his mom and speech pathologist observed him independently navigating the buttons on the Tobii Dynavox Indi, it was clear that that was the device he “clicked” with. They looked on as he became animated and excited, and interested in learning more.
The Jaffes learned about The Eric Fund by word-of-mouth from another family whose son had previously received a life-changing AAC device. They applied for partial funding, to cover the cost of the device that insurance wouldn’t cover, and were thrilled to learn that they had been chosen to receive it.
“The Eric Fund is truly a wonderful organization and we really, really appreciate all that you have done for us,” said Jake’s mom, Chiara.
“The device has made such a big difference in Jake’s life with respect to his ability to communicate with his teachers and peers. I read the [Eric Fund] newsletter as well, and it was so wonderful to see the huge impact that the funding has had on other people who needed assistive devices.”