A little while back we ran an iPad giveaway with TELUS which was different than any we’ve ever done; instead of doing an “RT to win!” contest on Twitter or getting our readers to join our mailing list to be entered, we asked for YOUR help to give it away to someone who needed it. Needing an iPad might seem like a strange concept but if you read the letter that I received today from the person we gave it to you'll see how it made a difference with some special needs kids in the Vancouver school system who got looked over in the iPad budget this year. You'll also get some insight into autism and the sweet kid, Joshua, who came to our office with his awesome mom, Kelly, to pick up this gift. This is the best letter I've received in a really long time.
As you may be aware of today, April 2, is 'World Autism Awareness Day', or as some may know it, 'Light It Up Blue' day.
Today marks a special day to honour all those living with and within the spectrum of Autism. With the latest statistic showing that 1 in 68 has a form of Autism, it only makes sense that we need to bring more awareness. More acceptance. More support, and more voices to our community.
You helped to bring all of those and more, with suppling and helping to support our special children of our school with the gift of learning through technology with the iPad. It goes far beyond just fun and games to us parents, educators and children. By giving forward, you help to open the eyes, ears and voices of those who struggle with these challenges.
You help to be a voice in our community, letting everyone know, these kids are worth it. Giving parents, like myself more encouragement to pave the road for our kids and their future, by giving them chances that may not otherwise always be available to them.
You help our community in general see that we're all worth it. We all matter. We all deserve the best. We're all awesome!
What this iPad has done for my son, and his fellow special classmates in our school sensory room is open a whole other world. You've not only helped the children, but you've helped all the special needs educators have an outlet in which they can help reach these kids. To help them thrive. To help them speak, when the words may not be available. To help them see joy, creativity, and fun through learning when sometimes even the most basic of daily personal skills is a complete challenge.
When parents first realize that something may be different with their child, and they get the diagnosis of such, it can be completely overwhelming and sometimes, even disheartening. I admit, hearing it myself from all the professionals for my son Joshua, almost 4 years ago still brings tears to my eyes. It's a new and scary adventure in life we hadn't planned on travelling. Not knowing who is on our side, or how to navigate this new path and find out all of what is best for our child. But we learn. We adapt. We figure it out. We learn to be the voices for our kids. When organizations and people like yourselves see the worth of our children, see the abilities before the disabilities, it makes all that we are trying to do and change worth it. Without your gift of the iPad our special children wouldn't always be given the equal oppritunaties to thrive. Like so many challenges we face in the special needs community they would be wait listed. You helped to better their education. You reached out your hand, when it wasn't even asked of you, and helped pull our children up and out into the spotlight of our school. This iPad is helping them everyday discover a whole new brilliant way of learning. One in which they can connect with. One in which you made possible.
This iPad is a miracle.
Like the saying on my shirt that I so proudly wear today in honour of my son and all those with Autism, you have helped shine a light on Autism, and with that I thank you Bob.
Kelly Whitty and family"