Author Tony Robbins says, “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” This rings especially true for families who include children with autism. Many children with the condition are nonverbal and unable to communicate in a traditional manner. However, great strides have been made in recent years, with the use of iPads and their communication applications geared towards children within the autism spectrum. The iTaalk Autism Foundation, a Toledo-based, nationwide organization, has become a resource for the autism community. iTaalk has made it a priority to distribute iPads to families in need, with the help of donations and grants. The foundation considers education, training in communication applications, being a liaison for families and therapy resources to be the most important ventures of their foundation. iTaalk consists of volunteers that are parents of children with autism, and they travel the country to train teachers, service providers, and parents how to use the communication applications. The nationwide training typically takes place in cities and rural towns, where there is a need for education and a lack of services for the autism community. iTaalk has ‘giving cycles,’ in which families can apply for iPads ,and they are always accepting donations of used iPads and financial contributions.
The website has a searchable component for families looking for services for children with autism and funding options. For more information to give or to sign up for donations, visit www.itaalk.org.