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New Jersey Special Needs Students Learn With iPads — Watch

Wed, September 26, 2012 11:42am EDT by 2 Comments
special needs students iPad
NBC New York

A private school in New Jersey is helping students with Down Syndrome communicate through iPads. Find out more about their touching story.

Enrique Mendez, a 9-year-old Down Syndrome student, was finally able to communicate his love to his mother just a few days after receiving his school-supplied iPad from the EPIC school, a private school focused on special needs students, in Paramus, N.J. Now the school is advocating for the use of iPads in all school districts — for special needs and mainstream students.

Enrique’s mother, Diana Mendez, told her son everyday she loved him, unknowing if he could comprehend. Finally after 9 years of silence, Enrique told his mom he loved her for the first time through the device.

“I was hysterical,” Diana told NBC New York. “To realize that he’s been listening to you, every time I told him ‘I love you.'”

It was a life-changing experience for Diana, and one that would have never been possible without the school’s suppliance of iPads to their special needs students. The iPad teaches the autistic students how to spell and say phrases, as well as give them a more structured way of playing during down time.

“It’s more interactive, so it’s more fun,” Brittany English, at teacher at EPIC school, said.

With the success of iPads at EPIC, school systems are beginning to incorporate them into the curriculum for mainstream students. In 2013, Old Bridge School in Matawan N.J. plans on buying 3,000 iPads for their mainstream middle school students, and if successful, hopes to extend this trend to their high school students in 2014.

What do you think about special needs students using iPads in school, HollyMoms?

— Charlotte Nichols

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