This fundraiser has been put together to help raise money for my son, Cullen, who is autistic. We are trying to raise enough money to purchase an iPad for him, & any extra money collected will go towards purchasing more iPads to be donated to other autistic children in need.
Cullen is 11 years old and will be starting in 6th grade this year. He attends public school, but unfortunately due to his academic level and disruptive behavior, is unable to be fully mainstreamed yet. He's considered verbal and somewhat conversational, but has a lot of stimming behaviors and is easily frustrated by others. Cullen has come a long way from when he was first diagnosed with Autism, at age 5, as he rarely spoke and what was said was considered echolalia. It was very hard for me to accept back then, as the last thing any parent wants to hear is that their child has a disability. I started crying right there. I was a single mother, by then, with two boys with special needs. Duncan, Cullen's older brother, is also on the autism spectrum and has aspergers, but it wasn't as easily diagnosed as Cullen's autism.
Cullen is an amazing boy who has a great love for art and music. From the time he was 2, I knew he was going to be an amazing artist as he could draw perfect circles and squares. At age 3 he drew Stitch, from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch, and you knew what it was. He has and always will be "my little muse". Below are some samples of his art that I have scanned from a year or so ago.
Here is a video of Cullen singing "What A Wonderful World", when he was 7 years old. Enjoy...
What is autism?
"Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patters of behavior. Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, it occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group. Experts estimate that 1 out of 88 children age 8 will have an ASD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 30, 2012). Males are four times more likely to have an ASD than females." courtesy of http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm
IPads have become a great new tool to help children with autism, as there are numerous amounts of special-designed apps available that can help them develop socially, as well as, nuture their educational needs. You can find a list of apps available for the ipad provided by the Autism Speaks website.
I have included a video from CBS's 60 Minutes broadcast called, "Apps for Autism: Communicating on an iPad."