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How the iPad Changed This Disabled 7 Year Old Boy's Life

Illustration for article titled How the iPad Changed This Disabled 7 Year Old Boys Life

Click to viewThe iPad, and other tablets like it, may actually be a magic and revolutionary device after all. Because at least in this instance, it's given a disabled 7-year old boy the ability to communicate with the world.


Owen Cain lives with spinal muscular atrophy Type 1, a motor-neuron disease that that leaves him largely paralyzed, mute, and prone to infection. He's still able to read, though, and write and do math. And with the iPad, he's able to do all of those things with much more ease than ever before.

It turns out that in addition to being an effective communication tool—with its large screen and diverse software options—the iPad is also generally less expensive than many dedicated therapeutic devices that seek to accomplish the same task. For Owen, the sensitive touchscreen means he can flip through the pages of Alice in Wonderland on his own, and apps like Proloquo2Go help him communicate full ideas and needs with a single screen tap.


And the keypad, though a little too wide for Owen's limited range of motion, helped him tell his parents that he wanted to be Han Solo for Halloween. For his parents, that's some kind of magic. [NY Times]

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Jill Pantozzi

I saw some of you making comments about collecting donations to help out. Since this young boy already received an iPad from his grandmother, might I suggest making your donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association directly? Spinal Muscular Atrophy is one of over 40 neuromuscular diseases covered by MDA and they are constantly looking for a cure and ways to make life easier for the families and individuals affected. I know because I have SMA Type 3. Visit MDA's website here: [] and see what works best for you. Even volunteers are invaluable.