On a tight budget? 6 ways to get an ipad for your child with special needs

iPad Handwriting apps

This post is part Seven of the Special Needs iPad & App Series.

Almost from the day the iPad was launched there was an immediate buzz about the special needs apps that were available in the iPad app store. Apple quickly realized that the iPad was perfectly suited to enhancing the lives of individuals with special needs and created a special education section of the app store. Websites and blogs sprung up dedicated to reviewing apps for Assistive CommunicationSocial Skills, Life Skills,Scheduling and more.

The need for the iPad is an obvious one for children with special needs. But what if you can’t afford one for your child, what do you do?

Can I Get an iPad through Medicare or Insurance?
For Years Medicare has been providing $7,000 Assistive and Augmentative Communication Devices for individuals with special needs, but don’t bother trying to get funding for a $500 iPad

Many prefer the slim and sleek iPad over the bulkier and very expensive assistive communication devices. People are starting to ask when will insurances and Medicare finally come around and provide funding.

You would think that it would be way more cost efficient to provide iPads than $7,000 devices right?

The common explanation is that there are fears of widespread abuse. A situation could occur where a person applies for funding for their child with special needs and ends up using the iPad for themselves. You would think that if a few smart people put their heads together you would be able to find a way to prevent this. You would think that at a time when the government is looking to slash costs this would be a great time to provide individuals with special needs $500 iPads instead of $7,000 devices: A savings of $6,500!

Maybe I am being naive and you may be laughing at me right now. But when you see a child who could never communicate take an iPad and show a family member that they would like a cup of water it would bring tears to your eyes.

In time I am sure Medicare and other insurance companies will start providing funds for iPads but time is not on the side of children with special needs. They need our help and they need it now.

Until Medicare and other Insurance companies come forward,  here are some ways you can work towards getting an iPad for your child:

Donate1. Fundraise
You have no problems asking friends and family to donate money for a great non-profit organization but you would never ask for yourself. Change that mindset in a hurry!  When it comes to your child’s needs you should not be ashamed or embarrassed. Think about the impact it will have on your child and how it will affect him or her in the future. You are not begging for money you are advocating for your child!

You can fundraise the old fashioned way by going to 20 Friends & Family members and asking them to give $25 each or you can set up an online Fundraising Campaign where you can send out emails and raise money online.  ChipIn.com or GiveForward.com are two such companies that support micro fundraising.

Change2. Keep The Change
Every time you make a cash purchase take the change you get back (up to $5) and put it away for an iPad. You won’t miss those nickels, dimes, quarters and dollar bills but it will add up very quickly. On average you could squirrel away $5-$8 a week which would get you an iPad in under a year.

Credit Card Points and Miles3. Points or Miles
If you have a credit card that gives you points or miles for every dollar spent save them up for an iPad. Most cards will let you redeem your points for  an iPad or for cash which you can then use to purchase an iPad. Hopefully you have a card that gives you double miles or points on gas or grocery purchases which will get you to your goal quicker.

iPad Present

4-6. Organizations Giving iPads to special needs families
While it’s not as easy as it sounds there are organizations out there giving away iPads to children with special needs.

Here is a list of some of them previously mentioned on Squidalicious.
If you have any to add please comment below!

  • iHelp for Special Needs is dedicated to help raise funds for children with special needs to receive iPads & Apps to assist with communication, life & Social skills.
  • The Conover Company is a maker of special needs apps for the iPhone and iPad. They also give out the Conover Mobile Technology Grant is to promote the use of mobile technology and their apps to improve an individuals freedom and independence.
  • Danny’s Wish is committed to providing life enhancing resources and experiences for children and families dealing with autism and autism spectrum disorders. Their goal for this campaign is to raise $50,000 to supply approximately 100 iPads to those children affected and in need the most.

The Rest of the Series:

  1. The Special Needs iPad & App Series: Welcome
  2. 7 Assistive communication (AAC) apps for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
  3. Scheduling and Behavioral Apps to help with transitions and more
  4. 11 Social Skills & Life Skills Apps in iPad App Store
  5. 10 Websites to Find Special Needs Apps for the iPad & iPhone
  6. 7 Special Needs Apps in the Google Android Market
  7. On a tight budget? 7 ways to get an ipad for your child with special needs
  8. 6 steps to get the iPad into your child’s special education classroom
  9. 4 Special Needs iPad/iPhone Apps for the Future

More Special Needs Apps

Looking for more special needs apps? Check out the Special Needs App Review!

With over a thousand apps now available to help individuals with special needs it has become increasingly difficult to find and choose the right special needs app. The Friendship Circle App Review gives you the ability to find the perfect special needs app for your child.

Special Needs App Review

Tzvi

Written on 2011/03/23 by:

Tzvi

Tzvi Schectman is the Family Coordinator for the Friendship Circle of Michigan and the Editor of the the Friendship Circle Blog. You can connect with Tzvi on LinkedIn and Google+
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The phrase “back to school” inspires both joy and trepidation. When a student has special needs, those emotions are magnified and the checklists are multiplied. There’s nothing simple about t...
  • http://www.lilliespad.com Lillie’s Pad

    Tzvi, great post. I will definitely share this with my followers as well. Another organization that I would add to the list is http://www.ThePuzzlingPiece.com. They have an “iPad Challenge” where you sell 60 pieces of their autism jewelry ($20 each) and they will send you a brand new iPad. One of the mothers who follows my blog did this and she had a new iPad for her son within two weeks. The Puzzling Piece is run by a couple who have an autistic son. The “iPad Challenge” is also open up to educators and therapists as well.
    :: K

  • http://www.itaalk.org iTaalk Autism Foundation

    The iTaalk Autism Foundation is granting more than $7500 in iPads/iPods to children with Autism in the month of April.  Please have your families get their application in as soon as possible.  We also provide educational training to families, schools, organizations, etc.  And will be happy to travel up to Michigan (as we are based in the Greater Toledo Area).  Please visit http://www.iTaalk.org to complete your application.

    • debbie Obney

      where on this site is the application for it

  • Kendrea

    It can be helpful to try the iPad first to make sure it meets all communication needs. Parents and adults with communication needs should contact their state AT Act program to arrange for a demonstration or inquire about a free short term loan. A list of state AT Act programs is available at http://www.resnaprojects.org/nattap/at/stateprograms.html

  • http://www.babieswithipad.blogspot.com Bridget Bailey

    Babies with iPads http://www.babieswithipads.blogspot.com is granting iPads as funds allow.  Thanks for the list. 

  • Tzvi

    Bridget, I did see that Babies with iPads was giving out iPads as funds allowed. I did not include you in the list because the requirements said you needed to be a resident of West Virgina, which would exclude 99.9% of our readers. Let me know if that has or will change and we would love to include you!

    We did include you in a previous App series post “10 Websites to Find Special Nees Apps for the iPad & iPhone

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  • vanessa

    iam a mother with a autism child she cant talk at all i would like her to have one of these ipad it just might help her talk. how can i get one for her   help. thank you

  • http://www.squidoo.com/ipad-grants Grants For iPads

    I really like your ideas sometimes as parents we have to take things into own hands and be the guidance of fate that lays a head of us and our families. While there are programs and grants that help children in need with getting assistive technology, such iPads there is more of a need then there are grants or programs to feel them.

  • Joshua Derrick

    Hi there, I’m a self advocate with Autism. I could use a lot of help with getting an iPad for my sensory needs. I’m very sensitive. I have a lot of sensory issues. I could Really use a ipad. They help with sensory needs and help relieve stress too through the apps. I love seeing myself in a mirror and the iPad has a camera that let’s you look at yourself and make funny photos. An iPad can help me to do much better. IPads have clocks, timers, and reminders, which would be Very Useful for me since I have Very Difficulty with keeping up with time and having reminders to do things. I need an iPad as a learning tool and as an assistive communication device since I don’t like talking all that much and very good at typing & spelling, for me. Please could someone help me get an iPad for me as an assistive communication & learning device?

  • sharon

    I have a friend who has a child that was born with a brain malformation.  His frontal lobe is one lobe instead of two separate hemispheres.  We are exploring all avenues to help him, he will be 2 in April, and at the moment can’t crawl, or stand.  He is able to sit for a short period of time without assistance, and has muscular atrophy, but is in therapy and actually rolled over 3 times.  They have a very limited income and I would appreciate any help in being able to get their son one of these.  Please feel free to email me at swooten2009@yahoo.com with any questions or comments. Thanks again.

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  • Allison

    Does your friends son have holoprosencephaly by chance? Is that his diagnosis?

  • http://www.ipads4autism.com Megan

    Help yourself – fundraise, like I did

    http://www.ipads4autism Australia Only.  

  • http://www.ipads4autism.com Megan

    Help yourself, fundraise like I did

    http://www.ipads4autism.com Australia Only  

  • Tina J.

    I would not recommend going through ipads4u. It has become rather controversial as the group leader refuses to disclose financial/legal documents and there is currently a massive twitter row between the leader of this website (a website, not a nonprofit apparently) and the people who are asking to see the books. He has been accused of cyber-bullying and has been tweeting people’s phone numbers. Check out a4cwsn on twitter and see it all for yourself or check out this blog: http://racersmommy.blogspot.com/2012/01/when-online-bullying-attacks-parents.html

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000842079142 Sharon Cone Wooten

    yes that is his diagnosis

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  • Reginald

    Special needs grant for Ipad2

  • Kate

    Four times per year ACT Today! (www.act-today.org) awards grants to families to help fund various needs of children with autism.  iPads are always high on the list!

  • Katja Walker

    Thank you for your informative series. We have used a DynavoxV for years (we got a grant through the school for the $8,000 to pay for it) and the recent repair cost $700 – the school authorized it (without even getting a list of things they had to do to fix it!) before I was told how much it would be. So now we are looking at the possibility of getting my son one of the newer more responsive pads. I would like to find software that can be used for both platforms iPad or Android and have found your posts really helpful. Thanks everyone!

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  • Rivkah Hammer

    Tzvi…I recently heard that Medicaid will now fund for an ipad as an AAC device. Do you have any further info that I can share with parents who approach IHelp sN kids??
     

  • Mommasdeals

    I understand that the Divison of Develpmental Disabilites will cover the cost for communication device and applications for IPAD but the requirements for documenting are strict and have to be very clear need and other techs tried.
    check with your local divsion for information.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M64DKUA4DMHHVIAIO6OBH7CS4A shari

    i have applied for every grant,and asked searched and tried everything i possibly could to get my son a ipad and i have had no luck so in my opinion nothing has worked,i have even gone to local businesses writtten diff companies ect about donating one and not 1 place has returned a response to and every place i have applied is out of funding… i have even entered contests ect.. so what do you do when u have tried eveyrhting and there is just no help??? i feel like i am failing my son!!!

    • Karen

      Shari, a friend of mine made up fliers asking people to donate their aluminum cans… The fire station has been one of thier biggest supporters! Give it a try :)

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