Monday, July 26, 2010

We Are Now On Wordpress!

We have some exciting news to share, we are now on wordpress! This is where all of the new Danny's Wish blog posts will go from this moment on so please make a note of the change.

Here is the NEW link to our blog:

See you there!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This week's featured app: iWriteWords

Here is another of our favorite iPad apps! iWriteWords is nicely pictured here below on the iTouch, but now imagine it on the much larger screen of the iPad! It is wonderful for all children and especially wonderful for our autistic children! Interactive, fun and all about learning!

Product description from developer: “iWriteWords teaches your child handwriting while playing a fun and entertaining game. Help Mr. Crab collect the numbers in sequence by dragging him with your finger – and drawing the letter at the same time. Once all the letters in the word are drawn properly, a cute drawing appears. Tilt your iPhone or iPod Touch and watch the letters slide into the rotating hole and advance to the next level.”

Check out more about his app HERE!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Free App! "Autism Xpress"!

Danny's Wish would like to highlight another amazing App from the iPad called "Autism Xpress" Please check out the description below and go here to download it for FREE! Woot!

The ‘Autism Xpress’ iPhone Application has been created to help promote greater awareness about autism spectrum disorders. It is designed to encourage people with autism to recognizes and express their emotions through its fun and easy to use interface.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We Love ACC apps for the iPad!

We at Danny's Wish really love all the ACC apps for the iPad! The one we are featuring this week is called Prologuo2Go.

Proloquo2Go, the augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) system that has taken the world by storm, is now available on iPad. Proloquo2Go is latin for speak out loud and that’s exactly what it helps people do! It is pronounced “Pro” as in professional, “lo” as in low, and “quo” as in quotation. The “2Go” means mobile.

Proloquo2Go version 1.3 has been optimized for the iPad and will be a free update for existing users.

Because the iPad has a significantly larger screen than the iPod touch and iPhone you will be able to use grids of up to 64 items. Proloquo2Go 1.3 also supports all device orientations allowing you to hold the iPad any way you like. Proloquo2Go 1.3 is a universal App allowing you to use the exact same application on an iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Now you can use it on an iPad at home, at work or at school and use it on an iPod touch or iPhone when going to the movies, a restaurant or hiking.

Information for this article found here:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Legislators vote to mandate autism coverage

New York lawmakers have approved legislation to require health insurance companies to provide coverage for screening, diagnosis and lifetime treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

The bill passed in the Senate last week and in the Assembly on Monday night.

Citing a federal Centers for Disease Control estimate that one out of 110 children is diagnosed with the disorder, sponsors say the measure could increase overall health insurance premiums by as much as 2 percent in New York. The state would join 20 others that already require coverage.

Affected children struggle with social interaction and communication, ranging from mild to severe symptoms.

Sen. Roy McDonald, a Saratoga Republican, said he has two grandchildren with autism. “My guys don’t talk, and it’s a very serious thing,” he said.

Under the bill, which still needs Gov. David Paterson’s signature, state health officials will identify minimum coverage options for clinically proven treatment and therapy. Paterson will review it, spokesman Morgan Hook said Tuesday.

“The new law will prevent denial of coverage on the basis that treatments are educational rather than medical in their necessity, the most common grounds for refusal,” said Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, a Rochester Democrat and bill sponsor. “To that end, it allows families to appeal denials to an independent review panel if an initial grievance to the insurer is unsuccessful.”

Therapies covered by the new scope of insurance must be clinically proven and peer reviewed, Morelle said. Some parents had urged coverage of experimental treatments as well.

The Health Plan Association, which represents insurers, generally opposes mandates because they increase the cost of health care, spokeswoman Leslie Moran said.

“This bill is particularly troubling because it is so far-reaching,” she said Tuesday. “There is no age limit on coverage. There’s no annual or lifetime cap on the amount that would have to be paid for services.”

Moran said many of the services are currently available in more appropriate settings like schools, and insurers don’t believe they should pay for services such as teaching daily living and academic skills. They also think the 2 percent estimate is low - New Yorkers already pay almost $28 billion in annual health care premiums, and that would mean at least another half-billion dollars.

Judith Ursitti, the regional director for Autism Speaks whose son Jack was diagnosed in 2005, said her family’s out-of-pocket costs have ranged from about $60,000 a year initially to about $25,000 to $30,000 now that he is in school and almost 7 years old. “It’s rare that parents are able to access coverage for children or adults,” she said.

Jack, who was diagnosed at the severe end of the spectrum, is speaking after many thousands of dollars and years of therapy, Ursitti said. She and other advocates stressed the importance of early diagnosis and said it should happen between 18 and 24 months, though only about half of insurers reimburse for a simple screening test.

Info from this article found here:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another iPad Success Story!

We posted about Danny's success with the iPad earlier this week and now we wanted to post another success story we found.

Shannon Rosa @shannonrosa (on twitter) posted an amazing article on her blog: It is about her son Leo who has autism and all the success he has found with the iPad. Here is a small part of the article:

"My son Leo's life was transformed when a five-dollar raffle ticket turned into a brand-new iPad. I'm not exaggerating. Before the iPad, Leo's autism made him dependent on others for entertainment, play, learning, and communication. With the iPad, Leo electrifies the air around him with independence and daily new skills. People who know Leo are amazed when they see this new boy rocking that iPad. I'm impressed, too, especially when our aggressively food-obsessed boy chooses to play with his iPad rather than eat. I don't usually dabble in miracle-speak, but I may erect a tiny altar to Steve Jobs in the corner of our living room."

Read more of Shannon's article here: Below is a clip of Leo using his iPad :) Go Leo!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wonders of the iPad with Danny!

We sometimes don’t realize the little things we take for granted. Like having a say, a voice, vast vocabulary, and the opportunity to make choices. All qualities that Danny unfortunately does not possess. With a limited vocabulary and conversation capabilities that extend only as far as answering yes and no questions, communication as you can imagine is extremely difficult. Sure, Danny has had experience with the chunky oversized temperamental Dynavox Mt4 augmentative communication device, but nothing compares to the world of opportunity the iPad offers at the mere touch of a screen, literally.

With augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps such as TaptoTalk, Danny’s communication flourishes. Similar to the Dynavox, TaptoTalk allows family members to set up folders with both commands and “wants” essentially, by using pictures accompanied by voice dictations of the word. For example, if Danny is hungry and wants to go to his favorite diner “Taby’s” for a plate of fries, we no longer have to read tell tale signs of hunger on his face and assume its french fry depravation! He can simply press tabs that say “I am Hungry” with a picture of him eating, and then move along to “I want to go to Taby’s,” with a picture of the restaurant. Simple, efficient, and miraculous. Now Danny not only has a voice, but a choice. And we don’t have to drag out that bulky Dynavox and pray there is an outlet close by.

Aside from the AAC TaptoTalk, which undoubtedly is the most useful and important application the iPad can offer Danny, there are other benefits to this wonder pad. As you may or may not know, many Autistic children have a need to “stim” or focus on some act, usually physical, and repeat it multiple times to establish balance, clarity, and comfort. Using games on the iPad, such as memory, Danny’s “stims” have become a lot more productive and mind engaging. We are anxious to try out other educational applications like First Words and iWrite Words to see if they have a similar effect.

All these benefits prevail, on top of the classic functions equip with most iProducts, including the ability to watch movies and listen to music. These two past times are Danny’s favorites. The large screen allows Danny to enjoy his favorite movies, like “The Little Giants” and “Richie Rich” comfortably while in transit. And when he craves sensory stimulation to calm his nerves and subdue his tics, he has his entire music library at his fingertips. We are extremely proud of Danny’s accomplishments with the iPad and simultaneously impressed by his ability to pick up the functionality so quickly.

Most importantly it has given us, his family, a chance to communicate easily, often, and efficiently with our favorite little guy. There is nothing more valuable in this world to us than this. The iPad and accompanying applications have brought us miles closer to Danny, and for that we are entirely grateful and even more so, excited for the future.

-This article was written directly by Danny's sister Kristina.