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Monday, March 7, 2011

iPads for Autism Education

Buying iPads for autistic students may draw taxpayers' ire in this tough budget season, but some educators say it is a cheaper and more effective way to help them.

An iPad costs about $600 and the "apps," or programs to load on it, another $100 to $200, said Mike Cummings, the acting superintendent in Milford.

Milford recently purchased three iPads and provided them to families of autistic students to use at home. The district owns the electronic devices, which must be returned.

"It clearly is the wave of the future, in terms of its educational usefulness," said Cummings.

Some autistic students in Fairfield are also benefiting from Apple's tablet computer. The iPad is earning very high marks there, said Andrea Leonardi, the district's special education director.

"We're finding them to be extraordinarily useful," she said. "It is more flexible and profoundly less expensive than other systems. The iPad is only a year old, it has huge potential in education across all (age and ability) ranges."

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