Shoshana, an 11-yr-old girl with autism, received an iPad from the Goody Awards as part of their Autism Acceptance Month Campaign last weekend. Autistic Teen Animator Dani Bowman (and Golden Goody Award Winner, like an Oscar for social good) chose Shoshana as the winner because she was also 11 when she started her own animation company, Powerlight Studios. The goal of this Goody Awards program was to help an autistic child with their verbal communications, and to help change the conversation around autism to acceptance and appreciation of their strengths.
Many autistic children love math, music, videos and games. Shoshana enjoys working with computers, and immediately picked up on how to use the iPad. Given the right tools, many autistic people are making a powerful impact on digital entertainment. Dani Bowman, Autistic Teen Animator, has illustrated 2 anti-bully books working with Joey Travolta, and a new Rethinking Autism PSA: Believe It: The Dani Bowman Story.
The iPad, like other computers, is an effective communications tool for many on the autism spectrum. The touch screen and layout make the iPad more accessible for children with coordination or learning difficulties; and these children may find sliding and tapping easier than either typing or writing. Moreover, the iPad can be easily carried, and thus is helpful for calming and focusing children on the go.
This YouTube Video: Autistic Child Receives iPad from Goody Awardswas filmed right before Shoshana’s Autism Movement Therapy Class with Joanne Lara in Van Nuys, CA. Other members of the class are also seen in this video and dancing at the end. Many thanks to Dani Bowman and Extra Special Kids for their help selecting Shoshana as our winner, and shout out to Joanne Lara for hosting this event.