Our Stories - Nicola McLeod Story

One of the big downsides to Autism is the way it impairs the ability to interact with other people, even those who are nearest and dearest.
Now, technology has helped break down that barrier with the revolutionary iPad from Apple.

Anne McLeod says that daughter, Nicole’s, communication skills have improved enormously in the short time that she has owned the new machine, courtesy of a £429 donation by the Teddy Bear Foundation.

Anne, from Newton Mearns, said that 18-year-old Nicole not only has Autism but a rare epilepsy condition called Dravet’s Syndrome.
She said:”Nicole will listen to someone on the phone.  She won’t speak, I think, because she has trouble converting the information.
“But with the new iPad, we’ve been amazed by the way with the way she interacts with us.”
The family are lucky enough to have an iPhone, which allows the use of software called Facetime between Apple devices.
Nicole is able to see her mum and dad, Graham, on the screen and is much more likely to talk and wave to them because she can make visual recognition.
Recently, Anne and Graham had a well-earned break in Portugal but Nicole was not upset because she could see and hear her mum and dad each day on her iPad.
Added Anne:”The way technology is improving opportunities for people with disabilities is amazing.
“Nicole can now use the Proloquo2go software on the iPad to tell us exactly what she wants or what she’s thinking.
“She snuggles up on the sofa beside me to play a game, which is lovely.
“But this is not a toy.  It’s an important communication device which allows her to interact with other people.
“And with ‘apps’ being invented all the time, who know what possibilities lie ahead for her?”

Nicole can keep in touch with mum, Anne, on her iPad.

Nicole McLeod waving to her dad on the iPad, using Facetime.

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