Come to San Diego for IMFAR, Stay for the iPad Workshop

Are you going to IMFAR, the International Meeting for Autism Research? IMFAR's goal is "to provide ASD researchers from around the world with a focused opportunity to share the rapidly moving scientific investigation of ASD."

I was lucky enough to be awarded an Autism Science Foundation IMFAR Stakeholder travel grant, so I'll be in San Diego May 11 through the 15th, covering IMFAR for The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. I'm looking forward to getting my head blown off by the flood of information on latest in autism science -- though admittedly my noggin's already been knocked partially askew just from looking over the preliminary conference schedule, which has attendees fully immersed from 8 AM to 8 PM the first two days, and 8 AM to 3 PM Saturday.

As I was already going to be in town, the Autism Society San Diego kindly invited me to do an iPad workshop on Sunday, May 15th from 11 AM to 3 PM. If you're interested and you're going to be around, come! It'll be fun, though, ahem, not free. Here's what we'll be doing (and I write "we" because Janine, the Good Karma Applications Inc. powerhouse who developed Leo's beloved First-Then Visual Schedule app will be on hand as well).
In this Hands-On Workshop you will learn: how to determine if the iPad is an appropriate fit for your child; a survey of helpful apps and how to use them, and resources for getting funding and justifying a school district/insurance iPad purchase. Shannon Des Roches Rosa will give an expert, parent perspective on her son Leo's iPad story. Shannon and Leo were featured in Apple's iPad: Year One Video. Participants are encouraged to bring their iPad or iTouch devices so you can check out features as we talk! Not required for participation.
And somewhere in there, I'll be hitting Rigoberto's Taqueria and getting a Biciclette cocktail at the La Valencia.

Very much looking forward to San Diego.


  1. Anonymous8:59 AM

    Hi Shannon - I live in SD and thought the conference would be too technical for me but I would *LOVE* to see your session...we bought our (just turned) 4 year old son with autism the iPad for Christmas almost entirely because of your blogs about it...we LOVE it and I check in often for your latest recommendations...thank you SO much - it would be so great to meet you in person. -Lisa

  2. Awesome. I miss out on all the fun. :)

  3. Hi Shannon, I've been reading your blog for a while, and wanted to tell you yet another Ipad story. My son Trevor is Austistic with Aspergers, Add, and Anxiety disorder. We don't have an Ipad or resources to get one. He is in fifth grade in a regular classroom, with lots of special Ed. supports. Things have not been going well for about two years. Just recently the classroom in his building that delivers services for severely autistic children received an Ipad. The teacher did not know how to use it....they scouted a student who they thought would be able to show the teacher how to use it. Trevor has amazing computer skills so he was chosen. He had never held an Ipad. By the end of an hour and half he had figured it out, and was able to show the teacher how to use it. The teacher then asked if Trevor could come into the classroom as a volunteer to help show the kids. He's been doing that for weeks now. He quickly learns how to use an app, then helps the two children he has been partnered with to become familiar with it. At first I was a little skeptical of this arrangement, but have since learned that this is indeed what is happening. I forwarded your google doc of all the Ipad apps to the building principal. He said that while he had heard of things like that, he never had any access to such a list, and was very thankful. As am I!! I think this is another great example of the partnership of Ipads and Autism. My son is verbal so in the resources that I have found we are not particularly eligible for a grant to receive one. But I will keep checking them out in case a program comes along that fits our special need. Thanks for your blog, and your great resources!!! Colleen

  4. Lisa - that would be fantastic!

    DeeAnn - Alas, perhaps at a future date.

    Colleen - there are *so many* programs that give iPads away to kids in need, they do not all require kids to be non-verbal, Leo certainly isn't! What a great story, thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    Trevor sounds like a great kid, and how wonderful that the school not only recognizes his talent but encourages him to share it. Damn.

  5. I am thinking of also attending IMFAR this year. Will email you.

  6. Anonymous1:30 PM

    I would love to go to San Diego for this conference! I check here regularly for yours and Leo's app recommendations.

    And Colleen, I love your story and would be thrilled if you would share it on my blog, Barth Educational Consultants. It is such a wonderful example of making connections among students, and tapping the skills of kids on the spectrum.


  7. Estee, that would be fantastic!

  8. Thanks Shannon, I'm still hunting for those Ipad resources, and Nancy I'd be happy to share Trevor's story with your blog...not quite sure how to do that though! Colleen

  9. Colleen, check out some of the ideas on these iPad fundraising articles:



    LMK if you have any questions. I know many, many folks who have successfully run small-scale online fundraisers to get their kids iPads. And good luck.


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