What would your life be like if you couldn’t talk to anyone else? What if you had complex thoughts and emotions every day, but couldn’t find the words to express them?
The average person says 13,500 words per day – but for those living with autism, speech and language can be a challenge. In fact, an estimated 25% of individuals with autism are non-verbal. That makes for a frustrating experience any time they want to communicate their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and needs to the people in their lives.
But today’s advancements in technology offer a ray of hope.
Meet Jasmynn Archer, a non-verbal child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She and her family have found creative and innovative ways to communicate – primarily on an iPad with a program called Proloquo2Go, a symbol-supported communication app to promote language development and grow communication skills.
According to Jasmynn’s parents, “that was the beginning of our family discovering there was a lot more locked inside of our non-verbal daughter than anyone had imagined.”
From that moment forward, Jasmynn was inspired to help other people like her, and break down the language barriers standing in the way of connecting with their loved ones. So, she and her family founded a nonprofit called Jasmynn’s Voice, which gifts free iPads and communication apps to non-verbal kids, young adults, and seniors with autism. Currently, they service five counties throughout the state of Michigan.
“Jasmynn’s mission is to help others find a voice, one iPad at a time,” said Melissa Archer, Jasmynn’s mother and President & Treasurer at Jasmynn’s Voice.
When Centria Healthcare CEO Scott Barry heard about the incredible work that Jasmynn’s Voice was doing, he wanted to learn more and help further their mission. In addition to inviting Jasmynn and her parents to a meeting at Centria Healthcare’s headquarters in Novi, Michigan, Barry donated four iPads to the nonprofit.
“There are so many families out there who are struggling to have basic conversations with their kids, which is something that most of us take for granted,” Barry said. “We’re happy that we can help make a difference by donating iPads and bringing awareness and attention to this amazing cause.”
Since 2012, Jasmynn’s Voice has provided more than 230 iPads to individuals and classrooms. To learn more, please visit www.jasmynnsvoice.org.