Meet Sunny, who loves a good story
Sunny Jones is best described as a happy, easy-going boy.
He loves going for a bike ride with his Dad and can often be found rolling around the house giggling. Sunny especially loves listening to a good story.
In fact, books are a big part of life in his household. Big brother Angus enjoys reading stories to Sunny and plays with him endlessly.
The little boy has a talented medical team working with him to support his condition, which includes receiving early intervention support for vision and hearing development from the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.
Sunny also receives support through NSW health, Australian Hearing, Guide Dogs Association and private allied health professionals to support his development, including his feeding and physical needs.
The help of technology
And while the family didn’t have an iPad for Sunny, medical experts suggested it could be an important aid for his development.
Sunny’s parents have smartphones, but a large illuminated screen would hold Sunny’s visual attention, experts told them.
Sunny has used Apple devices in early intervention sessions and had taken to it like a duck to water. In a dim room where the overhead lights are off and the blinds are closed, Sunny is able to fix and follow brightly illuminated objects above him.
An iPad at home would also mean that Sunny could access engaging apps that incorporate high contrast images and patterns, sound and movement.
These activities will help to gain Sunny’s attention and retain his visual attention for longer periods. It’s also easier for Sunny to see, plus far more motivating than other visuals that have more complexity and no illumination.
Variety grants an iPad
Sunny’s parents applied for a grant to be able to purchase an iPad for Sunny, approaching Variety, the children’s charity for children in need.
The charity funded the purchase of the ipad also comes with a screen reader, font sizing and a range of useful apps built into the device without needing to add additional software, including a VoiceOver function on the screen so that Sunny can hear the device.
Variety also purchased an Apple iTunes card, so the iPad could be filled with suitable apps that make visual stimulation activities playful, engaging and interactive.
The iPad has transformed the level of engagement Tarley has seen in her son.
In time, Sunny will become familiar with the ipad’s buttons and gestures during play in order to independently access it, such as swiping the screen to turn pages in a book.
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