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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Most people use the iPad to search the internet or play games, but for one kid, the iPad has become a survival tool.
Cooper Juliar was born with Cri du Chat Syndrome, which means his fifth chromosome has been deleted.
Doctors told the family he might never walk, talk or learn. But thanks to some innovative iPad apps, he’s making remarkable strides.
Juliar is 10-years-old. His Mom, Lisa Juliar, was frustrated. She needed to find a better way to communicate with her son.
“He would bang his head or throw a fit, because he couldn’t communicate what he wanted,” she said.
One day he started playing with her iPhone, and he seem to like it. She took that one step further and researched some apps on her iPad. Not long after, she realized that the iPad had programs with which she and her son could write stories and organize his day.
A communication app called Proloquo2go has opened up Cooper Juliar’s world.
“He went from speaking in two word utterances …now he talks in five word sentences,” Lisa Juliar said. “When I heard Mama, I cried.”
The apps are also giving Lisa a leg up on learning to do simple math. And for a child who couldn’t sit still long, the iPad acts as an anchor.
“His attention span was maybe three minutes,” Lisa Juliar said. “He would work on these apps for 20 minutes, the bus would come and I would say, ‘The bus’, which is his favorite thing of the day. And he would say, ‘No mamma. No, iPad.’”
Lisa Juliar said the iPad is her son’s life tool.
Cooper Juliar has been using the iPad for about a year and a half.