Bethanie’s mom, Devorah, doesn’t know how it happened. But sometime during pregnancy, her baby girl suffered a stroke that resulted in her being born half paralyzed. Little Bethanie gradually overcame her disability – learning to move her right arm and leg, walk, and even run, but the legacy of that stroke makes writing by hand a tiring, painful chore. Grasping the pencil, controlling it, and pressing down hard enough to make a mark is an arduous task. Though Bethanie faithfully takes notes in her middle school classes and earns grades that would make most parents beam. Nightly homework remains a struggle: What should be 45 minutes of homework each night ends up taking her more than two hours.
Three years ago, writing wasn’t even possible. Thanks to equine therapy at A Horse Connection, Bethanie gained core strength, balance, and more muscle coordination. In the picture below, Bethanie demonstrates her circus-worthy trick: standing on a moving horse. “That was an amazing day,” her mother says. “It’s right up there with the first day she walked, when she was two and a half.”
For Bethanie, typing is easier than writing because it requires less pressure. Ditto for writing with a stylus on a smart pad. “In our district, they make assistive technology available,” Devorah says, “but no laptops until 7th grade.” The family has a lot of medical bills, so a laptop for Bethanie isn’t in their budget.
That’s why we’re so thrilled to announce that Devorah was one of our iPad 2 winners. The fact that this iPad 2 will have a direct positive impact on one student’s education makes it all the more meaningful. Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey – we’re so appreciative for your feedback.