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Kindergartner Uses Motorized iPad To Communicate With Other Students

WILMOT TOWNSHIP -- This time of year, germs in schools can spread pretty quickly. Because of the potential germs, 6-year-old Abbi Brown can't attend Wyalusing Valley Elementary School.

Brown suffers from mitochondrial disease, which makes it incredibly difficult for her body to fight back from even the common cold.

"She's vulnerable to everything," explained Chris Brown, Abbi's father. "Every time she becomes sick and her body devotes that energy to battle that illness, other parts of her body suffer as a result."

"There's no treatment and there's no cures," said Delicia Brown. "The doctors told us she should have never made it to her second birthday."

But with the help of a rolling iPad on a stand, Abbi Brown can spend her days at home learning the alphabet, with the rest of her class at Wyalusing Valley Elementary School.

The Wyalusing Area School District rents the iPad setup from a regional education agency called BlaST Intermediate Unit 17.

"We do our best to make it the best for all students," said principal Deneen Lantz. "This is not a traditional situation but because of all the people involved, they've made it the best situation for this student."

"I can't help but believe that just by being here, she's taking in the vocabulary and the phonics," said Abbi's teacher, Korrie Kunkle. Kunkle has 18 years of teaching to her name, including teaching Abbi's two older sisters, but nothing quite like this.

"I'm glad it's me that I get to have this experience," she added. "It's something I'll never forget. It helps both (the students and Abbi) socially. They learn compassion for kids with needs that are different than ours. Then Abbi gets that opportunity to have friends. Especially in kindergarten, social is big - it's what they're learning the most."

"This has definitely improved her quality of life cause it's given her a new sense of being," added Delicia Brown.

Abbi is currently in a clinical trial to see if doctors can slow down or stop the disease.

1 Comment

  • Abortthechildren

    I can think of a better solution… late term. Up to 18yrs of age should be legal. You arent a person until 18. Thats what rights say anyhow.

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