Most of us take our ability to communicate for granted. We can talk about things or write them down, sharing our thoughts with others. Not everyone diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can do this, and using iPads can open up a new world of communication.
As business people trying to help each other succeed, members of Business Network International’s (BNI) the Westfield chapter called Select Business Source saw an opportunity to make a difference. They raised $1,000 for Hear Me Now, a project of the Giving Hope Network. Hear Me Now gives iPads to students diagnosed with ASD, allowing them to more easily share their thoughts and words. The program made a world of difference to these kids and their families, giving them a voice they didn’t have before.
The money raised by Select Business Source was matched by the BNI Misner Foundation, which supports charitable causes chosen by its members. The Westfield chapter members were so impressed with the impact the iPads had on these kids that they used the $300 prize money from a BNI chapter competition to buy an iPad for one of their member’s patients. Podiatrist Yeon Shim, DPM in Roselle treats a single mother and her seven year old son, diagnosed with ASD. They can’t afford an iPad but the mother thought it would benefit her child. The boy doesn’t qualify through Hear Me Now, since the organization works with different New Jersey schools than the boy attends. While they’re still in the process of buying the iPad and surprising the mother, “I think she’s going to be floored,” said Dr. Shim.
Using a philosophy of “givers gain,” members of the BNI networking organization meet weekly to share networking tips and leads, helping others which ultimately helps their own businesses too. To learn more or attend a meeting, contact BNI’s Westfield chapter president Dan Weiniger. He runs the locally-owned Home Video Studio, which produces, edits, duplicates and transfers all types of video and film. Email Dan or call (908) 301-9300.