Philly cop raises $15K to help kids with autism

Eddie Lopez, Sr.

A Philadelphia police officer has goneabove and beyond the call of duty after raising more than $15,000 in a matter of months in order to donate iPads to kids with autism at local schools.

Officer Sammy Sanchez, the father of a son with autism, has made it his personal mission to get as many iPads as possible into the hands of kids at Philadelphia public schools, after he saw what an iPadprogram geared towards kids with autism did for his boy.

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“Once I bought him his first iPad, I saw a big difference. He was into technology and very smart,” Sanchez said.

On Friday, Sanchez donated the iPads he purchased through fundraising to children and teachers of several Philadelphia schools.

Months ago, he started a fundraiser called “Bowling for iPads,” and was able to purchase 76 tablets. He then downloaded software called “Proloquo2Go,” which is specially designed for children with autism.

“Even though [children] are sensitive to noise because of their sensory issues, for whatever reason, bowling seemed to be something they liked,” Sanchez said.

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Early on, his son was virtually non-verbal, speaking only about 30 percent of the time. When the iPad with its software came into play, Sanchez said he was able to watch his son grow.

“I know how important early intervention is, so I target the elementary schools…To make history, you have to make a difference.”

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