Monday, March 5, 2012

With Help of iPad, 12-Year-Old Marks Milestone

Michael and Suzanne Emmi
use an iPad to help their son Matthew.

ANDOVER, Mass. -- The 12-year-old boy sat in the synagogue, looked out at the congregation, and waved. On a day when Jewish tradition marks the transition from boy to man, Matthew Emmi smiled often and moved his hands to the music of the Hebrew songs. During prayers, he alternately slouched and sat erect.
And when it was time for him to say a prayer before the Torah, he touched the screen of an iPad.
Matthew is severely autistic and cannot read, write, or speak sentences. His family, friends, and educators never know exactly what he is thinking, but they know Matthew likes going to synagogue. He has been a regular at the Sunday service at Andover’s Temple Emanuel, where he hums, claps and smiles when Cantor Idan Irelander plays traditional Hebrew prayers on his guitar.

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