Advocacy Group Lets Teen With Autism Know He’s Not Alone

(CBS) — A teen with autism gets a very special surprise, after a harrowing experience being stranded by a paratransit service.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot has this follow-up report.

Kim Domrese holds a gift she hopes will make a difference in 17-year-old Michael McDonough’s life. McDonough has high-functioning autism.

Domrese saw the story CBS 2 did about McDonough being stranded after paratransit didn’t pick him up. She founded the organization “I speak u speak we all speak 4 autism,” which is dedicated to providing iPads to children with autism.

Le Mignot went with Domrese to Michael’s home, to surprise him and his mother with the gift.

“I wanted to present this to Michael. I have twins that have autism and we know what you guys go through every day,” Domrese tells the McDonough.

Michael was glad to receive the gift, which he called nice. His mother, Rose McDonough, says she’s grateful to know “there are still kind people out there in the world.”

“We have to stick with each other. With all the bad going on in the world, there’s always some good,” Domrese says.

In five years, she has given out 75 iPads to children with autism. She raises money to buy them through fundraisers. Her goal is to double that number in the next five years.

The Director of the Erikson Institute’s Technology in Early Childhood Center, Dr. Chip Donohue, says iPads can provide children with autism “the chance for independent learning and the development of motor and cognitive skills.”

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