How CNF’s Digital Access Program made a difference for the Torp family
Access to technology is no longer a luxury. In this connected world, it’s an essential resource that can support a child’s education, socialization, and healthcare. This was true before the pandemic, but now this point is underscored by the ability of technology to reduce isolation and nurture connections.
Tanya Torp learned just how beneficial reliable tech access can be when she enrolled her foster son in CNF’s pilot program of the Digital Access Program.
CNF is now accepting applications for the Digital Access Program. Learn more and apply!
The son – whom Tanya refers to as the ‘People’s Preschooler’ because of his charismatic and outgoing personality – came to her when he was 1.5 years old, with a history of trauma and limited speech. In his short life, he had already lived with five different families. When Tanya inquired about his history, she learned that it was because of unresolved ‘behavioral’ issues.
After spending time and building a sense of trust, Tanya and her husband began to wonder if he might be on the autism spectrum and decided to test him. After waiting a year and a half because of the pandemic, he was finally diagnosed as autistic. At this point, Tanya felt ready to find him the services he needed.
In 2021, a local autism support group sent her information about CNF’s Digital Access Program, which was aiming to provide Google Chromebooks, WIFI hotspots, and a year’s worth of data to 100 families. Alarmed at the growing digital divide, the hope was that this program could provide families with a channel to access telehealth, online sources of community, and digital educational resources.
After receiving the Chromebook and internet access, Tanya says her family found immediate relief from some of the problems they were facing.
“In our house, the internet access is spotty,” she said. “Having a reliable internet connection in his dedicated ‘play space’ allowed for us to provide new tools to his sensory activities. Not having to worry about internet access has been such a gift.”
Additionally, the reliable connection to telehealth was a significant benefit. Being able to have a solid conversation with healthcare providers without having to take her children (who were too young to be vaccinated) out to offices provided Tanya with peace of mind, and convenience since she didn’t have to worry about travel logistics for appointments.
Lastly, the connection to technology also allowed her family to live out their commitment to spending more time in nature.
“We live in a city, which has a lot of benefits, but there’s also a lot going on that we want to escape sometimes,” she said. “We try to visit a state park every quarter, and being able to bring his hot spot to have access to his comfort activities and educational resources has been an added blessing to these trips.”
For the Torp family, the opportunities provided by CNF’s Digital Access Program have allowed their son to thrive, make progress, and overcome some of the obstacles presented by the pandemic.
If you think your family could benefit from the Digital Access Program, learn more and apply today.