Joe, Renae Ingles Gift Specialized Tablet To Utah Boy With Autism
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A little over two years ago, Joe and Renae Ingles discovered their son Jacob had autism. Since that moment, they will tell you their lives have changed for the better.
Better, because they’ve used their voices to help those in the autism community who may not have one.
Tuesday, they gave a Utah family the voice they’ve been longing to hear.
At almost 5 years old, Jantzen Nuffer has had a hard time communicating. He simply cannot find the words.
“I just knew, with the mom’s intuition, that something just wasn’t right,” said Sammi Nuffer, Jantzen’s mom.
Jantzen has autism. His parents, Sami and DJ Nuffer said communication has been one of the biggest challenges.
His experience in a word? Frustration.
“Who wouldn’t be frustrated, if they … when they’re not being understood,” Sami Nuffer said.
“He knows what he wants to say. He just can’t say it,” said DJ Nuffer.
A few months ago, their insurance company let them test out a digital tablet designed to help Jantzen communicate.
It had a lot of pictures and a lot of words.
“You can (select) actions, and it takes him to a bunch of different actions,” said Sami Nuffer.
If he wants to eat, drink, play or whatever, he taps the square.
The tablet worked great. His frustration dropped. The insurance company took back the device, not yet convinced they wanted to pay for the $5,000 tablet.
That’s where Utah Jazz guard Joe Ingles and his wife, Renae came in. They also have a son with autism, and they know the joys and struggles that come with the diagnosis.
“We’ve seen the frustrations with Jacob when he couldn’t communicate – him getting upset, him getting frustrated – and I was getting upset and frustrated from it,” said Joe Ingles.
Renae heard from a friend the situation Jantzen and his family were in. Nobody asked for help, but the Ingles knew they could.
“Of course he had to have the device because that changes Jantzen’s world, and of course for his family,” said Renae Ingles.
The gift from the Ingles made a difference. Right away, Jantzen was obviously excited.
The Ingles said their own son’s autism diagnosis has had a positive impact on their family.
“We’ve made so many cool friends, and met so many cool people over these last couple of years,” said Joe Ingles. “It’s really the world we live in and I wouldn’t change anything, to be honest.”
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