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But the Dunedin East Rotary Club hopes that will change after it gave five new iPad minis to the school.
Club member Walter von Ballmoos said he had a son with autism and understood the school's need for tools which helped teachers communicate with their pupils.
''Many of the kids have communication problems.
''iPads have proven to be a good tool for special education.''
The joy among the pupils during the presentation yesterday was tangible, with most voicing their delight and one pupil walking across the room to hug the principal.
Sara Cohen School principal Raewyn Alexander was delighted with the new iPad minis, and said pupils would use them every day to build a range of skills.
''They could be used for anything from searching the internet to simple things like hand manipulation.''
The simple act of swiping images on the screen could provide physiotherapy to a pupil who perhaps had limited movement in one hand, she said.
The iPads would also hold applications which would help staff communicate with pupils.
''A simple yes/no button on the screen can be used to help them answer questions like: Do you need to go to the toilet?''
Mrs Alexander said two of the iPad minis would be used at Sara Cohen School and the remaining three would be used at the school's satellite class at Bathgate Park School.