If you hand an iPad over to a child, they can figure out how to use it pretty quickly and 7-year-old Brody is no exception. “When you take something away from Brody he just doesn’t understand,” said Erin McPherson, Brody’s mom.But for 7-year-old Brody, the iPad isn’t just a toy, it helps him communicate. A Special Education Teacher at Hermon Elementary School, Brandi Butterfield, said “Brody is a student with autism. He has limited verbal skills, he is very sensory driven, he likes repetitive things, he’s a really neat kid.”Brody’s iPad has been missing since Easter. His mom said the family went to dinner at Oriental Jade in Bangor and when they got home, they couldn’t find the iPad. McPherson said the restaurant couldn’t locate it either. “He’s definitely showing some behaviors. It’s been a rough week without it.”The McPherson’s bought Brody the tablet 3 years ago after hearing the tool was soothing for children with autism. “It’s not just a learning tool for him, it’s a coping device. We take it with us when he doesn’t have a worker out in public so he can be aware, so he can handle his surroundings,” said McPherson. Brody also uses an iPad in the classroom. His teachers use the tablet with students on the autism spectrum as part of positive reenforcement for good behaviors. Butterfield said “One day he was searching “ratatouille”, which is a humongous word, be he can spell it on the iPad and find something on ratatouille if that’s what he wants.”For now, the family is living without the apple product and just trying to get their son back on a normal schedule. “When you give him something like the iPad, there’s so many things that can keep his interest that it would allow mom to have sometime to get things done,” said Brody’s teacher. Friends of the McPherson’s are starting a fundraiser to get Brody a new iPad.If you’d like to donate, send a check to Erik and Amy Gagnon at 384 Day Road in Brewer or you can call 989-7645.Brody’s mom said if the donation money exceeds the cost of the iPad, the remaining money will be donated to the upcoming Walk for Autism on April 28th.