YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio Marina Donadio isn't even in kindergarten yet, but the five-year-old is already learning to spell and read.

Her mom, Kelly Donadio, says it's all because of apps on an iPad. "It's mind blowing to me that she's able to do that."

And since children with Down Syndrome often face challenges with fine motor skills, the iPad's touch screen makes activities more accessible.

Donadio says, "Holding a pencil is a chore sometimes for children with Down Syndrome because of the low tone in their hands. Eventually they do that, but this is a great way to help it not be such a challenge."

Now, other children like Marina will have the same opportunities to improve their education and communication skills. Recently, the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley gave away 21 iPads to member families.

DSAV Board Member, Chris Donadio says, "The iPad is a pretty big deal. It's being used in a lot of special education settings around the country, and right here in the Valley, we're on the cutting edge."

Parents say they expect the teaching tool will be useful both at home and at school.

The iPads were purchased with grant money from Ronald McDonald charities, as well as money raised from DSAV's annual Buddy Walk.