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This post has affiliate links. That means that if you sign up using my code, I’ll make a percentage. I want you to know though that there is no way I’d be writing this post unless I myself used this and I honestly thought it had benefit to others. This isn’t some scamming post. Read my disclaimer for more!

This post is about Ibotta, a rebate-based app and site. I’m writing about this with those of us with disabilities specifically in mind, as we often live off a fixed income with few opportunities to make a little extra money. Ibotta is a perfect way to do that, because the money back isn’t going to tip the scale and kick anyone off SSI/SSDI, but it’s enough to give us enough to enjoy some extras. Also, Ibotta pays us in gift cards or PayPal, so it’s a little under the radar.

What is Ibotta?

Ibotta is a free app that will helps you get cash back for things that you buy. When I heard about it, I was stuck in a hamster wheel of ‘how on earth can this BE?’, wondering what the catch was, because this couldn’t be without one, right? Well, actually, no. There is no catch. Here’s how the app works in a nutshell:

  1. Download the Ibotta app for free. Click HERE to do that (on your computer or your phone; both okay)
  2. Open the app and look around at the available rebates. Unlock any rebates (by tapping the “plus” sign) for things you were going to buy anyway. You may need to complete some easy tasks (more on that below)
  3. Physically go to the store and shop like you normally would.
  4. Come back home, re-open the Ibotta app,  and upload the receipts from the purchases that you just made.
  5. Get money back.

THAT. IS. IT.

It’s like couponing on steroids. Plus, when you join, you  get a bonus $10 for FREE!

steps to use ibotta

Is Ibotta Too Good to be True?

It’s weird writing a post like this because I have never been into couponing (too much work, I’m not organized enough) but I have lived off SSDI (a fixed income) and I have had to make food and items last. I realized that a lot of us who have disabilities or who have kids with disabilities are used to thinking outside the box and used to making a dollar stretch, mostly because we have to.

This whole Ibotta thing made me feel like I have been sitting in a cave or something, because how could I not know this? I mean, how could I not know of a way to make money that’s so easy it’s almost insulting?

But whatever. I know it now, so I’m passing it along.

Ibotta Stores:

All. The. Stores. Are with Ibotta. I’m not kidding. I usually do a lot of shopping at Target and Walmart (both) and they are right there. What I did not expect were retailers like Groupon, E-Bay, iTunes, Amazon, Gamestop, Etsy (Etsy?!!!), Apple (even Apple refurbished stuff), LaneBryant, Gap, even pharmacies, airlines and hotels.

It’s a good idea before doing any kind of shopping to just whip out the app and check. Even if you are going to reserve a hotel room in Greenland for your upcoming trip (lucky you!); check. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a deal.

Screenshot of Some Deals When I Opened Ibotta to Write This Post:
Save money with Ibotta

Do You Get Paid Real Cash with Ibotta?

Yes, you get paid real cash with Ibotta.

Here’s how it works:

Every time you upload a receipt and claim your rebate, the money goes into an Ibotta account. When that account hits $20, you can cash out. You only have 3 options with cashing out: gift cards, Venmo or PayPal.

For me, it works out well to cash out with gift cards (because they have everything: it’s easy to just say, okay, the money that I save using Ibotta will be the money that we play with; no save, no play. I can then cash out with Fandango for movies with my kids. It’s pretty great. If (or when) I make a lot of money with Ibotta, I’ll cash out through PayPal, but until then, the movies work out well.

What About the Tasks?

Sometimes in order to unlock a rebate deal with Ibotta, you need to complete a task, like watch a short video or take a quiz or something. The quizzes are easy; the videos I just play but don’t watch (I hope I don’t get in trouble for this). The tasks are probably “the catch” – and how Ibotta pays for the rebates, some sort of advertising/marketing ploy. But it’s easy enough to do it and doesn’t cramp me up , so that’s a win.

ibotta

Mobile Purchases with Ibotta

When you shop with an online retailer with Ibotta, go through the Ibotta app:

  • Open the Ibotta app
  • Select your deals, complete the tasks (if any)
  • Click on “shop” for the retailer from within the Ibotta app

And that’s it. You will get your money back through Ibotta directly with in-app purchases.

Ibotta and Teams

We can even form teams and help each other save, because we help each other earn additional rebates! If everyone on the team redeems rebates, we get more of them. Since I’m already earning, you benefit. Join my Ibotta team HERE.

Uploading Receipts

To verify your receipt and redeem your rebate, you just open the Ibotta app and take a picture of the barcode for the item and then either scan the QR code of the receipt or take a picture of the receipt.

It’s a little bit of a pain in the butt, but for me, it’s worth it because I really, really like stretching my money and allowing it to pay for fun stuff with my kids (which I couldn’t afford if I didn’t do this).

Anyway, so after I upload the receipts, the rebate money is placed into my account within 48 hours (I usually mark my calendar for when to check).

Linking Store Loyalty Cards with Ibotta

You can link your store loyalty cards with Ibotta. You browse the app, add the items you are interested in, complete the tasks if you need to, then when you check out at the store, scan your store loyalty card – Ibotta will automatically give you credit for it (so, no need to scan the receipt later). I always check later though.

In Summary

Ibotta is an easy way to regain some of the money you spend.

The great thing about it is that, as I’ve mentioned, you get it back in ways that are under the radar and even if it was above the radar, it’s only enough money to allow you some splurges; it’s not enough to kick you off of SSI/SSDI (if you have that) and it works well to give people on a fixed income some extra money.

Down syndrome Book Resources: 20 Indispensable Books for Parents in the Ds Community: a list of books that are fantastic. Missing any? Add your suggestions in the comments!

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below, but these are all highly recommended books, all of which have been personally verified and/or personally read. 


Down syndrome Book Resources: some parents feel like they can never get enough.

That makes sense, given the fact that Down syndrome is still not fully understood, and that for most of us parents, our child with Down syndrome is our entry into the world of Down syndrome, Development Disability and sometimes Special Needs*(see note below).

Our child is our guide, and wanting to understand more, we seek out all of the books we can get our hands on.

I myself purchased or reviewed all of the books listed below.

The ones that I most highly recommend I have put an * before.

Your local library should offer most of these books, and/or your local Down syndrome Association – if they don’t, request that they purchase them!

Most are also easily available through Kindle (on Amazon) or Nook (Barnes and Noble). The medical/education books may be available through your child’s school or you can request them to purchase it as a part of your child’s IEP.

Down syndrome Book Resources

Practical/Skills/Training/Medically Oriented

Supporting Positive Behavior in Children and Teens with Down Syndrome

Gross Motor Skills in Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals 

Fine Motor Skills for Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents And Professionals 

Teaching Children with Down syndrome About Their Bodies, Boundaries and Sexuality

Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents’ Guide

http://downsyndromepregnancy.org/the-pregnancy-book/ – free downloadable book + ripping site with resources

Education

Teaching Math to People with Down syndrome and Other Hands-On Learners

Teaching Reading to Children with Down syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

 

Collections

The Parent’s Guide to Down syndromeAdvice, Information, Inspiration, and Support for Raising Your Child from Diagnosis through Adulthood

Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives – 10th Anniversary Edition (updated, with more stories) – this is a MUST-read

Gifts 1: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

Gifts 2: How People with Down Syndrome Enrich the World

 

Memoirs/Personal Stories

* Up Syndrome (a memoir by a woman with Down syndrome)

The Year My Son and I Were Born: A Story of Down Syndrome, Motherhood, and Self-Discovery

Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic

The Shape of the Eye: Down Syndrome, Family, and the Stories We Inherit

Life with a Superhero

From Grief to Celebration, How One Family Learned to Embrace the Gift of Down Syndrome

Sun Shine Down

Good and Perfect Gift, A: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny

Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son’s First Two Years With Down Syndrome

Choosing Naia: A Family’s Journey

My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love and Down syndrome

 

Fiction:

The Unfinished Child

 

Read Book Reviews:T21 Writers Alliance

____________________

* Note: “Special needs” and “disability” are commonly used interchangeably. This is incorrect.

A “special need” is an outdated educational term referring to an individual’s unique educational need, as defined through an IEP. A “disability” is a way of seeing, hearing, speaking, thinking, behaving, moving, feeling that is less common than most.

The words are NOT interchangeable, and the word “disability” is not a bad word. Please use it to refer to your child’s Down syndrome. For more information on disability vs “special needs”,  please read this post.

 

 

 

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally read. Please read my disclosure page for more info.


Down syndrome Book Resources: some parents feel like they can never get enough.

That makes sense, given the fact that Down syndrome is still not fully understood, and that for most of us parents, our child with Down syndrome is our entry into the world of Down syndrome, Development Disability and sometimes Special Needs*(see note below).

Our child is our guide, and wanting to understand more, we seek out all of the books we can get our hands on.

I myself purchased or reviewed all of the books listed below.

The ones that I most highly recommend I have put an * before.

Your local library should offer most of these books, and/or your local Down syndrome Association.

Most are also easily available through Kindle (on Amazon) or Nook (Barnes and Noble). The medical/education books may be available through your child’s school or you can request them to purchase it as a part of your child’s IEP.

Please add your own recommendations in the comments.

Down syndrome Book Resources

Practical/Skills/Training/Medically Oriented

Supporting Positive Behavior in Children and Teens with Down Syndrome

Gross Motor Skills in Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals 

Fine Motor Skills for Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents And Professionals 

Teaching Children with Down syndrome About Their Bodies, Boundaries and Sexuality

Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents’ Guide

http://downsyndromepregnancy.org/the-pregnancy-book/ – free downloadable book + ripping site with resources

Education

Teaching Math to People with Down syndrome and Other Hands-On Learners

Teaching Reading to Children with Down syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

 

Collections

The Parent’s Guide to Down syndromeAdvice, Information, Inspiration, and Support for Raising Your Child from Diagnosis through Adulthood

Reasons to Smile: Celebrating People Living with Down Syndrome

Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives – 10th Anniversary Edition (updated, with more stories) – this is a MUST-read

Gifts 1: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

Gifts 2: How People with Down Syndrome Enrich the World

 

Memoirs/Personal Stories

* Up Syndrome (a memoir by a woman with Down syndrome)

The Year My Son and I Were Born: A Story of Down Syndrome, Motherhood, and Self-Discovery

Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic

The Shape of the Eye: Down Syndrome, Family, and the Stories We Inherit

Life with a Superhero

From Grief to Celebration, How One Family Learned to Embrace the Gift of Down Syndrome

Sun Shine Down

Good and Perfect Gift, A: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny

Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son’s First Two Years With Down Syndrome

Choosing Naia: A Family’s Journey

My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love and Down syndrome

 

Fiction:

The Unfinished Child

 

Read Book Reviews:T21 Writers Alliance

____________________

* Note: “Special needs” and “disability” are commonly used interchangeably. This is incorrect.

A “special need” is an educational term referring to an individual’s unique educational need, as defined through an IEP. A “disability” is a way of seeing, hearing, speaking, thinking, behaving, moving, feeling that is less common than most. A person may have a “special need” and no disability; likewise a person may have a disability and no educational “special need”.

The words are NOT interchangeable, and the word “disability” is not a bad word. Please use it to refer to your child’s Down syndrome, and use “special need” to refer to their unique educational needs, if any.

******************************************************

Direct  Amazon Shop for Down syndrome-Related Books :

 

Down syndrome book resources for parents of people with Down syndrome

We all know apps can be great with kids… but what if your budget doesn’t allow for the purchase of an ipad itself? Here are some no cost options for getting your child (especially, your child with a disability) an ipad.

***

Local Resources:

Never underestimate the power of local. We ourselves received Moxie’s ipad from a local organization that my friend Mari told us about, the  The Shelby Clark Memorial Fund.

They were absolutely wonderful.

I contacted them off of their website, applied for a grant in honor of Shelby Clark, a beautiful little girl that passed away too soon.

We are deeply grateful to the Clarks for giving Moxie her ipad and try to honor the memory of their child.

Other Local Resources:

Rotary/Kiwani/Lions Club: your local business club is likely to have an outstanding commitment to championing education –  it might be a simple matter of asking if that commitment also covers ipads, which are used to help develop communication and cognition. If they don’t, encourage them to start one – with your child being the first recipient!

Cross Disability Organizations:  United Cerebral Palsy, Easter Seals, etc. They might have a fund to tap into, or they might know of one.

Lending Libraries:  Here in the Bay Area,  the Center for Accessible Technology’s ipad project for people with speech disabilities, lends out ipads for specified periods of time. Check out your local libraries/non profits to see if similar projects are happening that you can tap into.

Non Profits: Speaking of non profits, check in with your  local Center for Independent Living about options. I know the CIL in Berkeley has a lot of resources and knowledge – make sure to talk to the person who works more with funding/grants/technology.

Word Out: Family and friends are traditionally the source for most of our information and contacts. Spread the word that you are looking and that your child would really benefit from an ipad. Ask your people to keep their eyes peeled and ears open.

photo 3

Organizations:

I was going to do a write up on A4CWSN -Apps for Children With Special Needs – include information on their apps, an interview with Gary James, the founder, and of course, information on how to enter to win a free iPad.

It seems, however, that there is a situation with A4CWSN . They are being investigated by the Attorney General of the state of Connecticut. That sucks in and of itself, but the part that really stinks is the founder deletes questions on his facebook page and attacks people that question him or what is going on.

So saying this, there are still people that have received ipads from the organization. I guess this is one of those potential sinkholes that you can navigate at your own risk. All links and information follow – you make your own call.

General website: Apps for Children with Special Needs

About the investigation: Contact information for the man in charge of the AG investigation. Terence Zehnder, Special Investigator, Trade Practices Division, Department of Consumer Protection: terence.zehnder@ct.gov

ph.(860) 713-6130 fax (860) 706-1315

Sites related to the investigation:
http://a4anon.blogspot.com/
http://a4cwsnsurvivor.blogspot.com/

photo 4

Moving On:

I just want to encourage other folks out there that might really want to get an ipad for their child (with or without a disability). Even if you have a low income, it shouldn’t stop you. Spend time googling local resources, organizations. Even unexpected ones, like those mentioned above.

Tell people you are looking, keep all doors open. It’s definitely possible.

There are also a million and two fundraising ideas floating around pinterest – you can even have bake sales to raise the money, a tip jar at work and so forth. It all counts and it all adds up. But that’s probably the subject of another post.

If you know of other resources, please leave them in the comments here so that everyone can read and learn.

photo 2Most of all, I think it’s important to keep a very positive outlook: BELIEVE it can happen, really believe that your child will receive what s/he needs to learn and that it’s simply a matter of finding the organization that is the best fit for your child, knock on doors and let them open.

Good luck.

We all know apps can be great with kids… but what if your budget doesn’t allow for the purchase of an ipad itself? Here are some no cost options for getting your child (especially, your child with a disability) an ipad.

***

Local Resources:

Never underestimate the power of local. We ourselves received Moxie’s ipad from a local organization that my friend Mari told us about, the  The Shelby Clark Memorial Fund.

They were absolutely wonderful.

I contacted them off of their website, applied for a grant in honor of Shelby Clark, a beautiful little girl that passed away too soon.

We are deeply grateful to the Clarks for giving Moxie her ipad and try to honor the memory of their child.

Other Local Resources:

Rotary/Kiwani/Lions Club: your local business club is likely to have an outstanding commitment to championing education –  it might be a simple matter of asking if that commitment also covers ipads, which are used to help develop communication and cognition. If they don’t, encourage them to start one – with your child being the first recipient!

Cross Disability Organizations:  United Cerebral Palsy, Easter Seals, etc. They might have a fund to tap into, or they might know of one.

Lending Libraries:  Here in the Bay Area,  the Center for Accessible Technology’s ipad project for people with speech disabilities, lends out ipads for specified periods of time. Check out your local libraries/non profits to see if similar projects are happening that you can tap into.

Non Profits: Speaking of non profits, check in with your  local Center for Independent Living about options. I know the CIL in Berkeley has a lot of resources and knowledge – make sure to talk to the person who works more with funding/grants/technology.

Word Out: Family and friends are traditionally the source for most of our information and contacts. Spread the word that you are looking and that your child would really benefit from an ipad. Ask your people to keep their eyes peeled and ears open.

photo 3

Organizations:

I was going to do a write up on A4CWSN -Apps for Children With Special Needs – include information on their apps, an interview with Gary James, the founder, and of course, information on how to enter to win a free iPad.

It seems, however, that there is a situation with A4CWSN . They are being investigated by the Attorney General of the state of Connecticut. That sucks in and of itself, but the part that really stinks is the founder deletes questions on his facebook page and attacks people that question him or what is going on.

So saying this, there are still people that have received ipads from the organization. I guess this is one of those potential sinkholes that you can navigate at your own risk. All links and information follow – you make your own call.

General website: Apps for Children with Special Needs

About the investigation: Contact information for the man in charge of the AG investigation. Terence Zehnder, Special Investigator, Trade Practices Division, Department of Consumer Protection: terence.zehnder@ct.gov

ph.(860) 713-6130 fax (860) 706-1315

Sites related to the investigation:
http://a4anon.blogspot.com/
http://a4cwsnsurvivor.blogspot.com/

photo 4

Moving On:

I just want to encourage other folks out there that might really want to get an ipad for their child (with or without a disability). Even if you have a low income, it shouldn’t stop you. Spend time googling local resources, organizations. Even unexpected ones, like those mentioned above.

Tell people you are looking, keep all doors open. It’s definitely possible.

There are also a million and two fundraising ideas floating around pinterest – you can even have bake sales to raise the money, a tip jar at work and so forth. It all counts and it all adds up. But that’s probably the subject of another post.

If you know of other resources, please leave them in the comments here so that everyone can read and learn.

photo 2Most of all, I think it’s important to keep a very positive outlook: BELIEVE it can happen, really believe that your child will receive what s/he needs to learn and that it’s simply a matter of finding the organization that is the best fit for your child, knock on doors and let them open.

Good luck.

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