Now, iPhone app that helps autistic kids communicate

April 16th, 2010 - 3:37 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, April 16(ANI): An iPhone application has been found to be useful in the treatment of children with autism.

Lisa Domican created picture-based application called Grace app, to help her 10-year-old son Grace, who was unable to speak due to autism, communicate.

Grace found his voice for the first time thanks to the touchscreen phone.

Now, Domican plans to sell the software to schools in Australia.

Already, she has been approached by Australia’s largest non-profit organization, Aspect, which supports people with autism.

The Grace app is a digital version of the Picture Exchange Communications System - a book of laminated pictures attached to a board by velcro that allows children with autism to build sentences and communicate.

As the child learns new words via pictures they are added to the PECS book, a system that quickly becomes unwieldy, particularly outside of the home setting.

“You have to take the photo, print the photo, laminate the photo, velcro it and repeat this every time they decide they like something new,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Lisa, whose older son Liam, 12, also has autism, as saying.

Apparently, iPhone’s touchscreen was crucial as Grace used it to point at the pictures in her PECS book.

Lisa added: “With the phone showing exactly what she has requested it is now very clear to all of us what she needs and we see a huge reduction in frustration behaviour as a result.

“Grace is capable of a 2-3 hour tantrum that leaves your ears ringing, so this is a good thing.”

The app is currently available for 45 dollars in both iPhone and iPad versions on the iTunes App Store. (ANI)

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