“Few can legitimately boast that an iPhone app changed their life but for 10-year-old Grace Domican, unable to speak due to autism, the touchscreen phone has given her a voice for the first time,” Asher Moses reports for Stuff.
“Her mother, Lisa Domican, created a picture-based iPhone, [iPod touch, and iPad] application to help her communicate and the tool was so successful she is now trialling it in a school for autistic children in Ireland,” Moses reports. “Domican, who was born in Australia and lived there until she moved to Ireland in 2001, is also planning to provide it to schools in Australia and is selling both iPhone and iPad versions on the iTunes App Store. Aspect, Australia’s largest non-profit organisation providing support for people with autism, has expressed interest in trialling the app with its clients, while Domican said she had also been in contact with the Woodbury School in Baulkham Hills.
“The Grace app is essentially 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,” Moses reports.
“Children with autism are often unable to use and understand expressive language because the developmental disability means those parts of the brain don’t work. Some children with autism go on to develop speech, while others never do,” Moses reports. “As the child learns new words via pictures they are added to the PECS book, a system that quickly becomes unwieldy, particularly outside the home setting.”
Moses reports, “With the app, which is being sold for A$45 on the App Store with some of the proceeds going to charity, Grace has access to more than 400 symbols and photos in the palm of her hand. She can add new ones herself by taking pictures with the phone’s camera.”
Full article here.
More info about the “Grace – Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal People” app via Apple’s iTunes App Store here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]