This iPhone-iPod touch-iPad app can change lives for the better

“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.]

15 Comments

  1. @Nancy,

    Could you imagine the number of hours that goes into such an app, not to mention the support costs once people start using it? Revenue generation is important, unless you were hoping for ad-supported?

  2. I believe we have started to enter the age where iPhone/iPod touch/iPad apps will start to come into their own. We will start seeing novel, insightful, and downright amazing apps that can and will charge a premium price…and be worth every penny. The day of $1-$3 app is coming to an end.

  3. @Edward

    People like you make Americans look bad… “economy in recession”, is that the excuse you use for everything? Countries get out of a recession by PRODUCING and CONSUMING more, not the opposite.

  4. Jesus,
    Yes.. autism |ˈôˌtizəm|
    noun Psychiatry
    a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.

    jjjj,
    And why not? It’s a story of sacrifice and unconditional love.

  5. Jesus,
    Specifically, it’s believed that autistic children’s brains cause them to try to formulate speech before their brain has fully processed what the other person has said.

    On a side note, watch the movie “Temple Grandin”. It’s about a famous autistic woman and is excellent.

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