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App for autistic children

Shared by Patricia Pereira on 2015-05-05 22:12

About the solution

But kids with autism sometimes have trouble with coordination and Lee found the iPhone screen was too small to support apps with which her son could interact. When Apple launched the iPad with its bigger screen in April 2010, Lee and her husband, who was getting his doctorate in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, saw an opening. They started a company, Enuma Apps (previously LocoMotive Labs), in 2012, to develop a suite of iPad apps specially designed for children with autism.

The premise behind the apps is simple. If a button can be done away with, it’s gone. What’s on the screen is only what’s absolutely necessary. They’ve minimized loud noises and flashy colors that might be distracting or downright stress-inducing for some children. Looking at their products, though, you wouldn’t necessarily realize they were built for children with special needs. And that’s the point, Lee says. She wanted to develop apps that would help autistic children — by getting them acclimated to new social situations, for instance — but that would also appeal to other kids. Their apps, which come in paid and free versions, include “Todo Math,” one of the most popular math games in the Apple App store and “Kid in Story,” a storybook maker. The apps are designed to look like any other app in the App store, with just a small note at the end of their descriptions that they are appropriate for “children with special needs.”

“Kid in Story” came about because kids with autism can have a hard time adjusting to new situations, like getting a haircut, going to the movies, or visiting a friend’s house. Parents of autistic children often tell them a story that spells out what an experience will be like, so the kids have a play-by-play roadmap of what to expect. Lee’s version takes the storybook concept one step further. Instead of reading kids a generic story in which a child has to imagine herself in a new situation, Lee’s team at LocoMotive Labs developed “Kid in Story” with a built-in photo editor that can crop a child’s image out of an uploaded photo and then superimpose that cutout version of the child onto pre-made backgrounds. The child can then literally see himself in the story. Because some autistic children can be overwhelmed by too many options, Enuma Apps have a range of features that can be hidden or activated, depending on the user’s abilities.

Adapted from: http://fus.in/1I0k26S

More info: http://enuma.com/

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

DISCLAIMER: This story was written by someone who is not the author of the solution, therefore please be advised that, although it was written with the utmost respect for the innovation and the innovator, there can be some incorrect statements. If you find any errors please contact the patient Innovation team via info@patient-innovation.com

About the author

Sooinn Lee, from South Korea, had baby boy, who, in 2008, was having trouble hearing, eating and speaking. His doctors warned that he might have developmental delays in the future. When he was about five, he had been diagnosed with autism. Like any parent, Lee wanted to do anything she could to help him. As a developer who had worked in the gaming industry for 12 years, she wanted to use technology to do it. Lee started toying with the idea of creating iPhone apps for children with special needs.

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