WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue researchers have developed an iPad app meant to help children with autism communicate.
The app, SPEAKall!, can use pictures and symbols to represent what a child would like to say.
The app will speak a word or sentence and will convey thoughts, helping a child learn to talk.
Dorsey Armstrong said her 6-year-old daughter Mallory has been using the app.
"The app makes it possible for them to communicate almost within a few minutes of having access to it. She's able to recognize how she can use it to say what she wants when she wants it," said Armstrong.
Mike Zentner, Senior Research Scientist in Information Technology at Purdue, said children using the app experience neurological changes over time.
"You look at the treatment over several months, by the fourth month, those pictures tend to cool down a lot and you see a lot more green activity which indicates much more normal brain activity, so the anxiety levels are going down," said Zentner.
The app can be downloaded for free through the iTunes store. Purdue researchers said the app includes some add-ons after download that may cost money.
A new version of the app, called SPEAKnow! is being commercialized and in development. SPEAKnow! could be available this summer.
The app started from research developed by Oliver Wendt, a Purdue assistant professor of speech, language and hearing sciences.
It was created by Purdue's Engineering Projects in Community Service with support from the Purdue Innovation and Commercialization Center.
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