Global News

October 23, 2012

Using touch screens and apps to treat autism

San Jose Mercury News (MCT)
SAN JOSE, Calif. - As a commercial software expert for the financial services industry, Ted Conley was frustrated with the technology that a speech therapist recommended to help his developmentally disabled son. So he decided to build his own application.

In place of an unwieldy and expensive device with buttons that his son struggled to press, Conley developed a series of apps that allow the now 3-year-old Pierce to signal words and sentences by lightly touching a series of familiar pictures on an iPad screen, which prompts an audio program to play the words out loud.

SEE OUR 'APPS' SECTION: A comprehensive list of Apps for Autism available for iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook and more. CLICK HERE 

Conley's line of "TapSpeak" programs are among scores of new apps available to help children with autism or other conditions that interfere with their ability to speak, learn or socialize.

Most of the early apps have been associated with Apple's iPad, but some are available for a variety of touch-screen gadgets, including those running Google's Android. Hewlett-Packard recently announced plans for a volunteer "hackathon" to create a series of touch-screen apps in conjunction with a national advocacy group, Autism Speaks.

Parents and educators say the ease of use, visual impact and intuitive nature of a touch screen... READ MORE >>

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