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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Developers dive in to create a wealth of autism apps -

Developers dive in to create a wealth of autism apps -

At times, Andy Shih still finds himself overwhelmed by the groundswell of interest in autism apps he's seen in the three years since Apple Inc. released the first iPad.
In his role as senior vice president for scientific affairs atAutism Speaks, a national advocacy organization based in New York, Shih helped organize a "hacking autism" event in San Francisco with cosponsor AT&T Inc. that drew 135 developers. It was the group's third event, following previous hackathons co-sponsored with Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp. Over the course of 24 hours, teams built prototypes for more than a dozen apps.
When it was all done, the winning application was a review service called RevTilt that combined Yelp listings with the ability to provide specific comments and ratings about which businesses were the most friendly to autistic families. It's an example of just how rich and diversified autism apps have become, Shih said.
"For me, it's extremely gratifying to walk into a room and you have a couple of hundred developers there to support families," Shih said.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Autism and iPads? Opinions differ | The Marion Star |

Autism and iPads? Opinions differ | The Marion Star |

MARION — The iPad is likely on many children’s Christmas list, but there is a debate over whether that’s the best gift for a child with autism.
There are several apps on the iPad that are marketed for children with autism. Judy Lehner, a Marion resident with grandchildren with autism, said her grandchildren enjoy watching Disney videos on it and find a lot of terrific subject matter, including reading apps., a social network designed for parents of children with autism, recommended the iPad along with LEGOs, sensory toys, video games and gift cards with which to download apps and movies.
Kathryn Miller Dove of the Meredith College Autism Program said the program does not recommend the iPad, nor electronics or television games. Dove said in an email that the reason is “the isolation of social skills these types of toys bring. We encourage toys that are problem-solving in nature and can be shared by others to promote social skills.”

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Apple Store Pulls Toddler's Speech-Enabling App

"TIME reports that four-year-old Maya Nieder's speech-enabling 'Speak for Yourself' app was yanked from the App Store by Apple due to an unresolved patent dispute at the behest of Prentke Romich Company (PRC) and Semantic Compaction Systems (SCS), makers of designated communication devices (not iPad apps). 'The issue of whether or not Apple should have pulled Speak for Yourself from the App Store before the case was decided is trickier. Obviously, Apple would rather be safe than sorry and remove a potentially problematic app instead of risking legal action. The problem, however, is that this isn’t some counterfeit version of Angry Birds.' 'My daughter cannot speak without this app,' writes Maya's mom, Dana. 'She cannot ask us questions. She cannot tell us that she's tired, or that she wants yogurt for lunch. She cannot tell her daddy that she loves him.' If you're so inclined, Dana suggests you drop a note"


Monday, February 27, 2012

Autism and the Year of the iPad

‘New rage' for students with autism: iPads -

Teachers of students with autism say it's the year of the iPad.

It provides motivation. It helps with therapy and handwriting practice. It even models appropriate ways to share toys or take turns.

For 7-year-old Joshua Brooks of Glen Ellyn, the device has educational, therapeutic and entertainment value — something teachers and parents say they're recognizing more these days.

“It's really been a great tool,” said Joshua's mother, Lisa Brooks. “We use it for a combination of enjoyment activities for him and also educational components. He prefers playing the games and the various apps that are on there, and we use the iPad with him a lot as a motivational tool.”

More @

iPads Help Autistic Children | children, zoey, ipads - WTVC NewsChannel 9: Chattanooga News, Weather, Radar, Sports, Lottery

iPads Help Autistic Children | children, zoey, ipads - WTVC NewsChannel 9: Chattanooga News, Weather, Radar, Sports, Lottery

Local children living with autism are finding a new and easier way to communicate. iPads are being used in classrooms at Siskin Children's Institute. The touch screen Apple tablet allows children without the necessary communication skills to express their wants and needs more clearly.

28-month old Zoey Jones is a happy, playful little girl who is living with autism, a developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate with others. Zoey's parents say the disorder can be frustrating.

"We struggle with trying to know what she wants," said Maria Jones, Zoey's mother.

But Zoey's parents say that struggle is a little bit more bearable thanks to the new technology offered by the Siskin Children's Institute. Last year, they got 4 iPads to use in classrooms, and nearly 20 more are on the way thanks to an anonymous donor. "We know that there is a lot of proof in research that visuals work well with children with autism or autism-like characteristics and the iPads have allowed us to implement that faster and quicker," said Kelly DeJong, the Escalate Consultant for Siskin Children's Institute.

More @

Temple Grandin on autism and iPads (VIDEO)

Temple Grandin interview about autism and iPads - YouTube