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An iPad app which can provide affordable therapy to autistic children


Amrita Tripathi,CNN-IBN
Jul 12, 2013 at 04:38pm IST

New Delhi: A new iPad application launched by an Australian university could prove helpful in dealing with autistic children. The application is designed for parents who struggle in providing adequate and affordable therapy to their autistic children.

Thirteen-year-old Parul loves her new Playpad and so does her mother. They both are learning a new iPad application. "In her first session, Parul completed three levels. She is a non-verbal child. If she can communicate through visuals using this application it will make her more independent," Parul's mother Ritu Saluja said.

"TOBY is an iPad app that helps and empowers parents to give therapy to their children at home. It takes their skills across four cognitive areas, imitation, sensory development, language and social skill and teaches it in 52 different ways," Deakin University Professor Sveta Venkatesh said.

Though autism - a complex developmental disability - affects an estimated 14 million children in India, it is still not understood by many. One of the biggest issues autistic people face is communication and social interaction.

"The autistic children who are really afraid of human beings are not afraid of an iPad. With one finger when they touch and they see faces, and hear, they are amazed. Then they get curious and they want to learn more and more and they want to clap themselves for their achievement. We have never seen such outcomes through teachers," Dr Shyama Chona, president of Tamana said. Tamana is an NGO for multiply challenged and autistic individuals.

This iPad application is available for Rs 1200 and claims to tailor itself according to the needs and level of skill of each child and set unique developmental goals for each one.

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