Smartphone app helps children with autism communicate better

by Nicole Lindquist, UNMC public relations | January 10, 2013

A smartphone application that has potential to help children with autism communicate more effectively is now available for download.

Developed by Keith Allen, Ph.D., professor of psychology at UNMC, the app uses evidence-based naturalistic teaching procedures to foster communication.

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The MySocius app is now available for download on iTunes and other app services.
"We wanted to help parents do more to help their children learn basic communication skills," Dr. Allen said. "We wanted to develop something that could assist parents right in their homes, and we wanted something that was supported by research.

"Naturalistic teaching that provides pictures of objects and prompts for parents fit all of these requirements."

Corporate partner

"We" is Dr. Allen and BehaviorApp, LLC -- a Lincoln-based smartphone app development company.

"This will allow us to put the experience of a professional like Dr. Allen into the hands of many families of children with autism," said Evelyn Bartlett, BehaviorApp CEO.

Supplement, not replacement

Dr. Allen emphasized that the app is designed to supplement, not substitute for, trained professionals who specialize in treating speech and communication problems in children with autism.

A limited number of apps, which retail for $24.99, are offered free of charge to families of children with autism. Contact Craig Lutz-Prefect at BehaviorApp, LLC at craig@sectornow.com or 402-423-2444 for more information.

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