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Autistic boy's older brother designs iPad app that builds language skills

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

An autistic boy’s older brother created a new app for the iPad that helps promote functional and social skills.

Jonathan Izak designed AutisMate so that users can add their own videos, pictures and voice recordings to create visual scenes, according to a news release.

Jonathan’s brother, Oriel, 10, is autistic and struggles with verbal communication.

“The design on the communication apps that were available required too much navigation for those with the language and generalization issues often associated with autism,” said Jonathan, who is founder of SpecialNeedsWare.

AutisMate uses GPS so that users can interact with familiar scenes around their own location and use those scenes to communicate.

For example, by pressing the star on the sink of a kitchen scene, Oriel can bring up a video that shows him how to wash his hands and plays a message that says, “I wash my hands in the sink.”

A refrigerator icon will also display Oriel’s favorite foods when pressed.

Click here to learn more about AutisMate, which is available for purchase at the iPad App store.