Help­ing Chil­dren With Autism Com­mu­ni­cate Bet­ter

Wellness Update - - Meningitis -

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 the Univer­sity of Ne­braska Med­i­cal Cen­ter’s Mun­roeMeyer In­sti­tute, the app uses ev­i­dence-based nat­u­ral­is­tic teach­ing pro­ce­dures to fos­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

“We wanted to help par­ents do more to help their chil­dren learn ba­sic com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. We wanted to de­velop some­thing that could as­sist par­ents right in their homes, and we wanted some­thing that was sup­ported by re­search,” Dr. Allen said. “Nat­u­ral­is­tic teach­ing that pro­vides pic­tures of ob­jects and prompts for par­ents fit all of th­ese re­quire­ments.”

“We” is Dr. Allen and Be­hav­iorApp, LLC -- a Lin­coln, Neb.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.

Dr. Allen em­pha­sized that the app is de­signed to sup­ple­ment, not sub­sti­tute 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 be­ing of­fered free of charge to fam­i­lies of chil­dren with autism. For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Craig Lutz-Pre­fect at Be­hav­iorApp, LLC at craig@sec­ or 402-423-2444.

The CDC’s most re­cent fig­ures re­ported that 1 in 88 chil­dren are di­ag­nosed with an autism spec­trum dis­or­der.

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