Avaz, an app to help autistic kids
Communication has been a cause of concern for those kids who are autistic. But thanks all to the availability of modern technology, for it has made the lives of such kids much better. In a bid to help such children with autism Chennai based Invention Labs has developed an app ‘Avaz’. The app has been designed specifically for children who have difficulty in speaking and also help the therapists and care-givers to bring out the maximum potential out of such children.
The app has picture symbols and artificial speech with high quality voice which are used to create messages. These pictures and speech can be used by therapists to enable autistic children to communicate. This app can help autistic kids to build their vocabulary, facilitate communication and also help control their behavioral problems at times.
Currently the app is available for android devices and Ipads. Avaz has been a result of lot of research which has been designed in collaboration with hundreds of experts, parents, speech therapists and children. The app is available in multiple regional languages in India. This apart the app is also being used by autistic children around U.S, Denmark, Australia and Italy. The basic version of the app is available for free, after which the advance version needs to be paid for.
These pictures and speech has been designed in such a way that it facilitates spontaneous utterance which encourages children with autism and other speech disorders not just to use language but also to generalize from it. The app helps such children not just to get started with pictures but at the same time it also help facilitates easy transition into text. The keyboard of Avaz app has support for saving and loading text, a quick response bar for frequently used messages and picture assisted text prediction capability for sight readers. Avaz also allows for customization. One can even record their own voice. It also features animation for maximizing the usage. Meanwhile it also has the ability to remove the distracting content from the screen and has a control over the speech output.
Speaking to Techspirit, Mrs Priya Rao, Associate Director, Spastic Society of Karnataka said: “For children who have speech problem like the autistic kids, communication has been a major problem with them. The avaz app through which the children can see the picture and listen to the speech and can relate it has been of great help for such children as well as the parents and therapists who train such children.”