Mum launches iPad app to help children with autism.
A Canadian mother of two and an electrical engineer by profession has launched a new iPad app designed to help children suffering with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Natasha D’Souza is the woman behind the development of the app, which is available via the App Store.
Discovering Emotions with Zeely is an education tool that teaches children how to identify emotions and practice recognizing facial expressions. Research has shown that the inability to recognize and interpret facial expressions is a serious developmental hurdle for children with autism, which severely hampers their inter-personal skills.
“It’s my opinion that the medical system is drug-oriented and not the only solution,” said D’Souza. Social skills simply aren’t taught anymore in the school due to a lack of resources and limited staff. That’s what motivated me to develop this application.”
In December of 2013, the Auditor General of Ontario released a report indicating that children with autism in this province wait for years for diagnosis and therapy that could change their lives.
The application, which took a year to develop assists parents, educators and therapists working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD or other special needs including Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. Detailed data collection and reporting tools assist with tracking a child’s progress and sharing the information between therapist, home and school.
All of the programmers and developers who worked on the application have children with special needs. D’Souza also has a M.Eng in Technology Innovation Management from Carleton University.
You can find out more about the application by visiting ZeelyAdventures.com. Follow the application on Twitter @ZeelyAdventures and like the application on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ZeelyAdventures.
The app is available for download at $19.99 at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/discovering-emotions-zeely/id786676546?ls=1&mt=8.