A Northern boy has created a groundbreaking new app that helps children with non-verbal autism to communicate.
Nine-year-old Sean Porter from Southport was originally asked to create a game for a school project, but he decided to go one step further in a bid to help someone very close to him and build an app for non-verbal children and those with autism to help them communicate.
Sean’s six-year-old brother Adam Porter was diagnosed with autism when he was two.
Since his diagnosis, Adam had always struggled to speak and was unable to ask for some of the simplest requests -but now, using the app developed by his brother Sean, Adam can communicate by just tapping a picture.
Speaking enthusiastically to ITV News about the app, Sean said: “I knew that if I didn’t develop this app, then I don’t know anyone who would think of it.
“It feels absolutely amazing – I feel wonderful.”
“People generally don’t think about other people. They think “if I make this amazing invention I am going to be epic and famous and have loads of money – but they don’t focus on anyone else and how it affects them.”
According to recent studies, it’s estimated that 40% of children with autism are non-verbal, which means that they may never learn to speak more than a few words – but Adam’s father Liam is hoping this app might help change that statistic.
“Him asking for food, telling us he was hurt, asking to go to the toilet, it was basically guess work,” Liam Porter said.
“This app has opened up more choice for Adam after we created the app he has asked for more things and is developing faster.”
Sean also hopes to make his app more user specific for the needs of each child.
His mum Kirsty also told the Liverpool ECHO: “He wants to go more into it and if it does go anywhere he wants to make it user specific for each specific child.
“At the minute it’s just ‘I want a drink’, ‘I want some food’, ‘I need the toilet’ and in order to make it more specific.
“Children with autism have specific drinks they want, you can’t just say to them ‘what drink’ they want that drink they are used to having.”
Featured Image – ITV News