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According to Wikipedia, Autism is defined as ' a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication and by restricted, repetitive or stereotypical behavior.' Sufferers, more often than not young children, regularly have trouble understanding concepts that can generally only be solved using pictures to back up vocabulary and diligent parents will spend hours at home setting up image cards to help kids understand better, the world that they live in. A year or so back, an Italian developer - aided by a team of neuropsychiatrists, speech therapists, educators and parents from all over the world - released an app called Immaginario. It was the first app expressly created to give parents, teachers and specialists a practical, effective and fully portable tool for visual communication to the autistic or intellectually disabled child or adult. A new, updated and international version of the app - Words in Pictures - has now been released for iOS...with an Android version due up next.
Words in Pictures is a new app for visual communication for iPhone and iPad that is dedicated to children affected by autism or mental disability and those who interact with them. Researchers and therapists say that autistic children, independent of their intelligence, have trouble in the understanding of verbal concepts. They are not very good at recognizing the social cues - or even the spoken words - that most people take for granted when they communicate. This can be overcome only by the use of pictures to support verbal codes. This, of course, is all very well when you are in the comfort of your own home but it’s not quite so easy when you are traveling or on-the-go. Words in Pictures is a companion or a daily helper that uses your mobile phone or tablet to let you to carry a portable version of cards that link the image and the concept and can be quickly and easily shown to the child. The cards work as the "words" of visual communication and it's simple to search, build messages or quickly plan their day on the agenda. The app sets a gradual path in the communication exchange, which starts from the adult and is oriented to the child. The emphasis is put on the sharing of meaning with the autistic person encouraged to have an "outgoing" active involvement. Perfect for use at school, at home, as part of therapy and when on the move, Words in Pictures offers the convenience of portability for parents as well as appealing, easy to grasp graphics for the child.
The original version Of Words in Pictures - known as Immaginario - was a huge success in its native Italy with over 13,000 downloads and a 5-star rating on iTunes, not to mention winning many awards. It is now available in 5 different languages and available to many more children around the world. This excellent and groundbreaking app aims to give your contribution - via app purchase or donation - to the growth of the project and help to extend the app to families who have access to cheaper and more prevalent Android devices. As for the app itself, it's quick and easy to use, looks great and it's obvious that it was put together by people who are very close to the subject. While it is filled with useful features however, it's pure brilliance lies in with it's simplicity and never veers away from its core activity - getting fast, reliable and high quality communication for the autism sufferer to comprehend and engage with the world. Finally, even if you have no use for it, we do ask you to share details of the app with your friends on social networks like Facebook and Twitter or
write about them on your blog, on forums, mailing lists or groups. If you are a member of an association or a club, you can suggest to become an official sponsor of the project and your logo will be promoted on the website and app