Thursday, April 14, 2011

Autism app being developed in Norfolk | | Norfolk, Va.

Autism app being developed in Norfolk | | Norfolk, Va.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - A Chesapeake father of two children with autism is developing a new iPad app that could change the way millions of kids with the disorder communicate.

He dreamt up the idea while playing a video game with his oldest son, and now he's got a team of developers in Norfolk working to make it a reality.

The Angry Birds game is an obsession for one 3-year-old with autism. "He'll do this for hours and hours, he loves it, he loves it, " said his father Joe Hill.

Hill watched his son play and noticed Deacon's demeanor change. He was calm, focused and learning new words. He called it a breakthrough for the toddler. Then came another one, this time for dad.

"If parents can sit and play games with their kids, why not one that teaches them to talk, is customizable," said Hill.

Joe Hill's autism app idea is not the first, but here's what makes it unique:
- His concept for interactive flash cards using the camera on the iPad 2.
- Parents can take pictures of people, toys, juice, anything specific to an individual child.
- When the child touches the screen a voice will say the word and even help form a sentence.

Joe pitched his idea to Norfolk software development company, " We are Titans ", and they were sold.

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