UTNBA students and graduates develop app for children with autism spectrum disorders
The development is the finalist of the App Contest of ENACOM, and may get the 1st prize through public voting.
A group of students and graduates from the UTN Buenos Aires Information Systems undergraduate program developed PSPECS, an application aimed at helping children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder). The members of group are Matías Borges, Juan Brito, Franco Di Stefano and Martín de la Llave.
The development, which arose as a proposal for the “Final Project” class of the program, is one of the six finalists under the category of “Developing projects” for the App Contest of ENACOM, and during this week it will be receiving votes HERE to earn the mentorship of this institution.
The idea came up because one of the members’ wives, Juan Brito’s, works with this type of disease in children. “She noticed that children tend to use technology to communicate, interact, or see contents, more than traditional methods. She looked for applications to work better with her patients but couldn’t find any quality developments available, or those she found were in English. That is how necessity came up,” Brito explained.
Among the advantages of PSPECS, its developers stressed the possibility of adapting the technology to the learning and orientation stage the child is going through. As they make progress, the technology becomes more complex, hand in hand with the therapeutic process. “It is common to start with pictograms identification. In therapy, which is in person, they use cards. The aim of the application is to use technology to replace this analogical environment by a digital one and to start incorporating other tools and gradually assemble sentences,” they said.
Another characteristic that differentiates the application from others available in the market is the inclusion of a chat. “The application is designed to help three types of users; children, parents, and professionals, -they said-. When the child is able to form phrases, they can send them to professionals and relatives, and receive feedback from them. It always depends on the stage they are going through and the stimuli they can handle.”
Finally, for the professionals, the application will also include reports on how their patients use it so as to have control on the children’s progress thus providing the possibility of adjusting the learning strategies for this type of communication as necessary.
The application is partially developed and it is expected that with ENACOM’s support, it will be finished next month.