A new application to help autistic children to communicate
Together with the application, centres can get free tablets
The Endowment Fund Lenovo brings a new application which will significantly help autistic children to communicate. It has been developed by experts who work with the children and their parents on a daily basis. Lentalk thus responds to and is tailored to the real needs of autistic children. Moreover, thanks to the support of the Endowment Fund Lenovo at the Pontis Foundation, the application is available completely free of charge.
A new Slovak application called Lentalk enables children to effectively communicate with their surroundings, using picture cards. “The experience that we gained while working with families with autistic children has taught us that we we will help them best if we develop our own Slovak application tailored to their needs,” said Veronika Gilanová, an Endowment Fund Lenovo coordinator at the Pontis Foundation. Lentalk is available for Andriod-operated tablets. It is downloadable free of charge from Google Play Store.
It can also relieve frustration
The application can help the child to better understand its surroundings and more easily communicate its needs. It helps eliminate “the problem behaviour”, which is often only a result of frustration with the inability to express oneself. Daily work with the application also improves verbal skills and develops the child’s dexterity.
Centres will get tablets free of charge
The Endowment Fund Lenovo at the Pontis Foundation has been helping organizations working with people with autism spectrum disorder and families with autistic children for several years. They started developing the application after they noticed the applications from abroad were not sufficient. “Consultations with experts and direct testing of children helped us prepare pictures which will be sufficiently intelligible and attractive,” said Hana Bolebruchová, a person in charge of Lenovo’s philanthropic program.
In addition, organizations working with autistic children can get free tablets to work with the Lentalk application. In parallel with the launch of the application, the Lenovo Endowment Fund at the Pontis Foundation published a call for applications.
Basic features of the application
- Communication by means of pictures
Users can choose a picture out of a default database of 450 pictures or own photographs, which can be added easily.
- Spoken word
Users can choose whether they will play a recorded sound with a picture. The sound can help their child to match the picture with a meaning. Own sounds can be added to the application (for example, a recording of the parent’s voice).
- Daily schedule
It guides the child through its daily activities. It informs the child of the activities ahead and helps it better orient itself in time. The application makes it possible to plan two weeks in advance.
- A high rate of personalization
Users can customize the size and colour of communication tiles as well as used pictures and sounds.
Autism and communication problems
Autism manifests itself differently in every individual. However, there are some symptoms that all cases display, such as problems with communication, imagination, or the ability to establish social relationships. These show in the child’s inability to accept and understand basic instructions, such as calls to eat or sleep. The child, on the other hand, responds very well to visual perceptions; therefore, picture cards are used for communication. Autistic children also have an exceptionally good relationship to technology and gadgets. Therefore, the combination of the picture communication and the application is an ideal solution.