Autism Buddy App by The Autism Assistants for IUB I101 Group Final Fall 2012
Autism by________________________________________________ …. Rachel Legge Lindsay Koons Raymond Stump
Problem Introduction• Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that appears in the first three years of life. This disorder has a large spectrum and affects the normal developmental of communication and social skills.• Communication is a key part of functioning in society. Those on the low functioning end of the Autism Disorder Spectrum (ADS) have difficulty communicating their wants and needs and this leaves them vulnerable and unsatisfied. The autism disorder is becoming more of a global issue, now affecting one in eighty-eight people. This is the issue we are trying to alleviate through technological means.• The main reason our group chose this problem to tackle is because of how reasonable the problem is, how well known it is, and how prevalent it is. The problem is reasonable enough that one can make an effort to solve it. The problem is well known throughout the world. Nearly everyone knows someone who is autistic or knows a person with relations to someone with autism. Lastly autism is very prevalent. Autism has increased more than 600% in the past few decades.
Scenario Little Timmy cant tell his mom what he wants in the kitchen, so he opens “Autism Buddy”and selects the item he wantsfrom his wordlist. Thanks to this app he doesnt get frustrated; he doesn’t stamp his foot on the ground, and his parents also remain calm. Later, Timmy looks at his schedule and is able to see what skills he will work on in therapy so he can prepare for his session and know what’s in front of him. He’s able tostart to keep track of his own stuff. The therapist helps Timmy to use the app appropriately and this helps to make therapy go more smoothly and effectively. After completing certain tasks, Timmy can choose a reward for completing therapy or his scheduled items on time. This app has made a real difference in Timmy’s life!
This graph shows autism and itsResearch prevalence. This graph starting from the 1970’s onward to current day shows that autism and its prevalence has increased. Autism went from 1 in 5000 to 1 in 110; that is a giant step in only a few decades.
• This next graph dealsResearch with the financial issues families with autistic children face. This was a graph made by our group after gathering the necessary information. Autism has financial issues just like every other illness. To provide for a child with autism on average a year costs approximately $60,000 as shown in this graph.
Autism• The research on autism can be summarized into basic effects and a few short explanations. First, anyone can be affect by autism. Autism is everywhere and can affect anyone healthy, sick, rich, or poor; it does not matter. However, there are a few studies that suggest certain areas such as Latino countries in South America have a less likely chance. Also studies show that autism may affect boys more so than girls. People with autism usually have other disorders that are associated and also come with it. These disorders can range from being a physical disorder having to do with motor skills, a mental disorder having to do with brain development at young ages, or it could be a social disorder. It all varies. Autism also has stress on a family’s financial situation; costing the family on average $60,000 to provide for someone with autism. However, autism is a serious and growing illness in the world and I hope this gave an idea of what autism is and what they might have to go through.
Therapy• There are many apps in existence which help autistic people with school and therapy. The research I found supported ways to go about creating such projects for autistic clients both physical and technological. We have come up with some good ways to improve upon what already exists, and the second interview by Mike and Chris was very helpful with suggestions. We also came up with a few good new ideas ourselves. Working on this project was quite enjoyable for me because I have experience with both ASD (the Autism Spectrum Disorder) and mental health and therapy.
Research on Existing Apps. Our group searched for and researched existing applicationsdesigned for autistic individuals. This was done so that we knew whatwas already out there, and how we could improve upon existing productsand make the application we are creating unique. With so manyapplications out there already, we were able to decide on which featureswe would want to include in the application we were creating. Onecommon aspect of the comparable applications that the group looked atwas that many were only accessible using iPhone or iPad, and few wereavailable for Droid users. We made it so that our product is accessible toApple products, Droids, Kindles, computers, and PC laptops. Looking atthe reviews for existing Autism apps we also noticed that many of themtake an unfortunately long time to open; we decided that this was anaspect that needed some attention. Our application takes only a coupleseconds to open. Overall our research on existing applications for ourtarget audience helped our team to create an application that includes allthe best feature of existing applications, while side-stepping and fixing allthe bugs that users encounter on other applications.
Design Solution • “Family” page has faces of loved ones that help familiarize the autistic individual with their family • “Decision” page helps them voice their decision quickly. • “Options” page allows the therapist, guardian, or autistic individual to select the voice and language that information and audio is presented in. • “Rewards” page features a list of rewards that the therapist or guardian creates and allows the autistic individual to choose from. • “Training” page teaches the therapist and guardian how to use app efficiently. • “Words and Phrases” page features a list of commonly used words that can be personalized to the specific autistic user. • Accessible on more than just the iPad and iPhone • Opens quickly