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“Communicating Basic Needs” App for Android, Samsung Galaxy Tablet and Kindle Fire

The leading global provider of educational resources for the treatment of autism released the ComApp for iPhone/iTouch/iPad earlier this year with great success. This simple, easy to use mobile app allows children with language deficits to communicate their basic needs and wants in five major categories: food, drinks, clothing, toys and emotions. 

CHICAGO, IL, — July 5, 2012 — Special Learning, Inc., the leading global provider of mobile technology applications and educational resources for the autism community, today announced the launch of its “Communicating Basic Needs” app (ComApp) for Android platforms including the Samsung Galaxy Tablet and Kindle Fire. The app provides a new, innovative way for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or other language deficit to easily and effectively communicate their basic needs and wants with highest quality images and real voices that that can be customized through a unique back-end web platform named “Mobile Dashboard.” platform.

Using a highly attractive, simple to use icon-based system that adheres to the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the app gives voice to individuals by allowing them to express their basic needs and wants through pictures. The app focuses on five main categories of food, drink, clothing, toys and emotions.

 The app is filled with colorful and vivid photographs of everyday items that a child sees around him to facilitate easy communication and to keep a child engaged and motivated to use the device. Through its web interface, “Mobile Dashboard,” parents and providers are able to fully customize the app by uploading their own image and voice files. Care givers and parents can also view frequency reports on the device and to generate customized reports from the Mobile Dashboard by synchronizing the app with the dashboard.

 The “Communicating Basis Needs” app was developed under the guidance of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) and organized in a manner found to be successful in clinical practice.

 The convenience of having this app in a portable device like an iTouch, iPhone, iPad and now on Android devices is that it is readily accessible anytime and anywhere without the hassle of carrying around picture cards to communicate. Having access to a communication tool on a commonly used device also allows the user to blend in better with his surroundings. The app is very user friendly and intuitive so that even young children with ASD, regardless their level of ability, can learn to use it quickly.

 Special Learning’s “Communicating Basic Needs” app has several crucially important differences from other augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) communication solutions in the market, including:

 * It is easy and fun to use — the interface was designed specifically for use with children with ASD. The app offers simple navigation and is colorful and intuitive, making it easy for children to learn and use without a lot of instructions. In most cases, a child is able to locate a desired item within three to four clicks.

* The app comes pre-loaded with hundreds of real photographs of food, drinks, clothing and toys, not symbols or stick figures. It also features an extensive assortment of pictures representing nine emotional states. There are also four common request stationary icons on top of each screen that allows children to easily and quickly communicate when they need help, need rest, feel sick or need to use the bathroom.

* The app is highly customizable. Through the Mobile Dashboard, a web-based portal, users can customize the numerous features available on the app, such as using their own image and voice files to replace or modify the pre-loaded images, download statistical data and manage all purchased apps from Special Learning.

* The app contains three different photographs of every item in each of the five main categories to teach generalization skills to children that are ready to learn these skills.

* Within the four categories of food, drinks, clothing and toys, parents and other caretakers can use the “enable/disable” function in the icon library to select only those images that are appropriate for their child. By minimizing any extraneous items, the app can be very simple to use.

* Through the “Settings” field in the “Admin” section, the app offers an abundance of customization features including:

 o ability to select from four “Voice” options: girl, boy, man and woman

o ability to select from five “Themes” or backgrounds: default, aquatic, butterfly, creatures and trucks

o ability to select from three “Picture Size” options: small, medium and large

o ability to “Randomize” image selection from a set (of three) or select fixed images for each item

o ability to choose “Word” or “Phrase” for emotions icons

o ability to enable or disable “Item Titles” which appear on top of each icon

To learn more about the app, visit

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