New app to help disabled children with speech

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For kids with special needs, expressing themselves can often lead to frustration. There's now a new tool to help give kids a voice.

Music and dance are soothing to four-year old Anna Stinson. Anna has autism, and has not formed many words. 

Angelique Hall, Anna's mother says, "I'd see the pain in her eyes. Because she's literally trying to tell her mommy something, and she knows her mommy doesn't understand." 

But for the past few months, Angelique has opened a window into Anna's world, using a specially designed app, displaying images that are personal to her. Anna often repeats the words she's learned on the device. Angelique says in several months, her daughter has gone from one word, to short phrases.

Carlos Pereira, Livox creator and CEO says, "Livox means liberty through voice." 

Brazilian engineer Carlos Pereira created Livox five years ago to communicate with his daughter, Clara. Clara was born with cerebral palsy.

Pereira says, "We have a deep understanding of the needs of people with disabilities and how to transform those needs into software." 

Livox has more than 20,000 users in Brazil. Now, Florida Hospital in Orlando has partnered with Periera to test the system with their pediatric rehab patients.

Ashley Simmons, Director of Innovation Development Florida Hospital says, "It provided access to a group of patients who weren't getting it because of the cost, and because of the types of tools available in that space." 

 Angelique Hall is hoping the hands-on touch and talk technique will make all the difference for Anna. 

Livox is available to download on the Google Play Store. The software costs $250. Periera says because Livox is considered an alternative communication device, it's important that families work in consultation with their speech therapists when using it.

 

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