A former sales specialist from Stockport has developed two autism apps after being inspired by his seven-year-old son Freddie, who is on the autistic spectrum.
Picturepath has been created by Richard Nurse and consists of two types of digital visual timeline applications designed to reduce anxiety in children who may be worried about change.
The app is a digital visual timeline which works on tablets, phones and computers, allowing a single timeline to be shared between home and school.
Speaking about the inspiration behind picturepath, Nurse said: “Until 2 ½ years of age Freddie was almost completely nonverbal. We had been introduced to a system of laminated images called PECS and Freddie found this form of communicating through images a revelation.
“Creating a visual timeline helped Freddie to understand daily events, reducing his anxiety.
“But the timelines previously used to communicate with Freddie were made of laminated cards. With this came a series of problems: they can go missing, cost money to replace and they can’t always be adapted when plans change.
“Given that Freddie loves all things digital, we have developed picturepath for parents and teachers to help children with special educational needs.”
There are over 100,000 children with autism in mainstream and SEN schools in the UK. Picturepath claims to be able to save teachers over 40 hours a year compared to current methods and it is also estimated that a school could save over £400 per child each year.
Available for free, with premium features available for as little as £2 a month, picturepath has been developed by a team based out of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital with support from the National Autistic Society, Special Educational Needs teachers, child psychologists and parents.