5-year old disabled Victor Pauca may have received his biggest gift this year – the ability to communicate. Victor has a rare genetic disorder that delays the development of a number of skills, which includes speech. The disorder is known as the Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, from which there are only around 51 sufferers in the US.
Victor’s father, Paul, and some of his students at the Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem have created an application for the iPhone and iPad that turns their touch screens into communication tools. The new app will not only help Victor, but many others too.
The new app, called VerbalVictor, allows parents and caregivers to take pictures and record phrases to go with them. These will become ‘buttons’ on the device’s screen, which people, like Victor, can touch when they wish to communicate.
As example, a picture of the backyard can be accompanied by the words “I want to play outside” and when touched, parents and caregivers will know that the person wants to do.
The app is expected to be available in the App Store by early next week and will be sold at a fee of $10.