Babnoor, the first Arabic language app of its kind, launches in the UAE, aiming to help children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Liane Wimhurst reports.
Living with autism can be isolating for children Communication and social interaction can be challenging But an App, developed in the United Arab Emirates, is helping kids to understand the world around them (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SPEECH THERAPIST, KHALED BARAKAT. SAYING: "The idea behind Babnoor is that it gives me a technique that the student enjoys, not one that I am imposing on him, on the contrary. Children naturally love the iPad, and this is the greatest strength of the programme." Babnoor is the first Arabic language app of its kind It uses pictures and sounds to help children speak and learn SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOTHER OF SIX-YEAR OLD CHILD WITH AUTISM MOHAMMED GHASSAN, ARWA FAISAL AL YAFII, SAYING: "It was very helpful, because he started understanding and recognizing some words, for example, he understands now when I ask him to wash his hands. He has definitely benefited, some of the words he now can actually enunciate, Thank God." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOTHER OF EIGHT-YEAR OLD CHILD WITH AUTISM HASAN, MEEDOL BAIRKJI, SAYING: "It's very comprehensive. We can add our own pictures to it, anything that you feel your son may be in need of using, things you may feel you need to teach him, like letters, numbers, anything really you want." The app can be used in a variety of different Arabic dialects (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FOUNDER OF BABNOOR AUTISM SOLUTION, SHADI AL HASAN, SAYING: "We decided to localise it, not just in terms of language, but also in terms of culture and behaviour and all other aspects that are specific to our societies." It is currently only available in the UAE, but the goal is to make it available throughout the Arab world.