For autistic children, everyday interactions can be hard to decode. Socializing is often stressful, and expressing needs and emotions can be a struggle.
But innovative tech solutions have come a long way to help empower the autistic community, enhancing communication through ingenuity. And we’re taking time to recognize some of these impactful and creative gadgets for autistic children.
From smart instruments and emotion trackers to a child-sized robot that teaches social skills, here’s just a small sample of extremely cool devices doing good for the autistic community.
1. The toy helping autistic kids communicate through music
Synchrony is a drum-like device helping autistic children engage with others through music. It can be used as formal or informal music therapy, which has been proven to help autistic children broaden their social and emotional skills.
The smooth, silicon instrument helps autistic kids bridge social gaps by letting them harmonize — literally — with playmates. Synchrony responds to touch, always playing calming sounds without dissonance or “bad notes,” which can sometimes be overwhelming for autistic children.
2. Digital stones allowing autistic children to “speak”
Credit: Courtesy Of Smartstones
Smartstones Touch is a handheld, stone-like device that remotely controls an app called allowing children to “speak” pre-programed phrases aloud with taps and swipes. Light, sound, and vibration patterns correspond with each gesture made on a Smartstone, giving autistic users tactile feedback when communicating.
The stones offer a simplified way of communication, which is perfect for nonverbal autistic children. The device is currently available for preorder.
3. A text-based app helping nonverbal autistic children communicate
Proloquo4Text is a text-based app that instantly turns typed words into speech. The app, which was designed for nonverbal people, can be customized to display the words and phrases an individual uses often. The app also features word and sentence prediction that learns a user’s communication patterns for faster responses.
Users can also choose their own voice on Proloquo4Text, giving them autonomy over not only what they say, but how they say it.
The FDA has expanded the indication for use of Tivic Health Systems’ handheld device, ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief, to include congestion from allergies, flu and the common cold.
ClearUP is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that offers congestion relief without the need for medication.
WHAT DOES IT TREAT?
The latest indication is in addition to FDA clearance for treating allergy-related sinus pain caused by seasonal and year-round allergies to treat moderate to severe congestion.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Using gentle microcurrent waveforms, ClearUP offer sinus pain and congestion relief to users.
It is used outside the nasal passages, along the cheek, nose and brow bone, and provides low current electrical waveforms which stimulate the nerves under the skin to aid in relieving sinus pain and congestion.
WHAT WERE THE STUDY RESULTS?
Study participants with moderate to severe congestion reported an average 35% reduction in congestion symptoms ten minutes after using ClearUP.
Participants also reported an average 44% reduction in congestion symptoms after four weeks of regular use.
It does so by stimulating the trigeminal nerve, responsible for sensing pain and pressure of the face.
When you’re outdoors in sunlight, your skin absorbs the vitamin and helps raise the overall levels of D3 within your blood. This has a positive impact on your immune system, reduces inflammation, depression and even lowers your risk of certain cancers. It’s also good as a preventative measure, even if otherwise healthy.
HOW MUCH SUNSHINE IS RECOMMENDED?
15 minutes daily, before 10 a.m. or after 2 p.m.
VITAMIN D FROM SUPPLEMENTS
Normal levels of Vitamin D in your blood should be between 30ng/ml to 100 ng/ml.
If you don’t know if your current level or if you are low, you can ask your doctor for a Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 test. It’s a simple blood test.
HOW MUCH VITAMIN D DO YOU NEED?
For most people, 600 to 800 international units (IU), is the recommended daily dose, which you can get through a combination of sunshine, food, and supplements.
For those with MS, a daily intake between 1000 and 2000 IUs each day is needed.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease of the central nervous system affecting the myelin sheath of neurons with a wide range of symptoms. Among various risk factors studied that can increase the relapse, vitamin D is also a potential risk factor. In this study, we will determine the association between vitamin D status and frequency of relapses in patients with MS. Material and methods Seventy-four (74) patients with a confirmed diagnosis of MS, with more than one (01) relapse per year, for a minimum of two years, were included in the case group. Seventy-four (74) participants with a confirmed diagnosis of MS with one (01) or no relapse per year, for a minimum of two years, were included in the control group. After informed consent, the patient blood was drawn via phlebotomy and was sent to the lab for vitamin D levels. Results The mean serum vitamin D level was significantly lower in case group compared to control group (18.21 ± 4.21 ng/mL vs. 29.21 ± 5.72 ng/mL; p-value: < 0.0001). The number of participants with vitamin D level less than 30 ng/mL were significantly higher in patients with case group compared to control group (78.37% vs. 50.0%; p-value: 0.0003)
Conclusion In this study, patients with more relapses per year had low level of serum vitamin D. There is emerging strong evidence that vitamin D plays an important role in the pathogenesis, progression, and disease burden of autoimmune disease, including MS.
Radiological Association Between Multiple Sclerosis Lesions and Serum Vitamin D Levels. Akhtar A, Neupane R, Singh A, Khan M. Cureus. 2022 Nov 23;14(11):e31824. doi: 10.7759/cureus.31824. eCollection 2022 Nov. PMID: 36579263 Free PMC article.
Vitamin D for the management of multiple sclerosis. Jagannath VA, Filippini G, Di Pietrantonj C, Asokan GV, Robak EW, Whamond L, Robinson SA. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Sep 24;9(9):CD008422. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008422.pub3. PMID: 30246874 Free PMC article. Review.
Association of seasonal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels with disability and relapses in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Brola W, Sobolewski P, Szczuchniak W, Góral A, Fudala M, Przybylski W, Opara J. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Sep;70(9):995-9. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.51. Epub 2016 Mar 30. PMID: 27026420
Vitamin D as an early predictor of multiple sclerosis activity and progression. Ascherio A, Munger KL, White R, Köchert K, Simon KC, Polman CH, Freedman MS, Hartung HP, Miller DH, Montalbán X, Edan G, Barkhof F, Pleimes D, Radü EW, Sandbrink R, Kappos L, Pohl C. JAMA Neurol. 2014 Mar;71(3):306-14. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.5993. PMID: 24445558 Free PMC article.
Weak bladder control or frequent urination because of bladder pressure.
Anemia (low blood count) that can lead to a lack of energy and fatigue.
Lower back pain and pain in the back of the legs.
WHO IS MOST AT RISK FOR FIBROIDS?
Women are most susceptible to getting uterine fibroids when they are of childbearing age. Unfortunately, research indicates that on average, women wait 3.5 years before seeking help.
The scope of this unspoken problem was what inspired the practice to integrate a personable, warm, comforting ethos.
HOW IS YOUR APPROACH DIFFERENT?
“When we originally set up our practice, our first goal was to design a space that patients enjoy being in,” says Nehal. “We know that going to an Ob/Gyn isn’t the most fun activity, so we did what we could to alleviate that stress.” – Nehal Farouky
In addition to the office’s pleasant amenities, patients are examined in state-of-the-art consultation rooms. Tablets and medical touch screens are used to educate patients and explain different procedures. Certain diagnostic testing is also done in-office, such as sonograms, bloodwork, biopsies, and pap smears.
Apart from the amenities offered at their facility, Viva Eve’s team of fibroid experts work together to give patients more choices than most standard Ob/Gyn offices. They offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options so that each woman can choose the right treatment according to her needs.
Nehal suffered from fibroids herself. She and her physician husband started Viva Eve to help other women as they both knew what she experienced.