App Helps Autistic Children Break Through Speech Barriers

LOCKHART, Texas -- For a parent, learning your child is on the autism spectrum is life-changing.

"Never hearing your child say 'I love you' is heartbreaking," said Abby Whitworth.

But now, thanks to an app co-created by Whitworth, getting those words out is a little easier.

"They're reading and we didn't know it - but they were able to see the pictures and the words and able to construct things," said speech pathologist Viki Johnson.

"Zach's Voice," as the app is called, is now in Lockhart, where they hope to get businesses and individuals to sponsor students.

"They [the sponsors] would pay for an iPad mini, a case, and the communication app," Whitworth said.

The local Chamber of Commerce has already stepped up to the plate.

"Good school districts make for good communities, and so our interests were aligned in this way," said Keith Hester.

Many say this app's ability to help a child break through a barrier such as speech is worth the investment.

“In our business we work every day and minute for breakthroughs for kids, so to give children who previously haven’t had that opportunity to express themselves in a way that’s truly a breakthrough for them is why we’re here," said Lockhart ISD Superintendent Susan Bohn.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words - then this app's performance tells a whole new story.

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