Please help me assist families with autistic children with products that they can use and that can help them in their development.
I am hoping to get enough funds to develop mobile applications that are:
- Take into account the unique South African context
- Accessible to all South African children
I am the mother of an autistic 6 year old boy who only recently started talking. He is now saying some three word sentences and he feels so proud that he is finally able to express his needs. While my son was still pre-verbal I was always looking for products that could aid in his speech development. It was frustrating that the products available did not take into account the specific challenges my son faces when learning new information and learning to speak. The products that were available, were also only available in English.
About 1 in 100 children in South Africa (186 000 children) is autistic. About 25% of people on the autism spectrum are non-verbal and some make use of alternative communication methods. Autistic children also learn in ways that are sometimes different from other people. I want to develop products that embraces these differences and allow autistic children to be themselves and learn words and concepts in a way that they will find exciting.
South Africa has 11 official languages and nothing on the market currently takes into account the unique South African context. From this frustration a business idea was developed. Market research was done and it indicated a clear need for products that takes into account the unique South African context. I registered a private company at CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission). This company aims to develop €œautism friendly€ mobile applications in official South African languages. These products will be accessible and useful to all South African children, even children developing normally, but special care is taken to consider the needs of autistic children and their parents.
Professionals working in the field of autism, as well as parents and autistic adults were consulted during the development of the business idea. The planning phase is completed and all that is needed now is the funds to develop the applications. I have a clear market strategy and only need the funds to develop the applications and build my brand. Mobile applications will be affordable (about R30) and therefore accessible to most South Africans with a cellphone or tablet.
I have an application developer who is willing to do it at the fraction of the cost but I need the funds to get this product developed and to help thousands of families help their children. I can start with a basic application depending on how much funds I manage to raise. If more funds are raised there is potential to develop more applications and games that can assist families and autistic children. There is also the potential to expand this idea into more products that includes books and toys. I will also contribute 10% of all profit to organisations/schools that assist families of autistic children. Care will be taken that the organisations benefiting from this donation are accepting of autism and does not promote harmful practices to treat autism.