Milwaukee mother designs app to help autistic children

CREATED Mar 2, 2013

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  • Cristian Reilly, 4, plays with a digital tablet as his mother, Amanda Reilly, holds him. Amanda Reilly’s idea for an app to help calm autistic children is one of 12 being considered by developers in a nationwide contest sponsored by AT&T. Image by Kristyna Wentz-Graff

MILWAUKEE -  A Milwaukee mother is among 12 finliats in a nationwide search for ideas that can help autistic children.

Amanda Reilly, whose four year old son, Christian, has autism, has come up with a tablet app that she says can calm a child whose having an emotional meltdown.

Reilly's app provides calming scenes for a child to look at and interact with. She cites some examples as a virtual aquarium where children can add fish and decorations, or a bedroom scene where they can interact with virtual stuffed animals.

The contest is sponsored by AT&T and "Autism Speaks"  It drew 230 entries.

The finalists' ideas will be brought to life at an event to be held in San Francisco next month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 88 children in the U.S. has been diagnosed with autism, a neurological disorder that affects for a person perceives the world.