New App OCIR Helps Children With Special Needs Communicate With Emojis | #specialneeds | #kids


For parents of young people with learning difficulties, helping them to communicate effectively and understand the world around them without becoming overwhelmed is an ongoing one. For Aiesha Bailey—the dyslexic mother of a young boy with learning difficulties—it inspired her to create a new mobile app to make self-expression a little easier.

The new app is called OCIR—a backronym that stands for observe, communicate, indicate respond—and it’s been designed to benefit young people and adults with anxiety, Asperger’s syndrome, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, learning difficulties, speech delays.

OCIR is mainly aimed at classroom settings, but can be used by parents and caregivers to communicate with anyone who has issues with self-expression. Its main function is emoji-based communication to help users and teachers, parents or caregivers to communicate quickly, but it can also be used as a day-to-day diary and calendar, it can block out background noise, and can even be used as a coaching tool to help parents better understand the causes of those self-expression issues.

Aiesha originally created the app to help her son, Rico, but the idea first took the form of a book before gradually evolving to its current form.

“I designed a book using emojis indicating facial expressions to help my son’s self-expression,” she explains. “Plans for the book’s use were made and they would work for a while, but time pressures and large classroom sizes would prove difficult to maintain new practices. Things would slip back into old familiar patterns. My son, not able to recall incidents in class at the end of the day, would lose confidence and revisit unresolved issues in his dreams, which was distressing for both of us.”

For more information on OCIR, email info@ocir.co.uk. 



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