A Galway family has developed software that aims to help children with autism communicate.

Enda and Valerie Dodd’s innovative software solution ALL, Animated Language Learning, is a state of the art, visually rich language learning programme they say has “already lifted their twin sons from the isolation of autism”.

They are now determined to make it accessible to every family in need.

Enda and Valerie originally moved to California in 2003 to find help with their sons’ condition. They actively started developing the software on a full time basis in 2009 in San Francisco and established Animated Language Learning Inc. The company relocated to NUI Galway’s Business and Innovation Centre in 2015.

Valerie explained, “There was utter confusion surrounding the diagnosis of our sons when it became evident that they were not talking and were diagnosed as highly autistic. Autism spectrum disorder, pervasive development disorder, deafness, language disorder, sensory integration disorder and global dyspraxia were among many terms being used, and we had little understanding of their meaning.

“We struggled to comprehend these diagnoses and what was truly going on with our sons. Equally we had to make sense of what therapies were available to help our children succeed with communication. This was our challenge.”

It was this quest that ultimately brought the family to San Francisco, and collaboration with Disney, Pixar and Adobe e-learning teams. Having given up their jobs, Valerie and Enda focused on creating a…

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