The Bangalore gaming company launches Autista, an iPad app that helps autistic children with speech and fine motor skills
Indian gaming company MadRat Games just released a new iPad app that helps children with autism improve their speech and fine motor skills.
The app, called Autista, was launched earlier this month and includes various puzzles and modes that help with speaking syllables, typing words, and dragging pieces. More the just a tool for instant communication, Autista is meant to help with long term skill-building, according MadRat’s website.
More than 15 months of development went into Autista, which was a collaboration with MadRat, Cornell University Prof. Matthew Belmonte, who also researches at the National Brain Research Centre in Manesar, India, and Dr. Pratibha Karanth, a speech language pathologist who is the founding director of Communication DEALL Trust, an early intervention program for children with developmental language disorders.
According to MadRat, there are about 10 million children in India suffering from autism, but the disability was not recognized by the Indian government until 2001.
Learning for fun
Based in Bangalore, MadRat is a developer that creates stimulating games for children. Founded in 2008 by Rajat Dhariwal, Madhumita Haldar and Manujh Dhariwal. The company’s first game was called Aksharit, a board game that teaches the Hindi alphabet. The company has partnered with Nokia, Intel and Google to release app versions of the game, which is available in 11 Indian languages.
MadRat received $500,000 in funding from Blume Ventures, Unitus Seed Fund and First Light Ventures in December 2012.
Autista became available on the iTunes app store on March 2, but the company announced the launch on March 15. The app is free to download but costs $9.99 for full use of the product. Autista was awarded the Game of the Year, Special Mention Award at the NASSCOM Gaming Forum in 2013.