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9-Year-Old Boy’s Autistic Kid Brother Can’t Talk, So Older Boy Codes a New App to Help Him Explain Himself

Boredom during the pandemic was the impetus for one 9-year-old’s learning how to build a new app—one that could help his nonverbal, autistic brother communicate with the world. Sean Porter from Southport, UK, learned how to code from his dad, Liam, who owns a cleaning business but was left idling during the pandemic and decided to teach his son. Then, in the fall, a project at school tasked Sean with designing a computer game, but he decided to use his newfound tech savvy to help his 6-year-old brother, Adam, instead. (Courtesy of Kirsty Nestor) Like many children on the autism spectrum, Adam seldom speaks, and finds it difficult to communicate his needs and wants. An estimated 40 percent of autistic children like Adam are nonverbal. “Sean is older and Adam was diagnosed with autism when he was two-and-half, but he never used to speak or anything like that and had intensive …

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