Autistic Student Creates Emergency Chat App

Emergency Chat: A life-saver at your fingertips

It is Family Game Night and you are involved in a heated game of charades. You flap your arms up and down. Gasping for air, you hope they understand what you are trying to act out so your team can win the game!   These moments of frustration may be a part of Charades but unfortunately is often a relatable experience for people with autism.  In times of emergency, when someone is in dire need of help, they are often incapable of communicating their needs.  

For Jeroen De Busser, a Belgian computer science student at the University of Antwerp, this experience was all too real.  De Busser has autism and while spending an afternoon with friends, he suffered a meltdown.  His friends, armed with good intentions were unable to understand his feelings and needs.

This eye-opening experience led the computer science student to develop Emergency Chat.  The user friendly app is available on Android and iOS.  The splash screen has a base text that explains to the person you gave your phone to that you can’t use speech and want to use this app to communicate. The default text is aimed at people experiencing an autistic meltdown, where their speech centres stay non-functional for a while even after they’ve recovered.

Below are examples of sample text for different situations.

You can then continue to the next screen which has a simple chat client.

Learn more about the app on their Emergency Chat App Facebook Page.



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