Watch How Apple’s Technology Helped an Autistic Teen Find His Voice
Dillan Barmache, a 16-year-old with autism, always had a lot he wanted to say. Now, with some assistance from his iPad, he’s sharing those thoughts with the world.
In a short film released on World Autism Awareness Day called “Dillan’s Voice,” which was created by Apple to celebrate Autism Awareness Month, Barmache tells the story of how he always wanted to connect with others, but had difficulty communicating what he wanted to say. That all changed when he began using his iPad to type out his thoughts, which are then read out loud with an augmentative and alternative communication app.
“Having a voice has changed everything in my life,” Barmache says in the video. “No more isolation. I can finally speak with the people that love me. I can say what I think and let them know I love them, too.”
Barmache’s use of this technology first made headlines in 2014, when he delivered a middle school graduation speech at the age of 14.
Apple also released a follow-up video called “Dillan’s Path” starring Barmache, his mom Tami and his therapist/communication partner Deborah Spengler, who explain the importance of remembering that someone who isn’t making eye contact or using their voice is still an individual who deserves to be understood.
“Not being able to speak isn’t the same as not having something to say,” Tami says in the video.
As Barmache said in an interview with Mashable about the film, “The iPad allows me to be seen.”
Watch “Dillan’s Voice” below:
And the behind-the-scenes follow up “Dillan’s Path: