October 28, 2021


by: admin


Tags: app, Communicate, Created, Nonverbal, Sister, Teen


Categories: autism

Teen Created App To Assist His Non-Verbal Sister And Others Like Her Talk

14-year-old Della Calder is nonverbal due to a rare genetic condition called Bainbridge-Ropers syndrome, which is caused by changes in the ASXL3 gene.

According to Spark for Autism, it’s linked to nutritional difficulties, low muscle tone, intellectual disability, and sometimes autism. Della was only one of four people who were known when she was diagnosed in 2012, but doctors have since become better educated about the syndrome.

Photo: YouTube / Upworthy

50 percent of people with Bainbridge-Ropers Syndrome also have autism, including Della.

Since childhood, she has had repetitive behaviors such as head shaking, poor eye contact, language difficulties, and aversion to changes in her routine.

Photo: YouTube / Upworthy

Her 16-year-old brother Archer had always wanted to communicate with his sister easily, but found that she did not have easy and affordable access to means of communication. He knew if his sister struggled with it, so did many other families.

Archer is committed to finding a way to help others who are struggling with the same communication gaps.

Photo: YouTube / Upworthy

Archer worked hard to come up with something to help these people who needed more affordable options, and in January 2020 he programmed an app called Free Speech.

Free Speech is a program that helps nonverbal people and allows a series of buttons to be used to generate sentences that will help them communicate easily. The buttons have visual icons to represent different words. Custom buttons are included, but the app comes pre-installed with an extensive vocabulary.

Photo: YouTube / Upworthy

Whether cell phone, desktop or tablet, Free Speech works on any device that has an Internet connection.

Before releasing the app, Archer posted a video of his sister trying it out on TikTok. Thousands of people fell in love with the idea, and Archer worked with fellow developers to bring his idea to life.

Photo: YouTube / Upworthy

“Even if it helps one person – even if that one person is my sister – it is worth investing these hours for me,” Archer tells Upworthy.

Learn more in the video below or click here to visit the free speech website.


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