(WXYZ) - Nabeela Jaffer has watched her son, Salman, struggle to communicate for years. He's 16 years old now, but was diagnosed with autism by age 4.
"His receptive language good, but it's his expressive language where he has some issues," she says.
So Jaffer, who's also a computer programmer, noticed how much Salman loved playing games on his iPod.
That inspired her to create an app called 'My Words'.
"This can help anyone struggling with communication difficulties. It gives voice to people who can't talk for themselves," she says.
It's a mobile device app that lets *you* create a multi-sensory dictionary.
It's a compilation of words and sentences that are like a set of personalized flash cards with a voice.
With the app, you can type in a word, take a picture of it, record your voice and put it in a certain category.
If her son has trouble saying something, he can just tap on the picture that's on his phone.
Right now, there are hundreds of words and phrases in Salman's My Words app that have been recorded by his parents.
The Jaffers say the My Words app is making a difference they can see and hear.
"Sometimes he keeps listening to the word until he says it," says Nabeela Jaffer.
"He's getting engaged in conversations now and his frustration level is
down," says Salman's dad, Mateen Jaffer.
Nabeela believes the My Words app can do the same for people on different levels of the autism spectrum and anyone who needs help expressing themselves.
"If they can communicate, they can have opportunities," she says.
The My Words app is $9.99 and available on iTunes.
The app comes with a "share words" feature that lets you share your child's vocabulary with friends, teachers and caregivers.
To learn more about it just go to http://mywordsapp.com/