Here are 10 iPad apps that would benefit a child with Autism both at home and in the classroom. Your feedback is always welcome. If there is a better app that you think is worth mentioning, add the details in the forum section.
10. Receptive by Function (a.k.a. Function):
This app was created using 66 superb, concrete, colorful images that could be used by educators and parents to boost their learner’s auditory and visual skills. The app also includes clearly pronounced real audio which is used to encourage vocal imitation in the listener. Classical music is randomly played along with visual reinforcement to maintain your child’s interests…while introducing them to some of the most successful composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.
9. Garage Band
Students can actually learn to play an instrument through this awesome music app and recognize sounds as they appear. Equally as important, the learner can record themselves playing these instruments and hear the play back.
8. Toca Boca Hair Salon
While this app is not specifically for children with autism, someone suggested it to me as a way to help autistic children do something they normally wouldn’t do – get a haircut. Like most apps from Toca Boca, this is about open-ended play. Being able to be in control of an animated client in the salon chair can really put your haircut-fearing child at ease after several try-outs.
7. Go Go Games
Go Go Games™ is an award-winning suite of iPad games designed to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) learn to quickly notice multiple features of all sorts of objects. This perceptual skill is essential to learning and comes naturally to most children, but is known to be a common difficulty for those with ASD.
6. What’s the word.
What’s the Word shows four pictures and lets its users select a word that describes them best. The app builds vocabulary, and is a simple, yet challenging way for children on the spectrum to engage.
This app features 10 games and 90 puzzles that were developed based on two years of feedback from parents, early childhood educators, and occupational, speech, and cognitive experts. With its play-based learning style, toddlers and preschoolers will practice fine motor and language skills, visual processing, memory, spatial awareness, and understanding cause and effect. The app is ideally suited for early intervention.
This free app empowers children with autism to create their own new boards in 1000 lessons. There are Flashcards that have a word and picture. Children can play mini-games by touching the correct photo or matching an image with the right word. Word and sentence builder have the child drag and drop letters or words into the correct sequence. It’s easy to create new boards that can be tailored to their curriculum. Grasshopper Apps offers many different, inexpensive early learning apps that offer flexibility and customization for children with Autism
3. Autism 5- Point Scale EP
Autism 5 -Point Scale EP is a free app children can play on their iPad and is developed by the Autism Society of Minnesota. Not only is it simple, but easy to use for elementary and older students. Students would benefit from a simple method of identifying emotions and feedback about how they feel and potentially what strategies they could use.
2. TouchChat HD
TouchChat HD is another iPad for kids with autism, which uses pictograms to help them construct sentences. TouchChat has seven English-speaking voices, and sentences can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, text message and email. It also lets users build sentences, but does not have audio playback. Words, phrases and messages are spoken with a built-in voice synthesizer or by playing recorded message. Five US English and 2 British English synthesized voices are available, allowing the user to choose a voice that fits their own personality.
Children with autism often face difficulty and delay in communication. Approximately 25 percent of people with autism speak few or no words. Decades ago, 50% of people with autism spoke few or no words and suffered from language disabilities. The positive trends have to do with tech tools that supplement the learning inside the classroom. An example of such an app is Proloquo2Go is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app that educates children on the spectrum to construct sentences using symbols and pictures. It also has text-to-speech (in American and British children’s voices), word prediction, and a customizable vocabulary and interface.