Apps for Autism

Everyone working with Individuals with Autism can see the amazing potential, and opportunities that successful use of an iPad can bring. And I am sure we are facing some of the same challenges. Finding the time to set the iPad up properly and integrate it across environments. And how can we make sure that our team can access the right training, so it is being used, modeled and integrated effectively? How do we balance it with the other effective learning and communication strategies and technologies already being used? And how, oh how, do we choose the right apps?

I may not be able to solve ALL of these challenges today, but here is a quick and easy list of apps you may like to check out, for students with Autism. Remember to discuss with your teams to help determine whether particular apps will effectively meet the needs and goals of the person and/or classroom. Use the SETT framework (http://www.joyzabala.com/) to help match the right app to the right student, environment and task.

App to help find Apps:

Autism Apps – is a free app that provides a list of the latest apps within category search areas.

Apps to support communication development:

Depending on the communication levels of each person, you may need to look at AAC Apps and/or Apps to develop oral language skills

Apps for AAC:

Here are a few of the AAC apps used extensively by our consultancy team, but please refer to Jane Farrall’s comprehensive list of AAC Apps on our website, or to our Apps for AAC webinars for more information on each App.

 

The following apps can be used to create personal photo stories, chat books, and personal recounts which increase social communication opportunities.

Apps to develop oral language:

Structured learning apps such as: Sentences Builder, Rainbow Sentences, Special Words, Splingo, ABA Flashcards and Speech with Milo, may help to improve the vocabulary, comprehension and overall oral language for those students with Autism that are developing verbal skills.

The following apps are the fun and interactive ones, that allow for building of social interactions, turn taking, as well as great opportunities for oral language stimulation and modeling (aided and unaided).

Any and all TOCA BOCA apps, eg. Toca Hair Salon, Toca Tailor, Toca Tea Party, Toca Kitchen Monsters and Toca Store. With opportunities for engagement and interaction rather than solo play, with a fun and clever interface, these apps are a true winner!
My Playhome – is a virtual dolls house with many interactive elements in each room of the house and is great used for oral language stimulation.
And try these if you like fun stuff (like me): Create-a-car, Dr Panda’s Restaurant, Cookie Doodle, Sound Touch, Playschool Art Maker, Aunty Maggie’s Recipe, Stop&Go, Bugs&Bubbles, and many more.

Apps for Behaviour:

Supporting behaviour using visual tools is very powerful. Some of these apps can be used successfully alongside other traditional low-tech visual tools.

Create schedules, routines, timetables, rules, and first-then charts using these apps:


Proloquo2Go (switch a page to LIST view in the EDIT, VIEW TAB section) to present schedules, timetables and routines in a list format, rather than the traditional grid format.

 

Some fantastic visual timers within apps include:

 

Apps for rewards

Apps for Social Development:

As well as some iPad apps listed below, the ability to easily take photos and videos can allow us to create tools to ensure the effective teaching of social skills on the iPad.

Creating Social Stories (with photos and /or videos) continues to be one of our best tools to help develop particular social skills or address challenging behaviours. Try these apps:

 

Working on Feelings? The following are some suggestions to help students identify and recognise feelings as well as express feelings:

 

This is, of course, just the tip of the iceberg and I think that sharing our experiences and successes is such an important part of helping us to successfully use iPads to support students with Autism.

For more information please head to our website www.spectronics.com.au; where you can access more App information on our Apps for Special Education List, on our blog and via our new webinar collection on Spectronics Online. Email me if you have any questions or comments on amandah@spectronics.com.au

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About Amanda Hartmann

Amanda is a Speech Pathologist with over 17 years experience. She has worked within educational settings, and currently divides her time between her busy private practice and as an Inclusive Technology Consultant with Spectronics www.spectronics.com.au.

Amanda is a Key Word Sign/Makaton Presenter, an official Proloquo2Go trainer www.assistiveware.com/amanda-hartmann and an official expert TBoxApps Trainer for Therapy Box. She is also a certified Apple Trainer and regularly runs iPad workshops to help schools integrate iPad technology into the classroom, for all learners.

Amanda has a special interest in supporting and developing communication, literacy and learning for a wide range of diverse learners, often through the use of visual tools, sign language and technology. She has spent many years providing therapy support and teacher/parent training in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for students with complex communication needs, due to disabilities such as: Cerebral palsy and other Physical impairments, Visual impairment, Hearing impairment, Autism, Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Intellectual Impairment, Angelman Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and others. She also has specialist knowledge to support the literacy learning of students with learning difficulties, language impairments and other diverse learning needs. She is passionate about providing interactive and engaging presentations to educators, parents and therapists.

3 Responses to Apps for Autism

  1. what an awesome piece of blog! It is amazing to know how the advancement in technologies is being used to make the lives of millions, including people with autism, easier than ever.

    This autism spectrum disorder appears to affect about 60 children/10,000 under the age of 8 years and is shown before the age of three in one or more of the following domains: (1) social interaction; (2) communication; and (3) restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities.

    speech and language therapy can help a great deal to treat these communication and speech disorders by providing guidelines for best practice in screening, investigation, early diagnosis and intervention in pre-school & primary-school-aged children as well as adults.

  2. Ann Jones says:

    Have an high functioning autistic child non verbal need free apps fore him

  3. Peter Parker says:

    Good app. Is the Autism app also available for Android?

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