As we are growing with the field of technology, we are realizing more and more that our children are benefiting from the use of these new and innovative tools that are being marketed. Even with some of the basic (but crucial) skill development for children with Autism, the i-Pad can be a fantastic tool in helping with bridging the gap. With April being Autism Acceptance Month, many app sellers/distributors have special deals and discounts on apps that are designed for kids with autism. There are just so many options out there–from reading emotions to apps that are social stories about making friends.
Below I have listed some of the autism apps and ABA apps that are being highlighted this month.
Please do not miss our other very popular posts on apps:
- 75 apps recommended by OTs, SLPs and Special Ed teachers
- 20 fun Christmas apps for autism
- 5 apps to address executive functioning deficits
- 16 apps developed by an SLP
Please note, I have deleted some of the prices because they have changed. I will not be updating with new prices since they are subject to change. Please check the app store for full details, thanks.
Here are some of the skills sets that you can work on with your kids with apps:
- sensory skills
- language and communication skills
- social skills
- functional skills
- stress reduction
Great Apps for the I-Pad that work well for children with Autism and other sensory or social skills deficits
- Look in My Eyes–clever way to help children with autism develop the habit of looking in the eyes of another person.
- proloquo2Go- this must-have app provides you with alternative and augmentative communication features for children that have speech/language difficulties. The program contains text-to-speech voices, up-to-date symbols, a default vocabulary, and much more. Speech/Language therapists, teachers, and parents recommend the program for children and adults not only with autism but also for cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, apraxia, ALS, developmental disabilities, and stroke or traumatic brain injury. Proloquo is considered by many to be the gold standard in communication apps and it’s a bit spendy. But, they have offered it at 50% off on World Autism Day, so check back.
- Autism Express–facial expression and emotions are some of the most difficult things for people with Autism to interpret. This program helps Autistic individuals recognize and express their emotions through fun and easy interface games. Application is also available for free!
- Model Me Going Places–great program that models social skills to kids in various settings like the playground, mall, restaurant, doctor, grocery store, and getting a haircut. It plays through each setting with pictures, text, and audio as you flip-touch through each page and “social story”. Perfect for kids with ASD to help with social skill building and understanding social situations.Plus it is free!
- Stories 2 learn–create personalized social stories using photos, text, and audio messages for autistic kids that have difficulties with communication, transitioning, excursions, or routings. Easy to create sentences by just arranges pictures in a sentence. This program can be effective for children with ASD or others with special needs that do well with visual prompts.$13.99
- icommunicate–amazing program that allows you to customize your in any language by creating pictures, flash cards, storyboards,vital schedules, routines, and custom audio. There are 100+ pictures to get you started and you can add pictures with google search or your camera.
- Grace–designed by Lisa Domican, a mother of two autistic children in Ireland-this application’s idea is to gracefully help autistic and other special needs children effectively communicate by building sentences from relevant images. You easily customize the app by using picture and photo vocabulary of your choice. The idea behind Grace is to ensure interaction of the user with the listener, and mutual understanding of the user’s real communication needs and build trust.
- Tap to Talk Education– pretty, cool “game-like” device to teach communication. Tap the picture and the Tap to Talk speaks.With over 2,000 pictures and the ability to add your own photos and sounds, this program allows you to create a very individualized album for your autistic child. Plus it is amazingly….free!
- My Talk Mobile Actions–useful app that enables people with communication difficulties to express their needs to those around them through pictures, images, symbols, and audio files including a human voice. Turns your iPad into an alternative communication device (AAC).
- iConverse– this program is more like a picture exchange board (PEC) that provides the user tiles to choose from with both audio and visual. This is perfect for the ASD child that has communication difficulties.
- Autism Tracker Lite-Autism Tracker can be life changing for families with an autistic child. Explore Autism. Track what matters to your child and your family. Use the visual calendar and multi-item graphs to view and discuss patterns. Share individual events or entire screens with your team using Dropbox, email or Twitter (Twitter lets you set up closed groups).
- Touch and Learn Emotions-helps reinforce learning emotions of others by what their body language and expression is.
- Turn Taker-Turn Taker uses visual and audio cues to facilitate turn taking and sharing for any child. The app also includes an illustrated social story about game play and sharing. This app has been used successfully with a variety of young children who find it difficult to share.
- Manners Social Stories-This app includes a 10 page social story about why it is important to be polite, and how to have good manners. The app also includes a simple visual support for using the polite phrases from the story.
- Autism iHelp, WH questions-Autism iHelp is a vocabulary teaching aid developed by parents of a child with Autism and a speech-language pathologist. Autism iHelp was inspired by the need for specific language intervention tools for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder focusing on their unique strengths and difficulty with expressive vocabulary.
- Social Skill Builder-2 modules in the title Preschool Playtime (Preschool & Playground), 13 modules in the title My School Day (Laughing, Table Talk, Classroom, Transition Time, Lunch Time, Jungle Gym, Team Games 1 & 2, Cubby, Eating, Playground, Hall & Line Up), 2 modules in the title My Community (Friend’s House & Restaurant), 2 modules in the title School Rules! (Hanging Out & Classroom Assignments)
- Social Comprehension-Social Comprehension is an app dedicated to helping people of all ages, particularly teens with Autism and other special needs. This will help with their understanding of various social situations, teaching them how to interact and study with their peers.
- Autism Emotion– Autism Emotion uses music and a photo slideshow to help teach about different emotions.
- Autism iHelp, Language Concepts-Autism iHelp is a vocabulary teaching aid developed by parents of a child with Autism and a speech-language pathologist. Autism iHelp was inspired by the need for specific language intervention tools for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder focusing on their unique strengths and difficulty with expressive vocabulary.
- Autism Apps– If my list isn’t good enough or big enough for you, then check out Autism Apps. Autism Apps is simply a comprehensive list of apps that are being used with and by people diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome and other special needs. It also includes links to any available information that can be found for each app. The Apps are also separated into over 30 categories, and the descriptions are all searchable, so any type of app is easy to find and download.
10 ABA apps for kids with autism
- ABA Flash Cards – Alphabet – Kindergarten.com
- ABA Flash Cards – Animals – Kindergarten.com
- ABA Problem Solving Game – Which Go Together? – Kindergarten.com
- ABA Receptive Identification – Kindergarten.com
- ABA Problem Solving Game – What Rhymes? – Kindergarten.com
- ABA Receptive Identification – By Class – Kindergarten.com
- ABA Flash Cards – Food – Kindergarten.com
- ABA Sight Words – Kindergarten.com
- ABA Flash Cards & Games – Emotions – Innovative Mobile Apps
- ABA – Problem Solving – What does not belong? – Innovative Mobile Apps
In Canada, there was also this phenomenal project that was completed last year by some teachers and researchers in the assistive technology field with Autistic children to specifically look at which apps worked best in certain areas for the i-Pod touch. Rather than re-invent the wheel, here is that publication for you to have for your reference: Apps for ASD i-Pod Touch Project
All said and done, there are so many great technology tools now readily available to parents. It takes just a little bit of research to see what best fits your child’s individual needs for success.
(please note, I am checking this post and updating in 2015, though Michele originally posted it, thanks! Lisa)
Feel free to leave us a comment and tell us some of your favorite apps, thanks.