10 Revolutionary iPad Apps to Help Autistic Children

by Jeffry on August 15, 2010

Teachers and doctors are using iPads as a tool to reach out to children with Autism or Asperger Syndrome and the results are remarkably great. Autistic children are showing tremendous improvement after playing fun-filled exercises on iPad which is less stressful and more fun for both the teachers and the students. Below is the list of 10 best iPad applications to give Autism a voice.

iphone-app-for-autism

Photo Credit: Kelly Nikolaisen

Those who don’t know, Autism is a lifelong disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to other people and the world around them. Those affected typically display major impairments in three areas: social interaction, communication and behavior (restricted interests and repetitive behaviors). 1 in 160 children have autism in some form, making it twice as common as cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, childhood deafness or blindness and ten times more common than childhood leukemia.

Proloquo2GoA must have app that provides you with a full-featured augmentative and alternative communication solution for autistic children who have difficulty speaking.

prologuetogo-ipad-autism

It contains text-to-speech voices, up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, a default vocabulary and much more. Proloquo2Go is considered as a good alternative against buying an expensive AAC device. Even SLPs, teachers and parents recommend it for children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental disabilities, apraxia, ALS, stroke or traumatic brain injury. Proloque2Go app for iPhone and iPad is available for $189.99.

Grace - Gracefully help autistic and other special needs children to communicate effectively by building sentences from relevant images to form sentences.

grace-for-iPad-autism

You can easily customize the app by using picture and photo vocabulary of your choice. The application works in real time and allows the user to select their preferences, then (on iPhone) rotate the device to present a full-sized sentence to the listener – who will read it with them and respond to their request. You can currently have up to eight cards in a ‘sentence’, and the cards are large enough on iPad to not need a full-screen view.

The beauty of Grace is that it ensures the interaction of the user with the listener, and mutual understanding of the user’s real needs help to increase communication opportunities and build trust. The Grace iPhone app was designed by Lisa Domican, a mother of two autistic children in Ireland.  Grace for iPhone and iPad is available for $37.99.

iCommunicate for iPad - If your child is suffering from autism or visual challenges then this app is for you. It allows you to create pictures, flashcards, storyboards, routines, visual schedules and record custom audio in any language.

iPad-autism

iCommunicate for iPad comes packed with 100+ pictures (first 5 have audio) to get you started. You can even add pictures with your camera or use Google image search. iCommunicate for iPad and iPhone is available at $29.99 only. One of the users said -

“A must have if your child has autism! I have a number of apps downloaded on my iPad for my autistic son, and iCommunicate is by far the most useful and easy to use. My son is only 26 months old, yet he is able to enjoy the program. It is so versatile that we could get a Google image of Itsy Bitsy Spider and all he has to do is touch the picture and he is rewarded with a song!”

First Then Visual Schedule - The app allows you to create visual schedules that provide positive behavior support through the use of images that show daily events(i.e. morning routine or therapy schedule) or steps needed to complete a specific activity, (i.e. using the restroom).

First Then Visual Schedule

First-Then Visual Schedule is unique in that it is completely customizable to each user’s individual needs. Users can add personal voice recordings and images directly from their computer or iPhone camera (in addition to the images in the application’s stock library) to create a schedule. This personalization allows for schedules to be created and updated on the go, helping transition through unexpected changes in a daily routine.

Extremely useful for individuals with developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorders, communication problem or those who benefit from a structured environment; visual schedules serve to increase independence and lower anxiety during transitions through different activities. First-Then Visual Schedule is available at the App Store for $9.99. It is currently offered in English, and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch.

iConverse - It is an iPhone and iPod touch application that functions much like a picture exchange communication system (PECS) designed specifically for autistic individuals, and individuals with other communicative disabilities.

iconverse-ipad-autism

iConverse comes packed with 6 built in communication tiles that represent a person’s most basic needs. When activated by touch, the icons give both an auditory and visual representation of the specific need or want. You can even create your own tiles, use the built in text-to-speech engine, or record your own voice! iConverse app for iPhone and iPad is available for $9.99.

AutismExpress - People with autism have trouble interpreting emotions and understanding what different facial expressions may represent.

AutismExpress-ipad-autism

Autism Xpress helps autistic individuals to recognizes and express their emotions through its fun and easy to use interface (see the image above). The ‘Autism Xpress’ iPhone Application is available for free!

stories2learn - It is perfect app to create personalized social stories using photos, text, and audio messages for autistic kids having communication difficulties who need support with excursions, routings, or transitions. In order to create stories just arrange the pictures in a sentence.

Stories2LearnBy

These stories can be used in improving the social skills for students with social learning challenges. Stories2learn can be effective for individuals who benefit from a high degree of structure such as students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or others with special needs that thrive on these visual supports. Stories2learn app for iPhone and iPad is available for $13.99.

MyTalk MobileYet another useful app for your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad that enables people with communication difficulties to express their needs and desires to those around them through a variety of images, pictures, symbols and audio files including human voice.

mytalk

It turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device. Its unique feature MyTalk Workspace backups up all the information and you can easily recover, in case your device is broken. Available only for $39.99.

TapToTalk - It makes communication fun, like another “game” on this cool device. Just tap a picture and TapToTalk speaks. Each picture can lead to another screen of pictures.

taptotalk

TapToTalk allows you to create your own AAC albums to meet the specific needs of autistic child. Currently, TapToTalk includes a library of over 2,000 pictures. You can add your own pictures, photos and sounds. Albums created in TapToTalk Designer are “synced” over the Internet directly to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. TapToTalk app is available for free.

iComm - It is a great visual teaching app for helping your child learn to communicate by providing an affordable, custom built and easy to use communication system using pictures and words – both written and spoken.

icomm

Specifically designed for children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy or autism, who have trouble communicating. The iComm provides content for basic fundamental communication such as; yes, no, more and finished.

iPad is doing wonders and is helping out parents of children suffering from autism. Even Apple critic John Gruber said:

The iPad wasn’t designed with autistic children in mind, but, anecdotally, the results are seemingly miraculous.

If you have experienced any improvement in your child suffering from communication disability or have story to share, please share it via comment box. You can follow us on twitter or join our facebook fanpage to keep yourself updated on such iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad hacks.

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  • http://yahoo.com tina carroll

    I am hope i can get help get my autism adha a ipad or a ipod one of the two it dont have to be both. I will sent you a thank you card said thank you so much i dont have alot of money to get him want he need he need alot of thing. I am hope to find some one on here to help me do this to make him happy.

  • http://tinyurl.com/publthorn07968 http://tinyurl.com/publthorn07968

    “10 Revolutionary iPad Apps to Help Autistic
    Children” was in fact a terrific article, can’t wait to browse alot more of your blog posts.

    Time to squander a little time on-line lol. Thanks for your time ,Stormy

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  • Kathy Russell

    My son with high functioning autism is 30 and has lived in a supported living community for 5 years. He has trouble communicating verbally and I think he gives answers that he thinks will satisfy the questioner and so will require as little effort on his part as possible. He also “thinks out loud” and is perfectly verbal doing that, but if one tries to engage him he won’t say any more. I have read thru all the comments and looked at the recommended apps, but see nothing for an adult struggling with these issues, with all the problems of adulthood as well. He is in a very good program for social skills with others his age and older. Several of the others have aspergers and function way above him especially in communication skills. He has an Ipad and an Ipod touch. What I am asking is are there any apps that address feelings, emotions, relationships (for starters), that are GEARED TOWARD ADULTS? They can have cartoony characters but they should be depicted as adults rather than children. Any feedback would be welcome!

    • Lee

      There is an App called The Social Express…excellent!

      • Maria Carmen

        I’ll google it. Thank you!

  • Lkbk

    Daniela Santos- What apps do you find priceless? I have a high functioning teen that wouldn’t need some of the apps in the article but definitely needs help with identifying social ques. Anything like that?  Thanks for your help.

  • Megcpedsrn

    I work with children with autism.  The Grace app is good if you live in the United Kingdom or Ireland, but not the USA.  The icon for french fries reads “chips” which could confuse American children.  Also the icon for potato chips reads “crisps”, same problem.  Otherwise, its a great app.

    • ShonaC

      Thanks for your comment, you just saved me time and money :0)

  • Rhonda

    Try U-Sync Video Scheduler! It’s the new visual scheduling app for kids with autism that you control from the Internet! Very cool… And made by BGSU!

  • C Mills61

    pleasecan someone send me an iphone for my details call 07973733495

  • K West64

    I have a child that’s austism and she has problem with visualizing. I took her to the doctor the other day and he told me that I need to let Apple know what condition my daughter is in and I need a email address that will go directly to Apple. could someone help me?

    • Jeb1313

      If your child has a speech therapist, they canget you the device and program through insurance, or your local school’s speech therapistcould probably help you get the ipad for your child! I have 2 children with autism that require an augmentative device, and the school therapist helped get theirs!!

  • http://ipadsapplications.com/amazing-ipad-applications-for-autism/ iFan

    cool list, thanks. i saw a similar one few day ago, but this one is different somehow

  • Mswilkerson

    Really really good. Seeing pictures of APPS in a very creative way helps so much. I have the free one and i think its great

  • Dan S

    Do the apps only work with I Pad? Will they work with one of the cheaper tablets

  • Jnjmom

    I have a son that has Hypotonia, Apraxia, Dyspraxia, Sensory issues and is on an I.E.P for a learning delay.  I’m currently trying to find funding programs that will help with the cost.  One of the places told me to get funding he has to be in the system through our county label as SSA but I do not know if he will qualify because what delay my son has are not looked at as a delay by the government due to them being physical not mental so I hope to get help or any suggestions.

  • Pam McPhail Spillner

    I have a 13 yr old (8th grade) Aspergers son.  I have been arguing with the school for a few weeks about him having his own Ipad issued.  They will let him use a unit, Ipad is some rooms and a laptop in other rooms.  He gets so stressed because there is no consistency with what unit he gets each class, and he can feel the difference in the touch of the screen which frustrates him.  At this point I have family who may be willing to help purchase a unit of his own. 
     
    Does anyone know if any of the Android OS tablets are just as good? Looking at prices I’m also considering something like a convertible PC with Win 7 on it.  By the time you buy a keyboard dock etc I don’t see that the tablet really any cheaper.
     
    Any suggestions?

  • Heather Y

    My 11 year old son has Aspergers. he is in middle school and struggles daily with all the classroom changes, homework ect. Is there any programs out there that would help my son obtain an ipad or ipod touch? I would love to be able to get him one, but I am struggling financially. we are in Oregon.

    • Aliceiaskinnerbean

      I have an 11 year old too with Aspergers.I understand how you may feel. The school can provide laptops, ipods, or ipads for autistic children to take back and forth from school(free of charge). They just don’t tell about it. There are also many other great services available. Call the Autism Society at615-385-2077 or Vanderbilt’s Autism Helpline at 1(877)ASD-VUMC. The occupational therapist at the school has the access to get ipads, ipods, or laptops.

      • Heather Yaple

        This is great info! Thank you so much!

      • School OTR

        Hi, I’m a school based therapist (OT) and just want to clarify that getting these devices through school is an administration issue. A supportive administration will support therapist recommendations; however, many districts are in budget crisis and the therapists hands are tied regarding getting equipment and/or technology. Parents, advocate for your children and don’t give up! A good educational team will work with you to do what’s best for your child, but it’s parents that put their foot down that will get administrators to spend $$$ if the team (including you) feels its best for the child. I bring my own personal iPad to school for the kids!

  • Romusan

    i have a girl with cerebral palsy and low vision, how to can use this technologies to help in increase your abilities psychological and educational

  • guest

    I don’t have the money for an ipad for my autistic son. Are there any recommendations for a cheaper route. I know I need a min of Android 2.2 OS in order to download the apps. Looking for feedback on the cheaper tablets ex coby vs google vs ….

  • judy

    special on  TV featuring keyboard that person with autism presses each letter to make a word and a sentence and the sentence is activated and heard through a speaker. people can actually hear the sentence or word that the person with autism has created through touching each letter.  where can that be bought.

  • Demeskir

    Anyone have an ipad for high functioning children and teens with aspergers? Has it helped?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniela-Santos/100000331217639 Daniela Santos

      yes, It’s a priceless aid…

  • Toto053

     For my grandson, the Ipad with proloquo2go increased his speech and language comprehension from the level of a 2 year old to the level of a 5 to 6 year old within a few months of his beginning to use it.

    • San_vitor

      How old is your grandson? does anyone know from which age it is recommended? 

  • J.B.

    What I have found frustrating as I navigate the world of Ipad apps for autistic kids, is that there doesn’t seem to be many directed at my 3.5 year old daughter’s level of functioning (middle functioning?). Like she can ask for what she wants (for the most part, not always), but there is a lot she can’t comprehend in language and a lot she can’t say. I want to help her expand her language beyond tacting and manding, which seems to be the focus of a lot of the apps. So, in the hopes that a few programmers are reading this, let me say my wish list.

    She struggles with asking questions, I would love more apps around that. Oh, and something with helping her to even understand the concept of why questions (totally over her head). And more about answering questions too, I suppose.  There is one app on answering feature/function/class questions, but I think it could be improved upon greatly (like only working on a few categories at a time, making it more customizable)

    She can identify emotion faces, but I would like apps for getting her to understand what these emotions mean – something with pairing situations to how it will cause people to feel.

    I wish there were good apps on attending to someone speaking and language comprehension. My fantasy would be a more effective interactive books, where she could listen and then show she comprehends by interacting with the illustration to act out the story in response to questions (and then at the next level, making inferences because I never noticed until our whole autism adventure how much of books is implied, not explicit). 

    • Dmt

      I so agree with this, my daughter is in the same place and it’s aggravating.  What about social skills more than just the basic  social rules. 

    • Jackie Romulus

      Thérèse is no App for french speaking for autistic children thaïs a shame !

    • Jamie

      I totally agree. I am trying to help my child about the same age with a lot of the same issues you mentioned for social skills. I also have another child whom is older non-verbal and a lot of the programs that “help” non-verbal kids speek are way too complicated for me or my non-verbal son to use. We have spent a lot of $ for apps that are too complicated and don’t help.

  • Cuttcarla

    Anyone with a special child needs to take the time to help them talk….this is a great place to start!!(I truly love you Lexie!!)

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WWX7EDHQFQCDV2JU2CQYQ5R3C4 .

      Carla…Lexie in BASD?  If so, I know you and lexie from IU20.
      Hope Lexie is doing well!
      Love to connect……

  • Chloe Jasmine

    Hi My name is Chloe, and i am a very curious 11 yo, I love my little autistic sister so much, i always use my own personal investigations on her, my task 2day is to find sort of apps on the Ipad that could help her, i strongly recommend icommunicate because, Autistic children are more recognized to their real surrounding than animations and cartoons

  • Jem

    has anybody found them(I-pads) to make a difference to their child ?

  • http://cscott.net C. Scott Ananian

    John Gruber is hardly an “apple critic”. He’s more often called an “Apple fanboy”. But otherwise, great article.

  • http://cscott.net C. Scott Ananian

    John Gruber is hardly an “apple critic”. He’s more often called an “Apple fanboy”. But otherwise, great article.

  • momtothebrilliant

    Autistic children?!?! Autism does not define are children so please do not list it first when describing them…it’s offensive. better alternatives are: children on the autism spectrum, or children with an autism spectrum disorder, or kids with ASD.
    Thanks

    • justsayin’

      I have a child with autism too and I think people who get so easily offended by semantics are the reason other people get uncomfortable around people with disorders—and their moms. You are entitled to your opinion, but at the very same time you should should realize you do not speak for all people with autism or their parents. Overly sensitive parents like you make people uneasy because they are so afraid of saying the wrong thing!! I am not so persnickety about such things because I don’t regard autism as a negative–so it doesn’t offend me to say autistic child any more than gifted child, artistic child, outdoorsy child or whatever. Think about it—if an app was being marketed to kids who love art or draw well you wouldn’t think it offensive to say “an app for the artistic child”, would you?

      • responder101

        Couldn’t agree more! I’m a mom living with autism and I’m never offended by the use of the word. Semantics are overated.

        Love the article!

      • Cathy

        yes I agree – “difference” does not equate to a negative.  Autism can be categorised as a disability, but often the term “disability” still has connotations as being “less” rather than different.  I have an “Aspie” son….is it offensive to call him Aspie…I don’t know!!?   Sometimes I think it is all the citizens of the world who can’t accept difference that actually have the disability!!  I’m up for anything that will support him to experience success and strength…whatever it is called or however it is marketed/packaged!!

        • Craig

          My admittedly high functioning aspie son is 14 and  i call him aspie, not always of course, but it’s in the mix with the other nicknames i call him, my theory is to try and “normalise” (for want of a better word) the term for him. I think as parents we have to not be too thin skinned about these things, but also not to let our kids get labelled, a very fine line that is most difficult to define. I will never criticize another parent or what they say, as long as they believe they are doing every thing possible for their kids, then they are right too.

      • Leahmrobins

        Thank you. They are great words. In order for us to be able to understand our world we categorize things. It’s not offensive to do this. Our autistic kids do it everyday without trying to offend anyone ie. that lady’s fat. She may well be offended but the truth is that she is fat. But she might also be a mother, a doctor or whatever. Our autistic child is stating the obvious. The lady has two choices to accept what has been said or be offended. It is her choice.  My son is autistic but he is also cute as a button, great at ball sports, and immensely affectionate. To say that he is not autistic is denying part of who he is. I don’t need to hide my sons disability behind a smokescreen of politically correct mumbo jumbo. People will always see the disability first. It stands out just like a pimple does on your otherwise smooth face. Its human nature to notice whats different… It is very difficult not to notice the wheelchair of a person without legs. Even though we may not say anything its the first thing we see. And we say to ourselves oh that person is disabled. They are in a wheelchair. Oh they have no legs,but what a beautiful face and strong arms they have. Oh look at how able they are . Gee they move around really well in their chair. And so forth…………..

      • Mayojohnstons

        you dead rite!

  • Just a Mom

    I am a mother of a 3 year old boy with Autism. The IPad changed his life for the better. It gets better everyday. Communication is increased. Eye contact is increased with the shape identification app. He is a super genius boy with the puzzles and I showed him only once. He is learning to imitate with the painting apps. We have made custom voices and pictures for the AAC like app and when he hears my voice on the app he smiles, HE SMILES!! The IPad made him smile. Most importantly, this device is making a difference. Yes, it is expensive. And yes, we had to save for the IPad. But, it is not in desperation that drove us to the Apple store to purchase this amazing device. It is in hope. As a parent, you should want to give your child every bright chance you can, Autism or not. You should tell them, “Greatness waits for you” everyday. So, find a way to buy the Ipad. It makes a difference for the good.

    • Shani

      I’m a mother of a 3 year old autistic child as well and im looking for apps on the ipad that can help him the same way you say it can. He has the AAC app but he hasnt gotten around to using it effectively.. he just presses some here and there to see what it says.. What apps do you think were most beneficial? Which app did you use to include your own voice? Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks! Please email me..

  • Pilotwife

    At “YOUMAKEMESICK” you are WRONG! Not every one of “THEM” (nice choice of words btw) “kids” receive money. Mine does not and I know plenty of families who do not. The money provided for that child is for assisting in the everyday living expenses for that child, my son seems to be VERY expensive. Those families qualify for it and can use it however they need to. We DO NOT qualify for or it, not would we accept it as we DO NOT need it. It is VERY disturbing to me to see all the hateful, nasty comments. SO MANY from SO MANY of you. You do remember these parents have special needs children? You do understand that not only is that a VERY hard thing to do but if they are saying I want to try this and can’t afford it does anyone know of any other way or help, why not support and offer information or advice. All of you NELLY NAY-SAYERS and DEBBIE DOWNERS, go somewhere else. If you don’t have a child with autism YOU DON’T get to have an opinion.
    To you parents struggling, try a fundraiser, even if you just put cans on the grocery counters and mini-marts. Best of luck!

  • MommaBear

    Don’t listen to the idiots, Davey. I know exactly what you mean, and the same goes for ABA therapy. It is highway robbery and a cardinal sin to make so many helpful things so unattainable.

  • Davey

    I understand the effort and work that goes into developing these apps better than most so have to wonder…why are apps that might genuinely help the children that need it most so expensive?

    Developers preying on desperate parents? I’ve paid a lot for the iPad already as I thought it would benefit my daughter who has global developmental delay but I didn’t imagine that apps that might actually help her would be priced out of reach.

    Get a grip on reality and stop trying to make a buck from the misfortune of others.

    • Mykids

      she get money per month shut up and pay if you love her wont have ha e a problem paying if your into helping her on a real note

    • NJTech

      Hi,
      I totally agree with you. I have been a special education teacher for over 15 years and specialize in technology for children with special needs. (specifically with integrating iPads and iPod Touchs with children wi autism and developmental disabilities). I developed an app, but it is affordable and if a parent emails to request a promo code due to financial issues, I have no problem giving them one. I set a specific amount of promos codes aside for this very reason. My intent was not about making money, it was about helping children and give teachers a tool to use with their students.

      • Dr. W

        NJTech, I would be interested in what app you’ve created.  Please share the title or a link, WillcocksonConsulting@gmail.com

      • Vmacdonald

        NJTech, I am also very interested in what you have created.  I’m a school psychologist working in a school district special ed dept., and have a wonderful autistic child we’re working with daily.  We also have been trying to develop an ap.  It would be wonderful if you could share a link?  To vmacdonald@dsdmail.net.  Thanks a ton!

      • MScarff

        Hi NJTech, I am a therapist working with kids with autism teaching verbal behavior and am currently receiving my master’s in applied behavior analysis. I’d love to hear more about your app if you could spare the time! My email is MorganScarff@gmail.com Thanks a bunch!

      • Patsysparks

        I have a 41 yr old mentally retarded daughter who has never had a way to really communicate and I am wondering if there is an app that might help her.  She has fair receptive language, but only words she speaks are mama and no amd mine.  Lisa functions at about a 3 to 5 year old level.  Is it possible she might actually be able to express her thoughts with an ipad app?

      • Bettsmotherof3

        I have a son diagnosed with Autism and would love to get a code for help, thanks Liz:

  • ChildrenEducation

    Nice post. A good piece on ipad Apps for Autistic Children. The benefits that technology is bringing and will bring to children with disabilities are truly notable! Information sharing at web speed and the tools that hold it are so helpful to all of us.

  • Designer J

    Hello David,
    I am a design graduate student looking to develop an app for the iphone/ ipad for young folks with autism. I would really like to get in touch with you about what sorts of challenges your son has and how you think new technology could be helpful. If you have a moment please email me. jclarothe@gmail.com
    Cheers!

  • Kate

    I bought myself an iPad for christmas and can barely use it for my 7year old grandson with autism is always using it. The apps he are using are from the “talking” app series, for example the talking cat and dinosaur. If you aren’t familiar, they repeat every word sound or noise you make, so I think it is great for a child with autism, because it “requires” him to communicate, and it is so much fun that he will spend quite a bit of time throughout the day talking to the animals”. I believe these apps would be beneficial for kids with autism who use minimal speech, such as my grandson as it provides a fun reason to talk with no pressure or urging from caregivers

  • keith Watkins

    thanks this is going to be a great help for my 14 year grandoughter to comuacate with us .

  • Michael

    Now that I got that off my chest.

    I purchased an Ipad for my wife in November for her birthday. She actually does not get a chance to use it very much. This is because my 11 year old son with autism is constantly on the thing. There are so many apps that he uses: puzzles, word searches, games, communicative assistance, interactive storybooks, etc. His vocabulary has increased as well as fine motor skills. In fact, I think his overall demeanor has turned a bit more positive.

    For those thinking “should I get one?” I would highly recommend it if you have the means. At $499 (without 3G) it is much cheaper that many augmentative communication devices. I am going to get another one (for my wife, again) in the near future.

    In addition, we have to remember this thing is so new. More and more apps will be coming out over the next few years. I would not be surprised that in the next 5 years if touch pads, like the Ipad, would be covered by insurance for individuals with disabilities.

  • Michael

    I think the premise of the article was great but it should have been written politically correct. The disability should ALWAYS go after the subject. Therefore you don’t label it “my autistic son” you would state “my son with autism”. You would say “children with disabilities” instead of “disabled children.” The person comes first (as it should be because they are more important) the diagnosis comes last. Therefore, your title should read “10 Revolutionary iPad Apps to Help Children with Autism.” I was actually suprised to read viewers who state they have children with autism post this incorrectly.

    Otherwise, thanks for the information and the research.

    • jkmm

      Michael, I understand your view but I definitely don’t see it as being politically correct. I have no problem saying my son IS autistic because it is a huge part of who he is. I don’t say my son HAS autism because to me that sounds like he HAS some sort of curable disease. I can’t separate the autism from my son – it is so much of what makes him who he is, and how he sees the world. But – to each his own. I have no problem with people who see it the way you do, and I would hope you would give others the same consideration. :)

  • Heather Neal

    Awesome article! I have been playing back and forth whether to get my 6yo one. I think you pretty much solidified it!

  • http://www.flatpackinteractive.com/ Anna

    My favorite app is BallFallDown by FlatPack Interactive. It is an Entertainment App that allows users to take an empty iPad screen -”board”- and construct thier own interactive game. You can make all sorts of things including pinball machines. It helps autistic children to enhance their creative mind and imagination. You guys can check it out also. It is free in iTunes, anyway.

    Thanks for the great article and keep up the great work.

    Merry Christmas,
    Anna

  • http://www.extraspecialkids.com Pamela

    I’m a children’s book author who has a son on the autism spectrum. As a way to reach him, I wrote a series of picture books for special needs children–the only book series out there FOR spectrum kids (rather than about them). I wrote these as a way of helping children (like my son) with limitations understand their symptoms better in a positive and engaging way while trying to boost their self-esteem.

    This past Saturday, we released our first book, “Zanny, Born to Run”, as an interactive iPad app with an emotion/face-recognition game attached and the next day it was chosen by the editors at iTunes to be featured in the “New & Noteworthy” section of the iPad app store.

    Just trying to get the word out, since we’re new. If anybody is interested in checking it out, you can reach Zanny in iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zanny-born-to-run/id409817073?mt=8

    Thanks!

    • Michael

      Awesome! I love hearing how people are helping others with this app stuff. Wish I new how to write one. I going to check it out now.

  • Amy

    Most of these apps were designed for nonverbal kidddos. We just got an ipad for my son, age 7, who functions more toward the higher end of the spectrum. I’m hoping that developers will continue to develop these apps for all levels of functioning. Stories2learn is a good one, but it needs to have preloaded pics already in there, with the option to add your own if you want.

  • kristy pry

    My son is 5. He has apraxia, hes currently in kindergarden we are trying to get him the V made by Dynavox. Isaac also has heart disease, HLHS.. hes very delayed devolpmentally…. the insurance has already denied him for the V. They wanted hi to use the V for awhile. He does pt, ot and speech therapy twice a week. He gets home schooled right now because he was getting so sick. the smallest cold would land him in the hospital. Now im wondering if the Ipad would work just as well as the V?? Only thing is i dont know if his insurance will cover an Ipad…. He really needs help, When he uses the V he is a completely different little boy, the temper tantrums are at a minimum.He has the loaner V till after the Hollidays. any ideas are greatly appreciated !!

    • Debbie H

      Hi Kristy,
      I have two boys on the autism spectrum. Our school district bought my oldest son an ipad to help him learn and communicate. I think an ipad would absolutely do the same job as a Dynavox, plus so much more for him. There are laws that say that schools must support students to help them learn. This would be an assistive device for him. This could be put into his IEP. Contact me— maybe I can point you in the right direction!!

      • Rachel Roth

        Hi was wondering if you could help me find out how my nephew who is autistic might be able to get an iPad to help him at school and at home .

        • bobby

          Best buy has ipads now with 18 months no interest.No one would help me get one for my son so i had to go to best buy for it and it is wirth the money.Im a single fulltime father of a 11 year old with limited income so if i can get one so can u.

  • melissa

    hey

  • http://www.zBobbApps.com Bob Bradley

    Hello. We have just released the first of our Dr. Gary Brown DTT Autism apps – Autism Colors. This app uses the DTT (Discrete Trial Training) method to teach the basic colors. Please visit our web-site for more information.

  • VK

    This is great except for the parents, like myself, that spend all of our money caring for our multiple autistic children. Places like Apple do not just give these things out by the goodness of their heart, and the normal family with more than one can barely get by month to month and can’t afford luxuries like this.

    So what’s the use discussing it, if only the really rich parents can afford to have this sort of tool for their children, the rest of us are stuck trying to muddle by without slick gadgets like this.

    • Jarrod

      I agree VK, I have two autistic daughters (3yrs & 2yrs). I would give anything to get my hands on an ipad. Unfortunately, the cost is too great for us. Between spending money on Speech & OT and GFCF diets, this is out of the cards especially when you have to pay for the app along with the ipad. Wish us both luck huh!? jarrodandjess@gmail.com

    • Michael

      I understand that these are expensive but saying the conversation is useless unless you have money is foolish. Some individuals save (for a long time) to afford these these “luxuries” for their children to provide them with a device that may give them an opportunity to progress through life a bit easier. And obviously many others care because they write programs to help our children. And many of the apps we use are free. For those who have money, its easier to obtain one. For those who don’t, try getting one through a different source. Ie: raising money from family, friends, etc. Set up a garage sale to benefit the purchase of an ipad. Go online and try to win one. Contact your church. Put it in their IEP, many districts will then HAVE to buy one for your child. Stop eating out one day a week.

      I know these are tough times for many, but you can’t scold those who can afford to purchase these. You can only work harder to obtain one yourself, if thats your goal.

      I know, first hand, that those who dont have the extra cash to throw around get less help or less quality help for their children. The cost of therapies alone prevent most people from being able to do anything else. A few hospital stays without insurance could put you without a home. Its horrible and the best I can do is say write your congressperson and hammer your state insurance commission. I have no answers there and have been searching for them for years.

      But your comment has hit a note with me and it poses an issue that is a problem in our society. And this problem doesn’t only exist in low income families but also in middle income families who are forced to spend most of their income taking care of their child(ren) with disabilities. Therefore, because I am such a believer in these devices for children with disabilities, I am going to look into creating some type of charity that may help try to get them in the hands of more families that have children with disabilites no matter what their income level is.

      Just don’t hate or scold those with money. They are the same people who can help you.

    • Chrissybrandon

      Hi, just for you information the coalition for autism gives out grants for children with autism as long if it is education related … you can get the money you need to buy a ipad for your child. My daughter has autism and the ipad is wonderful.
      Chrissy B.

      • Gerry Banford

        Out of interest and for reasons that will help justify the expense…. can you share how it is that the iPad has assisted with your efforts assisting your daughter. I am a special needs teacher and I am looking at purchasing iPad technology and software for some of my students with learning disabilities. I would like to know how this technology can assist with my teaching efforts. I do have some ideas myself but it would be nice to hear from someone (people) who are already using this technology and how they are using it. This would also assist me with programming needs.
        Thank you in advance
        Mr. B.

    • gingo

      Then why are you even on a website for gadgets and ipad apps???

      • Davey

        gingo, how is that helpful in any way?

        Is there anything lower than annoying people who are looking for help?

    • BrendensDaddy

      We aren’t rich rich and we just bought an ipad. I understand not everyone has the money just laying around (we don’t exactly have it either) but if you think of how much you spend in other areas you just might be able to save up for one in just a few months. Got cable television? Most people do turn it off and save the 40-60 dollars amonth for a few months and buy an ipad. That’s just one way another way is to appeal to a local charity, church, autism support group etc. and ask for aid in getting one. Might take you putting together some info or a presentation to convince people to help but it can be done. Think outside the box of being a poor victim and step up for your child. You can make things happen for your child if you are willing to not allow something as petty as pride and lack of money get in your way. If you are poor have you thought about what will happen to your child when you are gone and they have no support? Perhaps if you have you could access that support for an ipad if it’s important. Heck, write a letter to Steve Jobs asking him to danate one to you and send a copy to your local newspaper. You have the power to change the life of your child. You just have to be willing to do it.

    • Joyous

      I’m not sure what state or country you live in but I am from NSW Australia and I just found out that ipad purchase can be reimbursed thru the FACSHIA funding. Hopefully this works for you

      • Emliew

        Hi Joyous,
        Can you provide more info and advise under which category or grants can you get reimbursed for an iPad purchase through the FACSHIA funding. If you have a moment pls drop me a note at emliew@hotmail.com Cheers, EL

    • Youmakemesick

      each one of them kids get money a month you need to ha ve jobs and use there money for them not paying your bills if your real parents you wont think twice about gettin something they need that could halp them get jobs or better jobs ya bum so you can use there money for stuff that they need

    • Bigreatgt

      Take advantage of the public school service and what they have to offer. As part of the Special Education Dept., there should be an Adaptive Communication expert on staff with access to technology and funding.

    • Takeoivy

      try applying for different grants with a letter of support. Cops for kids is always a great place to try ;  )

  • Jerry fisher

    if you can send me information on your Prologuo2Go and my talk mobile. also, can these be used with out having telephone services from a certain company. My wife had a stroke and cannot talk. this seems to be a market you should explore there is a lot of adults who cannot communicate. thank you jerry fisher 3518 13th st apt 6 menominee, mi 49858

    • Evilyagyu

      Jerry, I am going to recommend against giving away your personal info where anyone can see it. These apps are for iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad devices. You’d be hard-pressed to get them otherwise. If you have more questions, contact me at evilyagyu@gmail.com. Good luck, sir.

  • Jennywinningham

    I am a master’s level behavior analyst who just made my first app for the itunes store! I developed the turn taker as a tool to teach clients how to take turns or share. Originally this app was designed as a way to help me teach social skills to my personal clients. I have had other practitioners and parents ask me to release the app on the iTunes app store after seeing the success my clients have had with this simple tool. If anyone is interested in trying out the turntaker for free I was given some free codes by the itunes store. Please email me if you are interested and i will reply with a code.
    jennywinningham@gmail.com

    Thanks!

    • Sandi Strouse

      I have a 5 year old grandson with speech apraxiz that could benefit from learning to take turns. I have been looking for an affordable device to help him communicate.
      Thank you, sandi

    • A Wilson

      i am interested in looking at your app. I would like to have the code. My email is alphonese.wilson@docoschools.org

    • Aj

      Hello, I teach emotionally disturbed special education students, grades 2nd through 6th grades (some have autism).Would this application be helpful for this age group? If so, could you please send me the code? ajrobin2@yahoo.com Thank you for your efforts to help others!

    • Sngkmay02

      Do you still offer the turntaker? If so i really am interested! Still have a code? Thanks so much. Nikki~

    • Emunz_840

      I am the mom of a 4 y/o beautiful boy on the spectrum and would be very appreciative of a code to try your app with.

      Sincerely,

      Evette (for 4 y/o BJ)

      • Emunz_840

        I am so sorry– I failed to include my email address in the above reply .

        emunz_840@comcast.net

  • PJMom

    My child is 7 and is completely non-verbal. This looks like a fantastic option to try as we are desperately looking for a communication modality for her – thanks to everyone’s efforts to develop these great tools!!!! PJ Mom

    • Jennifer

      Hello,
      Just wondering if you have had any luck doing this with your child that is non-verbal ?? I’am having the same problem with my but a little younger?
      Thank-you,
      Please e-mail me at franklinj24@yahoo.com

  • jdad

    These apps are pretty amazing, as is the iPad. Are any of these apps available in Spanish?

    • Speechie

      Try picca. It’s from the University Of Granada in Spain

  • Culdesac2290

    I’m a mom to a son on the spectrum and thought i’d also share this App with everyone: iBiomed is a Free iPhone App for ASD familiesManage your child’s Therapies(ists), Rx, Supplements, test results, diet, food allergies & track behaviors on your phone/ipad/ipod touch. This App has multiple reminders, journals & creates instant “emailable” histories & reports for your health care providers or mentors (pple u want advise from on forums). More info at http://facebook.com/ibiomed.Also check out: http://sites.google.com/a/biomedprofile.com/ibiomed/demo-videos for demo videos

  • http://appcompanyipaddevelopment.com/ ipad developers

    The fact that iPad and other touchscreen tablet devices can be of great help for autistic children is really wonderful news! I’m glad that developers started to work in this direction and created these amazing apps. I like all the ideas and I believe these apps are really helpful.

  • David Moore A

    Yes, this is GREAT…but what about the high-functioning autistics? They especially need some kind of program that will address breaking out of perseveration; ameliorating their laser-like focus upon one/two interests; broaching the concrete-to-abstract barriers that SO MANY fail to overcome; et cetera. As the father of a 20 yr. old autistic male, I’d love to see some of these issues “attacked” and conquered – even somewhat!

    • Graceappforautism

      Why don’t YOU develop something David? A lot of these apps are developed by parents of the kids who really need them, because they weren’t available. If you have an understanding of what you think your son needs then sit down and draft out an app to suit him, get an iPad or iPhone and create a proto-type to test, then go on line and approach an App developer to create it. Plenty of App developers out there looking for ideas. Place to start is “Moms with Apps” Developer group once you have your idea drafted.
      xx

  • Irish9229

    Can you please NOT refer to people with autism as “suffering” from it.
    They are not.

    • Voice of reason

      So PC. Maybe higher functioning folks on spectrum are not suffering. I assure you on the higher end they are suffering. Don’t be so absolute.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jphilipfaranda J Philip Faranda

      Yes, it is a walk in the park. No suffering for children or parents alike. A big bowl of cherries. Honestly, I think all the energy that kvetches about the PC way of referring to autism and related issues could be better channeled into something more productive than label nazis.

    • Cathy

      Actually have you ever read all the social disadvantages and mental health issues that plague people on the autism spectrum?  Massive un and underemployment, extreme depression and anxiety, social isolation to name a few…the social side-effects of this neuro diversity in a neuro typical world are serious and DO cause suffering…I always let my Aspie son know that he is a person with a brain that works a particular way…with it’s own strengths and challenges…but let’s not be in denial about how many people on the spectrum experience the world around them…it is not easy for many of them

    • Lkbk

       My daughter is a highly functioning Aspie- and I can assure you- she suffers because of it. She has no friends since she doesn’t understand how the flow of conversation goes, she interrupts and enters conversations when she isn’t welcomed, the people chew her out for it, call her names and she leaves-crying. She’s 19.  She was only “diagnosed” 3 years ago, to show you how highly functioning she is- but believe me, she suffers. She’s been asked to leave 2 schools for being disruptive and I was just called into her community college (she can’t live independently-yet) due to her being disruptive- not understanding that she was offending people with her blunt comments. Yes- they suffer. Don’t fool yourself.

  • No_Tie

    Great summary. You might also be interested in our app, AutoVerbal which is an affordable ($5) option. Check out http://www.AutoVerbal.com

  • Anonymous

    Great summary. You might also be interested in our app, AutoVerbal which is an affordable ($5) option. Check out http://www.AutoVerbal.com

  • TherExtras

    I recommend any parent embarking on the iPad-to-develop-language path ask their speech/language therapist to hold their hand.

    ('Suffering' is the wrong and inappropriate word for those experiencing autism.)

  • Graceappforautism

    Tfireman: Proloque2go has a keyboard along with the pictograms grid. The sound is very good on an iPad and you have a choice of 4 voices. It's also a fraction of the price of a standard, very ugly AAC device.

    Thanksfor featuring Grace App- developed with and for my autistic daughter Grace. It is really for Autism an encouraging independent interactions.

    I tried out iComm on the weekend with a young lady with severe Cerebal Palsy. IComm was developed by a father of a child with CP and he knew exactly what she needed, as you can select and move customized pictures with a clenched hand. He knew his stuff.

    Xx

  • http://www.autismhangout.com Cevans

    Jeff, I would like to speak more with you about these apps for the audience at Autism Hangout (dotcom). Please contact me there. Thanks for you coverage!!

    Craig Evans
    Founder – Autism Hangout (dotcom)

  • Tfireman

    Or any of these wonderful devices adaptable and appropriate for adults who have lost the ability to speak due to oral cancer but are not on autism spectrum?

  • Camella

    Jeff, thanks for making my day. I have already placed an order for my iPad and will install one of the app recommended by you to test on my daughter.

  • Shemolla

    how about voice4you? How does it compared with those mentioned above?

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