Kids with autism face a number of challenges in learning, socializing and communicating thus requiring special care. Technology and more specifically mobile technology can help a great deal in this regard. There are a wide variety of apps designed specifically to help kids with autism learn and communicate better.
These apps can help kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental challenges (e.g., Apraxia, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, etc) develop a number of key skills that cover areas related to communication, decision making, problem solving, emotional management, social interaction, language learning, logical and abstract thinking, creativity, hand-eye coordination, self-confidence, color and shape recognition, attentiveness and alertness, and many more.
These are all apps that are being used by fellow teachers, educators, and parents and have proved their efficacy. I invite you to check them out and share with us if you have other suggestions to add to the list (use my Twitter handle @educatorstech).
1. Speech Bulbs
Speech Bulbs is a speech learning app designed to help kids with autism learn new sounds and words and improve their speaking skills. Some of the features it offers include over 350 articles on parenting, homeschooling and speech therapy; over 1500 exercises, activities, videos, games and many more.
2. TinyTap: Kids’ Learning Games
TinyTap offers over 200.000 interactive learning games to help kids develop various skills including social, emotional, and literacy-based skills. Games cover different subjects and grade levels. The app also provides personalized recommendations and enables teachers and parents to track their kids learning progress.
Miogym is another helpful speech therapy app for kids with autism spectrum disorder. The app offers numerous exercises and interactive games to help with the development of sounds, articulation, and pronunciation. As kids play the games, they receive rewards and move up in scale of difficulty helping them become confident speakers.
4. LAMP Words for Life
LAMP Words is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app that helps with language development and communication skills for kids with autism spectrum disorder. Some of the features it provides include various text-to-speech voices, pre-stored core and fringed words, a vocabulary builder, word finder, ability to save customized vocabulary, and many more.
5. Proloquo2Go AAC
Proloquo2Go is another good communication app for kids with autism. Some of the features it provides include a wide variety of natural sounding voices, a customizable collection of vocabulary terms, a grid keyboard organized alphabetically for persons learning to type, the ability to select a language and region for Crescendo vocabulary, numerous grid sizes and accessibility settings that support scanning and Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader, and more.
6. Articulation station
Articulation Station helps kids with autism learn to speak and pronounce words more clearly. The app offers different learning activities at word, phrase, sentence, and story levels designed to enable kids practice their sounds. Other features provided by the Articulation Station include 22 sound programs, over 1000 target words, beautiful visuals, flashcards, scoring and data tracking, voice recording and playback, group sessions, among others.
7. Kids Autism Games – AutiSpark
AutiSpark offers a wide variety of interactive learning games and activities designed specifically for kids with autism. These include words and spelling games to teach reading skills, math games to help with the recognition of numbers and patterns, tracing games to help with practicing writing uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers, memory games to help develop cognitive skills, puzzles to improve problem-solving skills, eye direction games to enhance kids response to visual stimuli, and more.
8. Wonster Words Learning Games
Wonster Words helps kids with autism develop key reading skills using fun and interactive games and word puzzles. ‘As the child drags a letter puzzle, the name of the letter and the phonics sounds will play. Once the words are completed, children will enjoy silly videos headlined by the lovable Wonsters.’
9. Leeloo AAC
Leeloo AAC helps kids with autism and other learning or behavior disorders (e.g., Down syndrome, apraxia, Angelman syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc) learn to communicate using cards and text to speech technology. Each card in Leeloo corresponds to a word or concept that is used in daily communication. Kids choose select a card to have the words or phrases associated with it read out loud.
10. Keiki Learning games for Kids
Keiki provides a wide variety of educational resources to help kids with the developmental needs of kids with autism. These resources include learning games, colorful worksheets, interactive cartoons, engaging activities and more. Examples of games and activities include: memory cards (memory exercise to help kids enhance their cognitive skills), trace letters (helps kids practice writing letters), ABC puzzles (helps kids train their letter recognition and basic phonics), jigsaw puzzles (enhances imagination, abstract and logical thinking), and more.
11. Avaz AAC
Avaz AAC is a speech app that enables kids with autism to communicate in clear and articulate ways. The app offers over 15.000 pictures with voices together with a number of modes such as the picture mode which embeds 3 levels of vocabulary, the keyboard mode that include a prediction system to help with constructing sentences checking spelling, and Avaz Live which enables users to video-conference with therapist from within the app.
12. Autism ABC
Autism ABC provides a huge collection of learning activities designed to help kids of all ages and all levels of autism. ‘The available activities range from purely playful and entertaining to those aimed at developing different cognitive or even motor skills. For each activity there are several levels of difficulty. The App, in a completely automatic way, increases or decreases this level by analysing the child’s behaviour: the difficulty will increase if children succeed in the activity in a confident way or will decrease if they encounter too many obstacles and difficulties’.
13. Otsimo | Special Education AAC
Otsimo helps kids with autism and those with special needs develop their motor and cognitive skills through interactive games that involve ‘assistive matching, drawing, choosing, ordering with the help of visual and auditory cues.’ Otsimo games cover different categories including vocabulary, numbers, emotions, colors, music, animals, vehicles, and more.
14. Card Talk
Card Talk facilitates communication for kids with autism. The app includes 200 cards each of which comes with voice sound. The app also supports multiple languages and allows users to make their own original cards using their pictures and recordings. Kids can indicate their ’emotion/intention, and learn vocabularies and grammar at the same time.’