Tips for parents and careers – Apps for autism
The iPad can be used as a learning tool for children and young people with special needs. There are loads of useful apps available helping children with their communication and social skills.
Take a look at some of the apps we are using at Swiss Cottage:
Apps for Communication
Communication for children on the autistic spectrum can be very difficult and sometimes frustrating, there are a number of apps that help children and young people to articulate their thoughts and feelings more clearly:
- The TapSpeak series: There are three apps in this series; TapSpeak Choice allows you to make pages for communication, TapSpeak Sequence is for timetabling and other sequencing and TapSpeak Button is a single button that you record a single message one. You can store your single messages for retrieval as often as you like. TapSpeak uses Meyer Johnson Picture Communication symbols.
- Proloquo2Go: This is editable communication software, which can be adjusted to suit a wide variety of users and has a word prediction system attached to the iPad keyboard.
- TouchChat: TouchChat enables children to select words or phrases to help them communicate easily.
- AutisumXpress: This app helps children to recognize and express their emotions using symbols.
Apps to support learning
- World Jigsaw: This app lets you choose features from around the world, such as animals or places and creates an on-screen jigsaw puzzle for you to complete. You can then read information about the feature.
- Dragon Dictation: This app will record your voice and turn it into print. Useful for people who have a clear voice but find spelling difficult.
- Talking Tom: Tom is a cartoon cat who copies your words and sounds and plays them back to you in a playful voice. You can also give him drinks of milk, stroke him to make him purr and tread on his tail to make him MEEEOW. Great for encouraging vocalisation.
- iMindMap Pro: Mind mapping app to help you organise your thoughts.
- Phonics Genius: Helping children and young people to learn how to speak, read and recognise words through phonics awareness.
These apps are fantastic sensory tools helping children to develop cause and effect skills:
- Pocket Pond: This app recreates the sounds and sights of pond life on touch. You can add lily pads and move them about.
- iLoveFireworks: Creates simulated firework displays on touch, which can be saved and replayed.
- Spawn lite: A light show that you can control with a touch of your finger.
- Ibeam: A light show with sounds that you can control with touch.
- Fluid: You can control water with a touch of your finger with soothing music in the background.
- Koi Pond: This is a water feature app that enables you to design your own underwater scene and then run your finger through the virtual water to create interaction.
- Bobble zoo: Cartoon animals shake their heads when you shake the ipad and make the animal sound when you touch their heads.
- Bubble Popper: Hours of fun popping bubble wrap! – therapeutic for children and parents alike!