The iPad has had a tremendous impact in the education and development of kids with autism. Numerous studies – and, more tellingly, amazing real-life stories of autistic kids’ use of the iPad – have demonstrated what an incredible learning tool it can be. There are many apps in the market right now geared towards kids with autism, but one launched today called AutisMate that is attracting a lot of attention from parents, teachers and caregivers alike.
AustisMate founder Jonathan Izak wanted to create a special app for a very special autistic child in his life – his brother Oriel. Coming from the heart and from personal experience, Izak sought out the best minds in autism to help create a “communication and behavior learning platform” that is specifically designed to meet the needs of children with autism.
AutisMate differs from many apps out there in that it is highly customizable and uses a mix of video and audio functionality to help children become more familiar with existing and new surroundings. Users can take pictures of rooms in their own homes, and then further customize specific rooms, outline functions within those rooms (for example, inserting a symbol on the sink to prompt washing hands, or on the fridge to help them decide what they’d like to eat).
The app comes preloaded with audio prompts and a library of more than 12,000 symbols to help kids learn a bigger vocabulary and help them piece together thoughts to better express themselves. The app is also GPS-enabled, which is helpful when it comes to location-specific learning, like when the user walks to school or goes to a neighbor’s house. But being able to customize the app to suit each child’s home, school and social environment is what differentiates it and makes it unique to each child’s learning experience.
For more information about the app, please visit AutisMate.com. And continue to check back on here to read more personal accounts of parenting a child with autism from our special contributor, Jacqueline Laurita.
AutisMate is available for iPad through iTunes for $149.99.