14 Expert-Recommended iPad Autism Apps
Increased awareness of autism spectrum disorder has led to a proliferation of new iPad apps that can be used in conjunction with therapy. Here are our top picks
In the past few years, there has been an explosion in the number of mobile apps for kids with autism. Numerous studies have shown the iPad’s impact as a supplement to specialized therapy when it comes to learning and communication for kids with autism.
Still, there is no silver bullet solution when it comes to apps, and each child will benefit from different apps for different reasons. “The key to finding the best app is not to search in the App Store for the disorder, but by the skill you are trying to address,” says Mark Mautone, President at Integrated Technology for Persons with Autism and Development Disabilities (ITPADD). Mautone offers the following criteria for what parents should look for when making their selections:
- Developer’s knowledge in the area in which the app was designed
- App ratings
And while there certainly is a plethora of apps designed specifically as supplements to kids’ therapy, there are many therapeutic and educational apps that were not designed with autism in mind. Apps from developers such as Toca Boca, Oceanhouse Media, Duck Duck Moose and Spinlight Studios are consistently being used in treatment settings.
The list that follows is a small sampling from experts and parents I spoke with that has proven to be especially useful in both educating and entertaining kids with autism:
Book Creator gives kids the opportunity to flex their creative muscles, author their own stories and export their masterpieces directly to iBooks. The very intuitive interface makes it easy for kids of all ages and stages of development to follow along and it provides a sense of autonomy for building any kind of book imaginable. Mautone uses this app frequently for its ability to create a simple or a complex book that is personalized with text, photos, video, music and even voice recordings. ($4.99, iPad)