There’s an App for That (Children’s Edition)

And boy are there! In my last blog, I listed just a short snippet of apps available for iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad that help children on the Spectrum. I thought it’d be wise to list more, those for Autistic children (this post), those for Autistic adults (next post) and those that can be used by all (last post). If I offend by suggesting something as just for children that can be used by Autistic adults, I do apologize. I’m going more “generally” for kids than for adults. So without further ado, my list.

For Autistic Children:

  1. Free Apps
    1. Autism Xpress – An app that shows basic faces. The colors are vibrant and the pictures, inviting.
    2. Talking Tom Cat – This cat copies everything spoken to it, then repeats it aloud for you to hear.
    3. Model Me Going Places – A group of simple social stories for your child to read about going to different places. While I think the concept is good, I prefer the customizable social stories other apps (below) provide.
  2. $10 and Under Apps
    1. PBS Kids – My Journal – ($1.99) – This app has two parts. Created by PBS Kids under the Mister Rodgers Neighborhood Brand, this little app has stories that can be read and have multiple choice answers about responding to different things. Then you can also have your child create their own personal journal entries with simple words and pictures. No longer available.
    2. First Then Visual Schedule – ($9.99) – Allows creation of personal picture schedules. It has some preset images, but you can also talk your own, and add your own voice over. Also the layout is visually appealing to me.
    3. iReward Chart – ($2.99) – There is a lite version to this app, so if you’re not sure, you can always try that out! It’s a chore + reward chart. The free version only allows one child to be add, the paid version you can have multiple children. As well, you can have as many or as little chores as you think your child can handle. Each are fully customizable, as well as the rewards.
    4. Social Stories – ($6.99) – This app contains 2 sets of 6 stories for young and advanced learners. There is also an option to create your own, but I suggest using their Stories 2 Learn app for that (below).
    5. Kindergarten.com’s ABA Cards – ($0.99-$1.99) – I’m giving you their website as they have a whole series of ABA apps for identification, problem solving, receptive learning and more. Each type is a new app, which means while they are each priced low, if you get all of them, it will be over $10.
    6. Larry the Talking Bird – ($4.99) – Much like Talking Tom Cat, Larry repeats what you say. You can also play a tune on the piano and Larry will sing it back to you. I’m not sure that extra feature is worth the price tag for me, but it might be for you if you have a musical child.
    7. iWriteWords – ($2.99) – There’s a limit to the preset words, as well, you can’t work on a single alphabet letter, only as the alphabet as a whole. However, that said, this app (haven’t tried) seems like a good investment if your child is still learning to form letters correctly. They also seem to write “correctly” much like the Handwriting Without Tears program. It also gives more spots to hit than HWT does. Definitely recommend.
    8. Sight Word Flash Cards – ($0.99) – Otherwise known as Dolche words, this app has flash cards for most readily used Sight Words. This is great for beginning readers, or those having trouble with spelling.
    9. Tell Time – ($1.99) – This simple app has 3 stages of learning to tell time. We haven’t gotten to this yet for either of the boys, so I have not used it yet. However, recent discussions on some lists made me aware how difficult it is for non-visual learners to learn to tell time. For those, I think this app would help gain that skill.
    10. Sentence Builder – ($3.99) – With 3 skill levels, pictures to help guide, this app helps learn to make complete, and grammatically correct sentences. It offers a range of pronouns, adjectives and verbs to construct a sentence.
    11. My Choices Board – ($9.99) – I had not seen this before, but very much want to use it now! My Daniel uses choice boards all day at school and at home. It requires us to take a picture, laminate, then apply velcro to any new toy or game he likes. This app you can do the same thing without creating binder after binder of PECS and pictures. If you’ve ever had to go through that process you know how tedious it is. If not, consider yourself lucky! At least now I know “An App can do that too!”
    12. abc PocketPhonics – ($0.99) – Many schools now days require their children to learn both Sight words and by Phonics. This app has children listen to words and pick out the sounds they hear to spell. I think the game-style interface makes this less grueling and instead makes it fun for children to learn.
  3. Over $10 Apps
    1. Look 2 Learn – ($24.99) – This AAC app is listed under for children as I think some of the other apps are a bit more robust for adults. However, it does allow for customization, adding your own pictures, and adding a voice.
    2. Stories 2 Learn – ($13.99) – Unlike Social Stories (above), S2L is solely for parents and teachers to create social stories. The use of your own pictures, words, and voice create truly customized social stories for any use.

This is it for now. My next installment is my very short list of apps for adults on the Spectrum. Stay tuned! And please take the time to donate to our iPad fund for Daniel. Though I only listed one above that I expressly want for him, many more of these would also be useful for him, both at home and at school.

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