27 visual, sensory, and augmentative apps for autism

Heatpad: Enjoy a realistic simulation of various heat-sensitive surfaces reacting to the heat of fingertips. $0.99; https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/heat-pad-relaxing-heat-sensitive/id312188695?mt=8

Scribblify: A universal drawing and painting tool for children and adults. Scribblify is packed with 42 hand crafted brushes, each with its own unique appearance and behavior. From neon glow to glitter, organic to surreal, most of the brushes are unique. The wide variety of exclusive brushes, preset backgrounds, advanced color effects, mirror drawing capabilities and social sharing tools ensures endless entertainment. $1.99; https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scribblify-imaginative-doodle/id412842078?mt=8

Galaxart HD Pro: This app will allow anyone to create their own space backgrounds. Pick from a large selection of objects including stars, galaxies, nebulae and planets. $0.99; https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/galaxart-hd-pro/id436425392?mt=8

Art in Motion: This app allows users to create a scene instead of a painting. Instead of drawing mountains, or trees, users can customize and add orbs to the scene. Instead of looking at the drawing, users can watch orbs come alive. Unlike a painting, there is motion and life in the creation. Users can even interact with the scene. $2.99; https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/art-in-motion/id385456596?mt=8

Tiltoria: This app is a mesmerizing animated light show, music visualizer and psychedelic paint box all rolled into one. Free; https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiltoria/id460391221?mt=8

Barley concluded her webinar by suggesting a group of augmentative apps. Augmentative or alternative communication is the term that “encompasses the tools and methodology used to support or replace communication for individuals that have speech or communication impairments,” she said.

Good augmentative communication apps:

Proloquo2Go: This app provides a “voice” to over 50,000 individuals around the world, who are unable to speak or have difficulty speaking. Proloquo2Go enables people to talk using symbols or typed text in a natural-sounding voice that suits their age and character. $219.99; https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/proloquo2go/id308368164?mt=8

Grace: This app is a non-speaking, simple picture exchange system developed for people with Autism to communicate their needs independently. Users can select pictures to form a semantic sentence which they can then share, by tilting the iPhone or iPod touch to create a full screen view, and pointing at each card to hear the listener read each word. The cards are large enough on iPad not to need the full screen view. $24.99; https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grace-picture-exchange-for/id360574688?mt=8

My Choice Board: The goal of this app is to present a visual display of “choices” to those with limited communication skills. This gives individuals with Autism, communication delays or learning differences the opportunity to be independent and express their own specific needs and wants. $9.99; https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-choice-board/id384435705?mt=8

TapSpeak Button: This app modernizes the idea of a mechanical switch that records and plays messages. Developers have taken the idea and extended it to provide a portable, convenient, and stigma-free tool to use for basic teaching and communication tasks. TapSpeak Button is especially useful for teaching cause and effect relationships. $14.99; https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tapspeak-button/id359998293?mt=8

Assistive Express: An affordable Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) app, catered to people with difficulty in speech. The biggest challenge for such users when using AAC devices is the number of key strokes or hits required to construct any sentences, which can take up a significant amount of time to have a decent conversation with anyone. To overcome this challenge, Assistive Express is designed to be simple and efficient, allowing users to express their views and thoughts at the most express manner, with natural sounding voices. $17.49; https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/assistive-chat/id379891874?mt=8

Predictable: A text-to-speech application that offers customizable AAC functions with the latest social media integration. Using a word prediction engine and switch access, Predictable meets the needs of a wide range of people using AAC, including those with MND / ALS, Cerebral Palsy and people with communication difficulties after a stroke or head injury. $159.99; https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/predictable/id404445007?mt=8

Meris Stansbury

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