5 essential apps for autistic learners

Apps for communication, visual prompts, and daily routines

Mobile technology has opened up a plethora of resources for students with special needs, including students with autism. Here we’re highlighting resources and tools that educators might find useful in helping engage students with autism.

The autism spectrum disorder rate in children is about 1 in 68, according to current CDC research. As more students on the autism spectrum enter classrooms each year, technology has the potential to help those students have equal access to educational opportunities.

The now-closed website APPitic.com, which curated apps from Apple Distinguished Educators, suggested a number of apps pertaining to special education, communication, and helping students with autism.

Here are 5 apps to help children and adults with autism develop skills, learn, and interact better with others.

1. ABA Flash Cards, $1
Designed for young children with autism and other learning disabilities, Kindergarden.com has created flash card apps to stimulate learning and provide tools and strategies for creative, effective language building. Different apps include the alphabet, animals, sports, actions, emotions, earth science, famous places, and many more. Each category is a different app with stimulating pictures and a soothing voice to go along with each flash card.

Next page: Essential tools for daily routines, reading, and more

2. iPrompts, $50
Developed by the parents of a child with autism, iPrompts provides several useful visual prompting tools to help impaired individuals transition from one activity to the next, understand upcoming events, make choices, and focus on the task at hand. This app is used by parents, special educators and therapists of those with disabilities, including individuals with autism, down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and apraxia of speech. This convenient app allows caregivers to not have to carry around physical cards and pictures, and displays everything on one handy screen.

3. Speech with Milo: Interactive Storybook, $3
Developed by a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech with Milo is a series of apps that help teach children with learning disabilities about verbs, nouns, parts of speech, and now with this app, interactive stories. An original story, this will keep any child interested in this book with interactive features on every page and the ability to record their own story. This app helps build storytelling, boost confidence, and develop narrative skill.

4. Choiceworks, $7
Choiceworks is an essential learning tool for helping children complete daily routines, understand and control their feelings, and improve their waiting skills. this app is designed for caregivers to provide clear and consistent support to foster a child’s independence, positive behavior, and emotional regulation. Key features include the schedule board, waiting board, feelings board, and image library.

5. NLConcepts Autism: Sort & Categorize, Free
Natural Learning Concepts is a website that is known for producing top quality products for autism, speech and language, and special education. They created this app to help children with learning disabilities differentiate between items, understand their function, and sort items into broader categories.

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