A non-profit, Common Sense Graphite, has come up with what they think are the best apps for working with kids on the autism spectrum. Here is a categorized partial list based on highest rating:
- Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings: Singing and role-playing conversations based on emotions. Covers not only words but facial expressions and body language.
- Touch and Learn Emotions: Helps kids identify feelings such as excitement, sadness or anger. One drawback of the app is some of the images could identify more than one emotion which could be confusing.
- Breathing Bubbles: Name “joys and anxieties” by creating sentences and putting them into bubbles, then “releasing worries” and “embracing joys.”
- IF…The Emotional IQ game: An adventure game that “promotes wise decision-making and respect for others.”
- Mood Meter—Building your Emotional Intelligence: Kids “explore a grid of emotions to describe their current mood.” It is expected for users to create much of their own text and images as built-in images and text are “limited.”
Language and Communication:
- Proloquo2Go: Tool to help kids with speech difficulties communicate better. App needs to be customized to reflect kids’ current abilities and goals. Note: Cost is $220.
- Language Builder Deluxe: Audio and visual tool to learn language. Kids must have interaction with an adult to evaluate their sentences as there is no feedback. Note: Cost is $10.
- QuestionIt: Basic approach to teaching “question words and concepts” to kids experiencing language delays.
- The Social Express II: Interactive lessons “help students to cope with real life situations.” Free to download but subscription required.
- Social Stories: Help for kids to write social stories such as “School Day,” “Home Day,” and “On the Bus.” Note: Cost is $7.
- Conversation Builder: “Themed scripts” help kids to practice “successful social exchanges” including turn-taking, initiation and staying on topic. Note: Cost is $20
Summary: There are numerous apps that can help kids on the autism spectrum with emotions, communication, social skills and schedules (not included in this article). Cost is free to a few dollars unless otherwise noted. All the apps are available on Apple products (at least iPad) but only a few are available on Android. Most of the apps cover at least 4 grade levels—usually more.
Sources: Graphite.org and autism.einnews.com