The Best Apps For Kids With Autism Used by Parents and Teachers
Whether you’re teaching a child with autism or raising one, finding different methods and ways to reach them can be challenging. You may have noticed though, that one thing many children enjoy, autistic or not, is your tablet or smartphone. Allowing them to mindlessly scroll through the internet isn’t a good idea, but there are some great ways to incorporate your smart device into helping you to both reach the child with autism and teach them too. How? By using an app for kids with autism.
There are many apps available for children with autism, unfortunately though, most of them cost money. Since they’re not free it makes it difficult for parents and educators of autistic kids to know which apps are worth spending their hard earned money on. To help out, we researched for you to find the best apps that help autistic kids so that you don’t have to keep wasting time and money on our search for the best app to help the special needs child in your life. Here’s the three top rated autism apps rated as best by teachers and parents of children with autism.
Touch and Learn Emotions App
As we mentioned already, finding a good app for children with autism that’s also free, is not very common. This one is free though, and highly rated and loved by educators and the parents as well. So what does this app do? Touch and Learn Emotions is a free app for kids with autism that helps children that are finding it hard to express their emotions with words to learn how to relate and empathize with other kids.
They can identify and name emotions as well as facial expressions and body language. The app is customizable too, which means that words and photos can be swapped out for those that the child will recognize. Learning to identify both positive and negative emotions using this app has been helping children with autism improve communication with their peers and adults. The only con we found mentioned was that some of the photos could be identified with more than one emotion.
The Touch and Learn Emotions app is easy and simple to use and is available on iTunes. There may be some in-app purchase offers or upgrades offered.
Language Builder Pro App
This app is used mostly by teachers with special needs students, but it’s also great for use by parents with autistic children. The app allows you to set up separate profiles, which is helpful if you’re using it for more than one child. Language Builder Plus app helps the child to develop expressive language.
Questions like this one are asked of the child, “Make a sentence about this picture.” They can record the sentence and their answer so that they can later hear themselves play it back, which users say is a handy feature and loved by children. A hint button is there for the autistic child to tap on for help, and the difficulty level can be adjusted as you go. When used by a teacher or parents that are co-parenting a child with autism, this app has a helpful feature that allows you to email the sentences being worked on and share the progress the child is making with the parents or others that are also aiding in raising the child. This way the work being done can be followed up with the other individuals in the child’s life.
Language Builder Plus is available on iTunes and the cost for Pro is one of the cons at $119. There is a basic Language Builder App also available, and it’s $39. They have sales during holidays when the app is often sold for 50% off, so be sure to check it out then.
Other cons would be that the app doesn’t provide the child with feedback so it’s important to have the child using the app with an adult that can help them know if they’re on the right track. Although the price is quite high, parents and educators can’t say enough about this app and it’s highly recommended.
The Social Express II App
This animated app has been created to boost a child’s social awareness, which is especially helpful for a child with autism. The Social Express II shows the child the importance of eye contact and how to read and understand nonverbal cues. There are several lessons included for beginners through advanced users and social skills are taught in scenarios a child may encounter, such as a cafe, a music store, a park, and a fire station.
One of the biggest raves about this app for kids with autism is that the graphics are done so well that the child will feel as if they’re really interacting with their onscreen character. This app gets high ratings by teachers and parents, the downside would be the cost. It’s free to try, but subscriptions can be pricey and start at $69.99 a year for a single user and child. It’s available on iPad or on your computer. Discounts are available for schools.
Other Free Apps For Children With Autism
A few other apps for children with autism that are worth mentioning are these free ones: ABA Flashcards, ABC PocketPhonics Lite, and iTouchilearn Words. You can also explore iTunes for the right autism app by using the Apps for Autism which is a searchable app that allows you to sort autism apps by device type, price, rating and other details so you can find the right app for you and your child or student.
These apps for children with autism are all for iOS users, however, some can be used on your computer as well. Unfortunately there are not a lot of highly rated apps for Android or other operating systems as of yet. If you have a favorite app or even just a great tip on teaching and reaching your child or students with autism, we’d love for you to share it in our comments below.