iOS Apps for Autism


 Name of application    
 What is it?

 Screen Shots/Videos
What works
 Better for autism if...
 ***** My PlayHome
by Shimon Young

click link above to go to itunes page
 A virtual playhouse with people and interactive elements

 This is adorable! There are many interactive items including a TV that has actual video (loop), fish that react when you tap on the tank, bouncing balls, running water, and a kitchen full of edibles you can make the people eat.
Now has a yard and Dad has joined the family. Kids LOVE this app! Soothing music too!
This is a great "working for" application! Thank you Shimon!

 I'd love to see different poses, and if I can dream, some facial expressions, though I know this steps things up to a whole other level.

May be overstimulating for some kids because there is no clear ending. Some children with autism may "stim" on one or more actions. Not so much an issue with the app as it is with the match to the child.
 *****     Behavior Assessment Pro

Created by a BCBA of Vermont Behavioral Solutions, LLC

 An interview facilitation tool for functional behavior analysis with automatic graphing of function classes.
 This is a really nice app to help facilitate conversations around behaviors. Enter a behavior and proceed through a series of questions that ask the interviewee about settings, antecedents and consequences as well as the topography of the behavior (e.g. frequency and intensity). Some questions ask for the interviewee to list or elaborate, so the results offer the full picture. Interview can be repeated with other individuals. Makes a great start for an FBA.
In a test run, the questions drew out information from the experienced education team that they had not previously considered. Graph showed that the functions were more complex than originally thought. The team agreed with the findings.

 This really fits for kids with autism.
It might be nice if the user could enter some custom questions, even if not factored into the graphing of the function.

 ***** Living Safely
by AbleLink

for iPad

(pocket version for iTouch/Phone also available)

 A collection of illustrated and narrated safety concepts for individuals with significant living skills challenges.
High quality and salient drawings from the Attainment Company illustrate safety in 27 categories/environments of daily living. Includes fire safety in the bathroom and kitchen, food handling, sports safety, passenger and pedestrian safety, relationship and internet safety and more.

Each photo is narrated with clear speech.
Nice interface prevents frustrating accidental selection.

Geared to the older student or adult.
 It would be great if alternate recordings could be added in case the vocabulary is not appropriate or to use specific cues. Some language may need to be simplified or made more concrete for some individuals.

A little quiz at the end of each category might be nice.

 ***** Everyday Skills
by AbleLink

For iPad

(pocket version for iTouch/Phone also available)

 A collection of photo-illustrated guides to participation in community living skills.
 This app contains content from the Attainment Company. Narrated photographs walk the individual through steps to 40 different school/home/community activities such as getting a haircut, going to a variety of stores and restaurants, pet care, chores, medical appointments, signs, riding the school bus, going to school, and more.

Some photos depict children and others depict older individuals, depending on content.
 As above, it would be nice if alternate language could be added.

It would be helpful if the 40 different stories could be organized into folders: school, home, community.

 **** R+Remind
by Pyramid
Educational Products

 Random interval timer for prompting caregivers or teachers to reinforce at a selected average time interval
 It is great to see that someone has finally made a random interval timer!

Random interval timers are particularly great to help schedule reinforcement for ongoing behaviors such as on task or production behaviors. Without a timer, we are at risk of being subjective as to when we reinforce (or collect data). The random interval prevents the "scallop" effect that is caused by the subject's knowledge that there will be a fairly predictable amount of wait time until his/her behavior is rechecked. Use of a timer for behavior reinforcement keeps the team more consistent and allows for gradual increase of the interval in a systematic way. iPhone allows for vibrate mode for more subtle cues.
 Directions are not in the app, so I had a hard time understanding what the program does when I first received it.

Could also be used as a timer for taking data samples.

For data samples, It would be nice if there could be a fixed interval option.

 It would be nice if it could continue to run in the background.

It would be good if the user had more control over the sounds.

This has potential for self-monitoring. It would be nice if there was another option for the "give praise" that was customizable. It could say, "pay yourself" or "Are you working?"
 **** 2Do By
Guided Ways
 My favorite scheduling application. Tabs and to-do's within tabs. Sound, pictures, alarms and more
 This app does not necessarily target the disability population, but is incredibly flexible and has many features.
Fits right into Structured Teaching practices.
Add tabs for each schedule item and within each, add steps to the task or sub-tasks. Add high quality recordings, pictures, alarms and much more. Ideal for schedules with built-in work systems.
The picture you see is a Boardmaker icon that I took a screenshot of (cmd/shift/4) and put into iTunes.

An animated pencil crosses off finished items.
 It would be nice if pictures could be resized to be visible as mini-thumbnails without being cropped. It would be nice if pictures could be added to tabs.

It would be nice if a set of to-dos could be on a separate "page" so that there can be an AM set and a PM set.

Easy to accidentally open the edit pane for the entry when trying to check things off. Could be a deal-breaker for kids with poor motor control. Got me a few times.

The app is a bit complex to learn to use.
 **** iPrompts by Handheld Adaptive
 Scheduling, timers and Choices for individuals with autism spectrum disorders

iPrompts by HandHeldAdaptive LLC

 iPrompts is a very easy-to-use application for making schedules, task directions, choice "boards," and even work systems (list of job tasks). It also has integrated visual timers that can be used as stand-alones or can be integrated into the schedule. Stock illustrations and photos are included, plus users can import photos easily via the built-in camera on iPods (newest) and iPhones.
NEW- Video library download for in-app purchases!

Overall, well worth the price of $49.99.
 It would be helpful if a check-off feature was available, or the option to see two items at once for the first/then effect.
The lack of these two features cost the star. What we know about schedules is that they need to be checked off somehow (or disappear) when done.

 It would also be nice if more choices than two could be put on the choice board.

Internet search feature for images could pull up interesting results...
 Proloquo2Go by Assistive-
 Assistive and Alternative Communication

YouTube Video

 Proloquo2Go is a communication solution for many individuals with communication challenges. It has robust features and may eliminate the need to purchase some of the $7,000 devices out there.
The cost of the Proloquo2Go software is $189

Word prediction addition absolutely great! Really facilitates easy use for typing communicators and for programmers!

Now select from three different profiles, one with core vocabulary.

 Recommended external speaker case for iPod/iPhone available as a package deal from the Proloquo2Go site Features include: linking folders, conjugations, built-in 7,000+ image library, and image import. A nice history feature allows the user to go in and re-use messages that were previously used or to easily add a button with that message.
Generally easy to use.
Default setting is to say the name of the folder. So-- "Feelings" "happy" is the answer to the question, "how are you"

The only way to get it to stop talking is to put dots in the "speak" field. Leaving it blank won't work.

It would be great if the program could be used to send email directly from the text window.


 ***** Time Timer by Time Timer, LLC
 A digital version of the autism "staple," the time timer, with additional features.

 Great graphics, large size for individual or group use.

Additional features include:
customizable (or off) tones, clock option (see photo), additional customization options.
NOW save preset timers on the iPad version!
Very easy to use
 It would be nice if the "tone" for time up could be edited to play a recording of an actual voice saying, for example, "time's up."

It would be helpful if recordable tones could also play at specific times, such as "five more minutes."

 *** 100's Board    
 A digital, manipulable 100's board for numeracy education
 Nice graphics and good size for fingers of all sizes.
Tapping numbers colors them- will help for skip counting and for keeping place while counting.
Whole rows can be colored by tapping little dots at the head of each row/column
Little tokens can be dragged easily to the board and are translucent. 
The app now has more tokens. 
 Option to turn off coloring numbers when touched.


 ABC Tracer
(worth buying the full version)

 Multi-feature alphabet activity application. Best for letter formation. The child traces dotted letters with his/her finger and receives immediate feedback for errors.
Other activities: Letter-sound match (**), Word trace, and ABC order balloon popping.

 Immediate and gentle feedback for incorrect answers. Any incorrect part of a stroke is red, correct strokes are green.
A variety of activities for skill development
Stroke direction for letters can be changed.
Word tracing shows picture of the item.

Balloons in abc order task change order each time played so memorization is not an issue.
Best part- the letter trace.
 Chris Knippenberg, OT/R and Practical Autism Resources partner points out that the child can gradually "paint" the whole letter because he or she can pick up and start from where the error begins.
For this reason, she does not recommend the app, so it has lost some stars.

Vocabulary pictures for the quiz (initial sounds) are too obscure. Q for quail and J for jaguar, for example. More mainstream vocabulary would be preferable.


 **** Librarian An application that measures sound levels and gives a "shhh" auditory and a red visual cue when the designated (user customized) noise level is reached.
 Responsive and noise level is customizable. Auditory cue is discreet (cue volume level of iPad can also be controlled of course)

Great idea to help kids with difficulty modulating voice volume
 It would be nice if the auditory cue could be modified to a more neutral sound or to another verbal cue, such as "inside voice."

It would be nice if a visual barometer could be used to show levels. As the student's volume goes up, it goes into a yellow zone so that the student knows to lower it. As it is, it is pass/fail feedback only.