It’s Autism Awareness Month, and that means we’re putting together some of our favorite apps, games and technology for families with children affected by autism spectrum disorders.
There are many apps that claim to be of benefit for kids diagnosed with ASD, but it can be hard to know which are worth your time and money — let alone your child’s attention. That’s were we come in.
Below, you’ll find some of our favorite apps that are either free or free to try, letting you decide whether or not they’re the right fit for your family before you buy.
We recommend you experiment with the selections below, trying each one out by following our learning guides for them. That way, you’re sure to find something that works best for you child. Just click any app’s icon to be taken to the guide.
Free Apps for Autism:
For children who struggle with interpreting non-verbal communications such as facial expressions, Bitsboard can be of great use. The app features mini-games designed to help kids identify emotions in their peers, and users can create their own custom flash car “boards” to review other social and communicative actions.
Smurks is designed to help users express thoughts, opinions, and emotions in digital communications via the use of pre-loaded cartoon facial expressions. The app comes with over 350 unique facial expressions encompassing a wide range of emotions. For children who struggle to identify and understand non-verbal language, Smurks can be a great way to help them to consistently and accurately identify indicators such as facial expressions.
See.Touch.Learn is another visual learning tool for the iPad that allows users to create image-based digital flashcards to review. Parents of children dealing with autism spectrum disorders can use the app to create their own custom visual flashcards and review material covering everything from social cues and body language to proper greetings and communication.
One of the largest challenges for many young children with ASD is overcoming issues involving the disconnect between people and the surrounding social experience. Designed specifically for children with autism spectrum disorders, FindMe presents various scenarios in which users will have to find and point out a human cartoon character amidst various other distractions.
Children facing the challenges of ASD sometimes have trouble associating objects with their uses. Put It Away creates a visual guide to help children learn about the objects around them and organize them by use and purpose. Because of its customization ability, this app can serve as a visual ‘map’ of common household activities and help your child understand how he fits in to the day-to-day functioning of the house.