Friday, August 20, 2010

iSpy Autism-Friendly Apps for iPad

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The moment my 3 year old son G got ahold of my iTouch last year, he was enthralled.  At the time, he mainly searched for Garbage Truck videos on YouTube.  Yes, tens of thousands of vids dedicated to Garbage, if you can believe that!  He zips around that little thing so fast I can't keep up.  We visited a friend recently and in the time it took me to go to the restroom, he'd picked up her iPad and was zooming around, found a game, and had figured out the object of the game.  I had to carry him from her house kicking and screaming (not pretty).  Clearly he's ready to graduate from the tiny iTouch and is ready for bigger challenges in a bigger format.
*See G's fave iTouch apps at the end of blog, also available on iPad.

While I'm saving up for an iPad for G, I've run across numerous stories, lists and reviews on the iPad's use with autistic children.  While compiling my finds into folders, I ran across a forum where many parents were looking for the same information.  So I put the best info that I've found below to use myself, and for anyone who may be searching. Hope you find some great ideas.  Please let me know what you find and how it helps! 

Benefits of the iPad interface for autistic children
aka: How to sell my husband and/or Santa on this expensive tool!

Nolan's picks:

I'm particularly interested in the app that gives rewards for eye contact, Look in My Eyes.  Love it!

More of Nolan's favorites on his mom's site:

Miracles of iPad use for 10-year-old autistic Leo

Leo loves:

More about Leo:

A long (worth it!) article about Leo and his mom, Shannon Rosa:

An article by Leo's mom, Shannon Rosa, getting into more detail on what criterion she uses to rate apps useful for Leo.

My Great Discovery

Ok, this will sound like a plug, but truly, this is the best find I've had in awhile: ran across their Facebook page via some obscure route (likely at 1 .a.m.) and I'm so glad I did!  The site is a group of app developers who review and promote new children's apps, educate parents about apps and their specific uses for kids and look for user feedback!  Awesome win-win all around.  The MomsWithApps site has a tab for special needs kids, apps for learning, apps for fun and creativity, and much more.  My personal favorite: APP FRIDAY!   Each Friday an app is offered for FREE or great promotion (I've only seen totally free in the month of Fridays I've seen.  How cool is that?

Using iPad as a Communication Device

Reviews and great blogger mama:

Proloquo2GoVideo demonstrations and developer website:

Ipad as a communicator, and an inspiring lady writing a funny blog:

Help forum FAQ's

Touted as most straightforward:
In case you missed it up above, helpful reviews of communication uses in Leo's mom:

Useful iPad apps for autistic children

Extensive list with several categories and descriptions, but no prices:
Tap-toTalk App: $9.99 

Other articles/lists/reviews of apps for Autistic kids:

First-Then Visual Schedule: $9.99
Studies on how itechnology is working with Autistic kids:

ABA Flash Cards: Emotions

Best Developers for Autistic-Friendly Apps

I hope this helps!  Let me know if you discover any great apps for autism or parenting.

Any suggestions?  I'm looking for leads on when and where to get the best deal on an iPad.  Many folks I've talked to said to wait for Gen2.  I may have to wait that long to save anyway.  Hmmm...more time to research apps.  :}

G's Fave iTouch Apps, Available for iPad

In April, for Autism Awareness Month, and other developers gave away free apps all month.  I found out 1 day before the end of the month (of course!) and loaded up.  Many of them are still offered free, or app lite versions.  G loves all of the ABA apps from - they're colorful, encouraging and they cheer for him when he gets it right!

Finally, here's a selection of G's Fave apps for "my" iTouch. "My" is a loose term, because I never seem to get a chance to use it, with 2 techie boys in the house. These aren't autism-specific, but they work on creativity, facial expressions and dexterity. Best news: All of these apps were FREE!

G's Fave iTouch App
Make-A-Martian: FREE!
iWash My Dogs: FREE!

TanZen Lite: FREE!
Faces iMake: FREE!


  1. Love your post. I have a blog where I am showing infants/toddlers with special needs using iPads to promoto their development. Thanks for the work you have done.

  2. Our son steals my iTouch or my husbands iPhone whenever he has a chance and watches YouTube videos of the Vancouver Olympic Cauldron.

    We first started getting into apps when had a sale and all there apps were free. Love them! Now we're looking for other apps we can either get for free, or invest in, and have to say, that I love this collection you've compiled. Especially the MomswithApps site, wow! Love that! Thanks so much!

    For some more suggestions, on our blog we posted a list as well of apps from the Apps for ASD iPod Touch Project Teacher recommended apps for children with ASD: