Good Apps for Children with Autism

  • Written by Dara Schmeck, MS CCC-SLP
The New York Times recently published an article about finding good apps for children with autism. This is certainly a daunting task, as at last count there were more than 140,000 apps for the iPad alone and more than 500,000 for the iPhone! There are many apps available that are designed to work on language, fine motor skills and cognition, as well as a multitude that were designed for fun but can be adapted to facilitate skill development.

One term mentioned in the article is the idea of “self-learning.” This is when a child would be using an app on their own, and the app provides feedback on performance (correct/incorrect). Although this can be a valuable experience, your child may learn more if technology time becomes more interactive. Many children with autism struggle with social skills; isolation activities, such as self-learning, do not further those important interaction skills. You can join your child, using the app together, and practice skills like turn-taking and giving and following directions.

Please be sure to share some of your favorite apps with us! I am currently exploring using apps in speech therapy as a new way to target receptive and expressive language skills.

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