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5 Mobile Apps Aimed to Aid Autistic Students and Their Parents

Helpful Autism Apps

Those living with autism can benefit from supplemental help provided by mobile apps. The majority of apps below are on the pricier side, but the cost is negligible when compared to buying loads of other apps, books and computer programs that specialize in autism education.

See.Touch.Learn Pro ($29.99 iPad)

See.Touch.Learn. Pro is an open-ended application that can be modified to meet a wide range of academic needs for users at all points on the autism spectrum. It offers tools to create everything from the most basic picture identification tasks to tests requiring making inferences and other higher-order thinking. Access to work product of an international community of parents, teachers and professionals saves enormous time and provides excellent guidance for developing one’s own custom lessons. Settings can be tailored to suit individual needs. The app’s recent update boasts a more modern user interface, tracking students and a lesson generator.

Curated by Jill Goodman

Sōsh™ Lite (Free iPad)

Sōsh (pronounced like a shortened version of social) is centered around the Five R’s – Relate, Recognize, Relax, Regulate and Reason. Each segment gives teens and adults tools to improve social interactions and combat the stress and anxiety that may come with unfamiliar settings. These may take the form of conversation tips, a dictionary of idioms, deep breathing exercises, listening to white sounds or (literally) shredding negative thoughts with an on-screen shredder. There are many options to explore and enough suggestions that nearly every situation an autistic teen will encounter is covered in some form. Sōsh is very visual, so older students that don’t necessarily have a firm grasp of non-verbal behavior can see examples at work. Many areas of the app allow the incorporation of additional pictures and narrative explanations.

Curated by Jill Goodman

Reading Comprehension Camp ($10.99 iPad)

Performance on state testing is often the sole determination of whether a special education student receives a general or special diploma, so proficiency in reading comprehension is a critical skill in middle school. Smarty Ears’ app addressing this all-important skill was created by a high school English teacher and his speech therapist wife, so it has solid educational and therapeutic underpinnings. Students can work independently or in groups with questions tailored to their specific areas of weakness. While comprehension is the primary focus, the ability to record students reading passages out loud provides a bonus means to assess fluency and all data is backed up in the Therapy Report Center.

Curated by Jill Goodman

AutisMate ($149.99 iPad)

Why invest in five or six different apps when one powerhouse will do the trick? AutisMate fully adapts to a broad range of users’ needs whether communicative, behavioral or social-emotional. It’s a lifestyle app with all the latest bells and whistles, but still easy to customize and operate independently. If you can imagine it, this app makes it possible. And for those that abhor do-it-yourself projects, there is ample ready made content available from the developer’s store for free. You won’t get $1.99′d to death with this one.

Curated by Jill Goodman

Clicker Docs ($30.99 iPad)

Practically all of the literacy goals found on a typical ASD middle school student’s Individualized Education Program can be supported with Clicker Docs. It is an adaptive word processor that has powerful word prediction and recognizes phonetic spelling. It has text-to-speech, which affords users the opportunity to hear what they have written and self-correct. This feature also allows writers to listen to the predicted words before selecting one. Customized word banks can be made by typing in words, downloading those from the developer website or using a pasted in text selection to automatically generate an alphabetical list of word grids with core words peeled away like magic. The level of support needed can be adjusted as students grow more comfortable with composing their thoughts, so Clicker Docs can be used throughout middle school and beyond.

Curated by Jill Goodman

(This content was originally posted at News to Live By.)

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More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.