Best iPad Apps for Autistic Children
My husband gave me this link to a 60 Minutes segment on Apps for Autism. It was about how Steve Jobs changed the world significantly for those with special needs.
The iPad is turning out to be a great communication tool for autistic children. At West Prairie South Elementary School, the iPad was introduced to help non verbal children communicate at the suggestion of their superintendent. Here are some key paragraphs:
- Ray Hart, an 11-year-old West Prairie South Elementary student, works on an iPad. An education app, “abcPocketPhonics,” has helped Ray improve his writing.
- Most of the students in Thompson’s special-needs classroom have autism, a developmental disorder that makes communication and social interaction difficult.
- “We’re always looking for new ways to help our students come up with ways to communicate and be motivated,” Thompson said. “We have another (non-verbal) student who uses an augmentative communication device that’s very heavy and bulky and hard to carry around, so we were looking for an alternative.”
- “There was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle that talked about iPads as a useful communication tool for children on the autism spectrum who could not otherwise communicate,” Heerboth said. “I knew that Mrs. Thompson had experimented with a similar idea on her iPod Touch.”
- Thompson’s non-verbal student uses the iPad with a text-to-speech application, or “app,” called “Proloquo2Go.” Using “Proloquo2Go,” Thompson’s non-verbal student can easily participate in class and answer questions by touching the appropriate icon on the iPad, which then voices a response.
- The app on Hart’s iPad, “abc PocketPhonics,” not only teaches him how to write a letter, it teaches him the sound. Another application Thompson utilizes, “Stories2Learn,” teaches social cues, something autistics find difficult to pick up on. Using “Stories2Learn,” Thompson can create a simple story using a combination of photos and her own text, that shows a specific skill, such as eye contact. If she chooses, Thompson can also narrate the stories with her own voice.
- Many of the apps Thompson uses can also be downloaded onto an iPhone or iPod Touch and most are inexpensive. “abcPocketPhonics” costs just $1.99 on iTunes and “Stories2Learn” is available for $13.99. “Proloquo2Go,” a more specialized app, costs $189.99.
To see my review on abcPocketPhonics, please click here.
To examine any app in iTunes, please click on image of app.