20 iPad Apps for Kids with Autism

Note: I have a new post that may interest you: 10 Free iPad Apps for Kids With Autism.

If you have an iPad and a child with autism then this is a must read post for you. There are a bevy of iPad apps that are perfect for parents of children with autism including apps with social stories, language based programs and even augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps. In the list below you will see the name of the app, the kind of app it is and the price at the time of publication of this article.

20 iPad Apps for Kids with Autism20 iPad Apps for Kids with Autism

  • Model Me Going Places 2 – Social Stories – Free
  • Is That Gluten Free? – Nutrition – $7.99
  • Sentence Builder for iPad – Language – $3.99
  • TapToTalk – Language – Free
  • Story Builder – Language – $3.99
  • Understanding Autism – Educational – $2.99
  • Proloquo2Go – Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) – $189.99
  • Question Builder for iPad – Language – $3.99
  • AutoVerbal Talking Soundbox – Language – $9.99
  • iCommunicate for iPad – Language – $29.99
  • MyTalk Tools Mobile – AAC – $39.99
  • iDress for Weather – Life Skills – $1.99
  • MyTalkTools Mobile Lite – AAC – Free
  • TapSpeak Button for Ipad – Language – $9.99
  • Grace – Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal People – Language – $37.99
  • Alexicom AAC – AAC – Free
  • AACSpeechBuddy – AAC – $44.99
  • Visual Impact – Living Safely – Life Skills – $34.99
  • Off We Go – Going to the Dentist – Social Stories – $4.99
  • Off We Go – Going on a Plane – Social Stories – $4.99

I’d love to hear from you. What are your favorite iPad Apps for your child with autism? Drop me a note in the comments below.

Thanks!

Photo: Yutaka Tsutano/Flickr

About Melissa

Melissa is the mother of two children on the autism spectrum and strives to provide information about all aspects of autism through her blog, The Autism Education Site. Follow Melissa on Twitter. Like me on Facebook.

© Melissa Hincha-Ownby and The Autism Education Site, 2008-2013.

Comments

  1. Smarty Ears has launched Expressive, a new iPhone/iPad Augmentative & Alternative Communication App http://ht.ly/35Rg

  2. My favorite Android application is Flash Card Maker Pro. I use this to teach my 6 old how to read and do math. It is the only flash card application that is optimized for Android pads, tablets, and mobile phones. Flash Card Maker Pro uses advanced gesturing and text-to-speech capability providing a fully interactive experience for users of all ages. This multi-sensory teaching tool uses all pathways of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic or seeing, hearing, touching) simultaneously, in order to enhance memory and learning. Use Flash Card Maker Pro on your Android phone or tablet to teach children how to read and do math, to help students study for exams, or to prepare for an upcoming presentation.

    Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand. (Chinese Proverb)

    Recycle your old paper flash cards and download the latest digital version today! Flash Card Maker Pro has the following highlighted features:

    1. Create Your Own Flash Cards
    2. Share Flash Cards with Other Users
    3. Download Decks of Cards from Developer Website
    4. Text-to-speech Audio Playback
    5. Built-in Study Timer
    6. Randomize or Change Order of Playback
    7. Swap Question and Answer
    8. Change Card Colors and Text Size
    9. Navigate Between Cards using Touch Gestures
    10. Backup Database to SD Card

  3. My wife, who is a speech therapist, just launched an app for children with autism. She uses it in therapy all the time, and her kids love it (it has a cute, animated mouse). It is designed to build language skills and is very affordable at $2.99.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/speech-with-milo-verbs/id405441288?mt=8#ls=1

    http://Www.speechwithmilo.com

    Thanks!

  4. Hello, I have two boys with autism. My youngest (5) and the older (8) love a totally just-for-fun app called Elmo’s Monster Maker. I love this app because the boys will “script” and role play what happens in the app TOGETHER! It’s like joint pretend play! For educational apps, FirstWords and iBooks are a favorite for both, and FirstWords Spanish. My older son loves Crazy Machines, too. This iPad has been a life saver in waiting rooms :)

  5. We recently received a letter from a parent of a child with autism:

    “Before using your application, he could not read. He had never taken to reading, writing, spelling, even phonics. Not long after using it, he showed us that not only could he use the application as I had continued to adjust it, but he could spell the actual words independent of the iPad. This skill took off for him and he has started learning sight words and using phonics. Something about your design works for him and we are waiting for each new app you can design.”

    We’d like to invite you to try our newest app for the iPhone/iPad, Bob Books Reading Magic. For over 30 years, Bob Books, the bestselling series published by Scholastic has successfully taught millions of children how to read. Popular among preschoolers, Montessori teachers and Homeschoolers alike, the brand has stood the test of time. Bob Books Reading Magic shows kids how to make the connection between letters and sounds, sound out simple words and spell the words they’ve read. The game includes twelve scenes for a total of 32 words. Four game levels provide increasing challenges to children as they play. Check it out; we think you’ll be impressed.

    http://itunes.apple.com/app/bob-books-1-reading-magic/id403753501?mt=8

  6. MELODY KITTY, an interactive children’s book app, is featured in the “What’s Hot” book section of the itunes store (only .99) and has a cute song that my grandson, who has down syndrome, loves to sing.

    http://ax.itunes.apple.com/us/app/melody-kitty/id389093294?mt=8#ls=1

  7. Thank you for sharing this list. I’m having trouble finding all the communication apps in one place. This is a good place to start. Now the hard part is going to be deciding which one to get. I,d love to see an article reviewing each one, with prices, whether it’s Internet dependent, etc. if anyone sees something like this please post. or maybe Melissa, you could write one up for us? Thanks again,
    Cristy

    • Hi Cristy,

      That would be a great resource! I know that there is a list of probably 100+ apps on a sheet at the center where my son receives speech therapy. I’ll see what I can find as far as resources already out there and post back to let you know. :)

      Warmly,

      Melissa

  8. Friendly greetings ;-) Our company, Dunedin Multimedia, has created several apps for children and young people with autism. One is a paid app and the rest are free.

  9. I love Talking Tom because my son gets to hear how he annunciates, etc. Plus, it’s super cute!

  10. Thanks for these.

  11. sandi glover says:

    what about apps for young adults living with autism??
    any for scheduling, social skills, organization skills?
    anything would be appreciated!

    • Hi Sandi – I will do some research and put up a post with what I find, thanks for the great idea!

      • Catherine says:

        hi sandi and melissa,

        i saw this site asaoakland.org/events.htm
        they have all this events all year round for kids,teens,adults and even for the parents as well.i hope this help

  12. Erwin vd Hout says:

    Hi,
    I would like to draw attention to our new app, called iPicto, for iPhone and iPod
    (late next week is also available the iPad app version).
    This app is designed to guide people with a (mental) disability, with or without
    autism and / or a disorder in communication.

    I refer you for further information, visit the App Store.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ipicto/id423225072?mt=8&ls=1

    Thank you for attention,

    Sincerely,

    Erwin van den Hout
    The Netherlands

  13. Udit Sajjanhar says:

    Hi All,

    Nice to find a web page dedicated to apps about autism. Our app Splash Math http://bit.ly/splashmath has been found useful for kids with special needs.

    http://www.linkedin.com/groups/advent-iPhones-iPads-iPods-in-1862313.S.51542117?qid=92b4a3e4-afe3-412f-a6fc-cabe2bb9f099&goback=.nmp_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1.gmp_1862313

  14. Hey all,

    I have a site, http://www.autismpluggedin.com, that was created specifically to review iPhone and iPad apps for children with autism. Please check it out, subscribe, at http://www.autismpluggedin.com/subscribe-to-autism-plugged-in, and share it on social media.

  15. My son’s speech therapist uses the iPad app called Didakto.

  16. Ilmasoft has just launched an app name Kid’s IQ. This app contains more then 280 different objects with sounds. This App is being sold under 1$ on a promotional basis. To free download visit the app store.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kids-iq/id449132084?mt=8

  17. There are also useful apps to make autism easy:
    Visual Cue – transitional toy for visual thinkers
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/visual-cue/id440280028?mt=8
    Visual Working For board -to ease the anxiety during a scheduled task
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/visual-working-for/id455248468?&mt=8

  18. Amanda Biel says:

    Hello everyone! I wanted to share with you a great website for some very helpful autism/special needs apps for your ipad/iphone/tablet pc etc. Check out

    http://www.a4cwsn.com/mobile-education-store

    The Mobile Education Store has great apps for conversation building, language building, question building, a speech journal, and so much more! All great apps that target our autism kiddos. Also, while you are there, check out the main site A4CWSN (Apps for Children with Special Needs).

    Blessings to you!

    Amanda

  19. Hello,

    I am wondering if I can buy any tablet other than iPad for my 6 year autistic son to help him improve his communication. He talks on a very limited bases but does not express his feelings. He has the vocabulary but would not use them. He was responsive to the therapist using iPad for Pointing out bubbles. I am on a very tight budget and I want to know if I can buy other tablets which are cheaper than iPad to use these Autism Apps?

    Any help and suggestion would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  20. I would like to see a HUGE price drop in this device for AUTISTIC familys – maybe one with WIFI and that we can use for just learning apps. I can’t find any help paying for one and Im looking at the HP TOUCHPAD which will do everything the laptop will but dont have apps. Would apple need as many apps is they could run flash? And which app is the one where you take a picture and then put your words to it? thats all i need or all i know i need right now. I may just buy a talk button for $11 since i cant afford $500…:P….thanks

  21. E vd Hout says:

    Hi,
    I would like to draw attention to our new app, called iPicto, for iPhone, iPod Touch

    and iPad.
    This app is designed to guide people with a (mental) disability, with or without
    dementia/alzheimer, asperger, autism and / or a disorder in communication.

    This new app iPicto is also a very good tool in learning a way of communication,

    for example speech difficulties.

    I refer you for further information, visit the App Store.

    See for it: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ipicto/id423225072?mt=8&ls=1
    and
    http://ipicto.applereports.com/iPicto/Welkom.html

    Thank you for attention,

    Sincerely,

    Erwin van den Hout
    The Netherlands

  22. In my search for a school for Autistic children in my area, I came accross your site. I’d like to suggest a website not listed above that also offers a communication app. Special Learning has not only developed a communication app but also provides the tools, resources and knowledge to parents, teachers and caregivers for children with developmental disorders and ASD. Please visit their site and consider adding them to your list of available technology and an invaluable resource center.

  23. I love Dr. Gary Brown’s Autism Apps. He uses Discrete Trial Training to help children learn their colors, shapes, numbers, letters and words. They work wonderfully and we have seen big improvements. The apps are listed as:

    Autism Colors
    Autism/DTT Shapes
    Autism/DTT Numbers
    Autism/DTT Letters
    DTT Words

    :)

  24. Although still early days and some cautious needed till detailed evidence-based research are done, but so far anecdote evidence from parents, special education professionals internationally on the use of iPad with individuals with autism have been very promising. Thanks Melissa for your effort to put together a list.

    I’m the founder of Hearty SPIN – Solutions for People In Need, a social enterprise startup. We have collaborate with special education professionals, therapists to develop Picture AAC, an iPad / iPhone / iPod Touch app that aims to help non-verbal individuals with more challenging forms of autism, and other speech impairments related disabilities to communicate with pictures. Pilot trial results with students with autism, cerebral palsy, speech impairment from a local special school here in Singapore have been very encouraging.

    Check here for more details: http://www.heartyspin.com/solutions/pictureaac/

    Witnessing first-hand how seemingly disengaged children with autism become focused and interested in learning when using suitable iPad apps to learn and communicate, I’m very excited with the potential of this technology to help individuals with autism.

    Cheers
    KhengWah
    http://www.heartyspin.com

  25. Hello~ I’m a Speech Pathologist and I recently launched an iPad app called “PandaPal PECS.” This app is a communication system for non-verbal children as well as a language learning system. Please check it out and let me know what you think. FREE version coming soon.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pandapal-pecs/id492860458?mt=8
    Thank you
    Kim Scott

  26. Hi
    I would recommend these 2 well designed apps that I have used:

    ABA Flash Cards & Games – Emotions: It’s great for teaching kids how to identify different emotions.

    Picture AAC: It’s an app great for teaching nonverbal kids to communicate using pictures. I love the pictures. It has training levels and option to add a new group of pictures, which I found very useful in phasing in use of PECS.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aba-flash-cards-games-emotions/id446105144?mt=8
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/picture-aac/id488645173?mt=8

    Sandra

  27. pablo la roche says:

    I hope this not does sound like an advertisement. Working with a very experienced AAC expert we developed an ipad app for our son that is in the spectrum and is non verbal. The app is really easy to use, and we are very proud of it. You can take photos directly with the ipad and in a couple of steps place them in the program and record sounds so that you can use the image right away. You can have different sized icons, so that you can adjust the number that are visible at any given time, you can move these icons, you can record sound (but it does not have automatic robo-sounds), you can change background colors, we even did a simple schedule……..many features, all of the features that we wanted to have for our son. He uses it at home and at school, approved and supported by his speech therapists and we think that it is an alternative to kids like him that cannot yet read or type. You can see how it works at http://www.use2talk.com/

    • It’s fine to sound like an advertisement! I’ve learned from my limited experience, that Apple’s way of deciding who get’s the marketing has everything to do with the game (how many downloads… so people make their apps free for a few weeks just to play) and has little or nothing to do with how great the app is… This is particularly troubling when great apps could be helping people with disabilities so please keep on responding to these lists and get your app out there!

      On the face of it, I love your app! It seems handy to be able to create appropriate AAC boards on the spot. It seems that after teaching a child how the communication system works, this would make it far easier to add and customize content as it is needed. I applaud your efforts, as many AAC apps are out there but most are basically versions of the same thing. It looks like you stuck to that beginning child… the child just learning to use AAC. In the old days, pictograms were all the rage so that concepts and even nouns could be ‘generalized’. Unfortunately, some children could never get to that point. I don’t believe pictograms are very useful anymore. Stories can be told… communication (both receptive and expressive) can be achieved by an app like yours with less abstract cognitive processing than is required with pictograms. I’d recommend you take your app to the world of children with cognitive impairments…. not just autism. It would seem particularly useful for that bunch of kids.

      Another comment… I’d love to try it but it is on the expensive side. I’ve learned that it is less about how much the app cost to make and more about what people will pay. I’m lucky though.. .our products are owned by our universities so I’m able to use a lot of campus based infrastructure to produce systems that we research… only after I’m done with the research do we offer them to the public. We are only looking to cover future development so we can keep researching:) I’m very much aware of the huge costs of developing an app such as yours… when you actually care that it works and is based on sound research, it costs quite a bit… our app has been estimated to cost around 300K to build if we had done it on the “outside”…. SO… those reading… try to understand the costs… not all apps are created equal. A few guys in a garage can produce an AAC or scheduling app cheaply. A professional, well thought out, research-based app involves many experts, research, and meetings…. they are not just thrown together in hopes of making a profit. Let’s support these efforts when we see them.

      I wish you all the best…

      Robert

  28. Try a picture & video modeling scheduler that parents control from their Internet connected device. U-Sync Video Scheduler is new. We developed it through research at Bowling Green State University.

    Get the app from Apple or Android.
    Control the app through the website at https://u-sync.agileassyst.com/
    Website portal is secure and FREE. Sign up to connect to your app. We never charge for the portal or it’s free video modeling videos!

  29. We have had great success with some apps by i Get It on iTunes. We initially started with their All About Me app which is a cool way to make a storybook of all personal info for your child. Having a child with special needs he needs the visual supports the app offers. We are now using some of their social skills apps…We are loving their Restaurant app because you can make your own social story line and also plug in your own menu items. My son is truly getting the drill with this app.

  30. Check out two new apps for kids with autism to improve their social skills and decrease problem behaviors. Created by a psychologist. Go to http://www.youmedrd.com/ Interactive educational game called “Playing Games is Fun” and “I am a Nice Person”

  31. A new AAC iPad app was launched this week by http://givespeech.org/

    It is called FreeSpeech, and is an AAC application with the added ability to add your own symbols and also share groups of symbols via an online community, accessible directly through the app!

    The best thing about it is that is FREE (with no ads!) and more features are being developed every day! http://givespeech.org/freespeech

  32. Hello. We have developed over 40 apps for Android and iOS for children with autism. These apps include academic and social skills. All apps are based on ABA. They can be found here.

    Android – http://goo.gl/Cmfxo
    iOS – http://goo.gl/7oVS2

  33. I’ve been using Speech Button – an app by wipitup.com
    A quality app developed by an SLP

  34. Leticia garcia says:

    Hi i will like to mention for the families that cannot afford Ipads there is help where you can qualify for a free app you just have to check in your local area or even at your regional center there is help out there for our kids

    • were can i get help for one i have a 13 year old who would love to have one his 11 year old brother has one but i cant afford to buy two of them

  35. Hello my name is Jean I have two young boy with autism and i live on a very low income and i have just got them a i pad were i can help them out in school they are 11 years old and 13 years old and i cant afford to pay for apps to help them out can you please send me a list were i can get free ones my 11 year old is and a preschool to 1st grade level in all subject and i am try to make him feel he can do better and then the 13 year old is have a hard time with kid bulling him in school because of his problems and he is on the high end of his math and that but i am try to help him understand his personal space and make ing him understand that he need to keep school work neat and his writing is at a very low level they both need help with other area also but the more help i can give them the better off they will be please can someone help us out as we dont have funds to pay for much and there isnt any programs that will help with the apps at all

    • Hi Jean, I would recommend you checkout AppyMall http://www.appymall.com/ and like their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/AppyMall , where there are frequent updates on discounts on apps and contests you can participate in to win free copy of educational apps.
      PS: I’m a developer of special needs apps myself, just to share: it’s actually pretty costly to develop quality apps…good graphics designer, talented programmer, plus efforts to test with the kids, and continuous improvement updates etc. Just couple years ago, before iPad & App Store, price of many such educational software are many times more (esp AAC devices vs AAC apps), so in perspective prices have came down. Nevertheless, there are many families with low income like you, and I’m sure many developers of special needs apps are willing to help. Go visit AppyMall, it’s a great place to get support on educational apps.

  36. I am interested in purchasing the prologue2go, but I really need to see if it is actually what will benefit my daughter. The price is a little high to get and not end up using. Is there a way of finding out more about the program?

  37. Hello,

    Thank you for your great service!

    I have two other apps I’d like to suggest for your list.

    Kids Writing Pad for iPad/iPhone/iTouch – $2.99 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kids-writing-pad/id583914609?mt=8

    Kids Writing Pad Lite for iPad/iPhone/iTouch $.99 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kids-writing-pad-lite/id583920285?mt=8

    Simply put, the apps provide various large lined paper formats for students learning to write. More importantly, we have received a lot of feedback from teachers, therapists, and other professionals, and we constantly update our apps with their suggestions. For example, we have included lined paper with the bottom portion highlighted, and a ground/grass/sky color schemed paper to help students better understand how high to draw the letters, etc.

    I’ve included a video link of a parent using our app with their son with autism. Our app is used beginning around 2 min. 15 seconds.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdpjIR8KjLU

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Gratefully,

    Mike Vance

  38. http://www.autismspeaks.org/autism-apps/catalyst

    Catalyst

    Category:
    Behavioral Intervention
    A state-of-the-art technology for collecting, managing, and using your data—by far the most comprehensive and flexible system available. A family or organization can completely eliminate paper data sheets, all of the time spent entering data, and mountains of paper graphs. Parents or professionals can spend more time teaching, & program managers, such as BCBA’s, can access critical information quicker & much more efficiently, including online viewing of the Catalyst data collected on the iPad almost instantaneously.

    $39.99/month

    Platform:
    iPhone
    iPad
    iTouch
    Cost:
    $39.99
    Age:
    Adults
    Link:
    Catalyst

  39. You might also like to check out Bitsboard. It’s a very popular app for both kids and adults alike. Here is the link to the app.

    Bitsboard
    https://itunes.apple.com/app/bitsboard/id516842210?mt=8

    Bitsboard PRO
    https://itunes.apple.com/app/bitsboard-pro-best-educational/id646240375?mt=8

Trackbacks

  1. [...] powerful a tool the iPad can be in the hands of an autistic child. Ever since I posted a list of 20 iPad Apps for Kids With Autism, it has remained one of my most popular posts. There are literally hundreds of apps out there (if [...]

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