Are you confused?
Are you wondering what apps might be right for your student or your child? These apps have been vetted by our consultants and considered to be useful for some students. They are all low cost or free. Some of them have demonstration sites or lite versions that allow you to try them out to see if they will work with your student before purchasing.

In selecting an app to use with a student, it is important to consider how the app will be used. Careful planning will help to avoid long, unproductive time spent on the iPad.

Consider the following in making your choice:

  • What IEP goals will the app support?
  • How do you intend to use the app? To increase engagement in a work task? To reinforce task completion? To draw in peers?
  • How much time do you want the student to spend with the app? How will you regulate that?
  • How will you help the student to generalize the skill learned on the iPad to real world environments?

Used appropriately, apps can make great tools for teaching our students with ASD.

Between the Lines
Between the Lines

Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development presents a ground-breaking iPad app designed for upper elementary students and older who would benefit from practice interpreting vocal intonation, facial expressions, perspective-taking, body language, and idiomatic or slang expressions. Using real photographs, voices and short mini-video clips of a variety of social situations and expressions, this app provides a dynamic way to help learn and practice interpreting messages that are “between the lines” and simply can’t be replicated with worksheets and static flashcards.
There are three activities in this app:

1. Listening: The user hears a voice speak a sentence, e.g., “Ewww!” A question is then asked, “Who said it?” The user is shown a series of photographs. Depending upon the settings selected, there can be 2, 3 or 4 choices shown. The user touches the correct facial expression that matches the voice.

2. Body Language: A very short video-clip is shown that depicts an interaction or situation. For example, a family is shown at a restaurant. A friend walks up and says, “Hey, did you hear the news about Mr. Becker?” (smiling) The camera closes in on this woman and the narrator says, “What is she thinking?” The user’s task is to look at the choices of responses and select the one that matches the facial expression/body language.

3. Expressions: A very short video-clip is shown that depicts an actor speaking a sentence that contains an idiomatic or slang expression, e.g., “She’s kind of nosy.’” The user is then asked, “What does that mean?” Slang expressions that might be considered offensive ("that movie sucks") are included in a separate setting within the Activities tab. This is a new feature! They are not included in the default setting unless specifically selected.

It is available in a Lite and fully-featured app which is currently $21.99.
For a demo, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRy4QF1E1Y8

Autism DTT Pro
Autism DTT Pro

Dr. Gary Browns Autism/DTT App uses Discrete Trial Training (DTT) to help learn the children learn skills such as colours, letters, numbers, shapes, animals, time, and people. DTT is the primary teaching method used in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to teach numerous pre-academic and social skills to children with autism. This app can be used to help teach key skills to children with autism, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), or any child who has trouble staying on task
DTT Pro is a Discrete Trial Training app designed with the needs of schools and clinics in mind. DTT Pro includes all of our DTT Apps in one place, allows you to track multiple students, and allows you to view graphs, charts and logs of your students progress.

Headspace
Headspace

Headspace provides guided meditations for individuals of all ages. Meditation practice teaches you to bring your attention to the internal and external experiences of the present moment with a neutral, non-judgemental attitude. This practice can help students decrease feelings of stress, improve relationships with others, and be more productive at school. Headspace includes a variety of series (e.g., health, relationships, performance) for adolescents and young adults, as well as shorter meditations for younger children (ages 5 to 12).

Mindshift
Mindshift

MindShift is an app created by AnxietyBC specifically for adolescents or young adults. The app uses a cognitive-behavioural approach to help individuals cope with feelings of anxiety. The app guides you in challenging anxious thoughts and feelings and developing strategies to face ongoing anxiety. Relaxation strategies are also included.

Some specific areas MindShift addresses include worry, social anxiety, test anxiety, and sleep. Many adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder also cope with feelings of anxiety. This app provides an accessible way that students can learn to manage their own anxiety.

Time Timer
Time Timer

The Time Timer app can be used to visually represent either how long students have left for an activity or how long they have to wait until the next activity. Timers assist students with ASD in transitioning between activities by providing a concrete, visual representation of time passing. Students do not need to know how to read an analogue clock; instead, the red portion of the timer slowly decreases which represents passing time.

Having this app on a phone or tablet at school allows easy access for teachers and education assistants. The app may be used individually or classwide.

Easy Behavior Tracker for Teachers
Easy Behavior Tracker for Teachers

Easy Behavior Tracker for Teachers is a streamlined data collection app for single or multiple students. The teacher can sort behaviours by class periods and students. Within a specific student profile, the teacher can record the date, the setting, a title for the behaviour, the consequence following the behaviour, and a detailed description of the incident.

In the notes section, the teacher may expand on the description of the behaviour and incident to include any other relevant information (e.g., setting events, antecedents, peers involved, etc.). Taking quick but adequately detailed data allows the teacher to share incidents with the school team and parents as well as make informed decisions about intervention planning.

Choiceworks
Choiceworks

The app features three main options: daily routines, understanding and controlling feelings and improving waiting skills. It is a well design app to increase predictability in challenging moments, such as waiting or transitions. Fully customizable, user-friendly, a must-have app for those who use iPad with children with ASD.

Thomas & Friends: Engine Activity Fun
Thomas & Friends: Engine Activity Fun

This is a great app with several activities. Puzzles are particularly good: jig-saw puzzles of the favorite scenes from Thomas with two difficulty levels that the child can switch and a short video clip upon completion of the puzzle. Other activities include memory game and colouring. There are in app purchases available to buy more puzzles, cards for memory game and coloring sheets. Very well designed app.

ABC Puzzle
ABC Puzzle

ABC Puzzle is puzzle game for children of age group between 3 to 8. This app contains puzzles for all alphabets and can make custom puzzles also. There are three levels of difficulty that the user can switch between in order to match their abilities.

Wood puzzle
Wood puzzle

This is an app that allows children to play with simple wooden puzzles. It has several settings, which can be changed depending on your child’s abilities. Tailored to toddlers and preschoolers. Can be used by parents as one of the leisure apps or to teach basic matching skills.