April is World Autism Awareness Month. In New Zealand, autism affects one person in 100; that’s around 40,000 New Zealanders. You might not be aware that there are a number of apps available to help people with Autism communicate. We’ve had a bit of a look at the apps that are available and here are some that are great.
Communication/AAC Apps (Augmentative and Alternative communication, let users tap symbols or icons to produce speech):
Proloquo4Text (ipad – $159.99)— Text‑based communication app that gives a voice to people who cannot speak. It offers a customisable single screen layout for easy conversation, free natural-sounding voices in 15 languages, word and sentence prediction, social media sharing, and more.
Autismate365 (ipad – free) — Autismate’s comprehensive approach encourages the user to develop communication and behavioral skills simultaneously.
Social Skills/life skills
FlummoxVision (ipad – free) — Flummox and Friends is an offbeat, live-action comedy designed to help kids elementary school children (ages 6 – 12) navigate the social and emotional world.
Kid in Story (ipad – free) — Kid in Story was specifically designed to benefit children with autism and other special needs by making it fun and easy to create visual stories to support learning, social modeling, and early literacy.
Games and Play:
Minecraft (iPad – $8.99, Android – $8.99) — Minecraft is a game about placing blocks and going on adventure which appeals to children with autism. It’s very visual, it’s creative in a logical, structured way, and it also promotes social skills.
Toca Band (iPad $3.99, Android $2.39)— Rock out with this fun and easy toy that encourages children to experiment with sounds, beats and rhythms.
Injini: Child Development Game Suite — Collection of learning games that offers meaningful play to young children with cognitive, language, and fine motor delays.
Peek A Zoo (iPad – free), — Engage children in an interactive experience where they will learn the names of different animals and how to identify social emotional cues.
Tiggly Counts (iPad – free) — Tiggly Counts is a math toy for iPad that helps pre-schoolers and kindergartners (age three and older) develop early numeracy, counting, and math skills. It includes a set of five sleek, magnetic counting toys that interact with three different learning apps on your iPad.
Todo Number Matrix (iPad – $2.59)— Includes fun and challenging matrices for children to practice math skills.