These 11 apps for kids with autism are designed to support emotional and social needs.
Using apps for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be useful for learning and social development, according to Dena Aucoin, M.Ed., the Assistant Academic Chair in the Educational Studies program at Kaplan University.
"[They allow] for learning to take place in many environments, which helps aid in generalization of the attainment of skills," she told Parenting.com. "For example, if we are only teaching the skill of greeting others in the classroom, we may see less success when attempting to greet others at the grocery store."
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"[They] can be helpful to provide visual supports, to provide structure, a schedule, and language or pictures to facilitate communication," adds Patricia Aguayo, MD, MPH, Medical Director Autism Services, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Hospital for Special Care. She explains the most important thing to consider when choosing an app is what the specific needs of the child are and what your goal is for introducing it.
Aucoin adds, "Anyone can make an app so do a little research. What company is presenting this app? Are there supportive applications that go along with it? Is it credible? These considerations can help in making choices that fit the need."
Aguayo urges parents to use an app in collaboration with the school team.
"It is important that everyone involved in the child's life is consistent and use the same app or device," she says.
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She recommends two books to help parents narrow down their app options:
"Apps for Autism" by Lois Jean Bradley, MA, CCC-SLP
"Top 60 Recommended Apps for Autism" by Linda Hodgdon