Autism is termed as a developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood. It has several impacts on an individual especially one’s social skills like communication, excessive self-regulation, atypical speech pattern, etc. Although there isn’t any proven cure, early medical intervention might be of great help. Besides, you can also use technology as an aid to help both children and parents to learn, communicate, and adapt better to the lifestyle. So, here are the best Autism apps for kids and parents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 59 children in the U.S. has autism. The prevalence is four times higher among boys than among girls.
Best Autism Apps
1. Awesomely Autistic Test
While it’s hard to diagnose Autism without a specialist, if you’re looking for a quick test, this app helps you test if someone around you shows the symptoms of Autism. The app has 50 questions in total which give you a clear picture of where the person stands on the Autism scale. So you’ll be judged on five criteria which are, attention switching, attention to detail, social interaction, communication, and Imagination.
The app is free, however, it’s just available on the Google Play store. If you’re using an iPhone you can also check out a similar app called The Aspergers Test in iOS. If you’re wondering about the authenticity of the app, it has been created by a psychologist, Simon Baron-Cohen, and his team at Cambridge Autism Research Centre.
- Free of cost
- No sign-in requires
- Know the degree of Autism
Get Awesomely Autistic Test (Android)
2. Leelo – Autism Speech Apps
A major challenge faced by kids with Autism is communication and that’s where Leelo comes in. This app uses AAC ( Augmentative and Alternative Communication) and PECS ( Picture Exchange Communication System) principles to help a child with Autism communicate with your parents, friends, and teachers. For example, if your kid is feeling down but unable to express it, he or she can tap on ‘sad illustration’ in the app. And not just that, it gives more options, like – I’m sad, I don’t want to feel sad, or he might be asking if you feel sad. Besides illustrations and emoticons, these combinations of phrases can also be tapped on to use the text-to-speech option, which speaks out these phrases loudly.
Although the app is free, you have the option to subscribe to the app for $8/month, which unlocks more e-cards like, Toys, Drinks, Snacks, etc.
- Require a Google account sign-up
- Multiple phrases for an emotion
- Phrases also have vector images
- Text to speech for cards
3. Day Cape
While most people might not need a schedule for daily activities like bathing, brushing, taking breakfast. It becomes quite difficult for someone with Autism to cope up with unstructured lives. Because a normal scheduler won’t work effectively, creating a visual schedule is a great alternative to make a daily plan. This app lets you do just that, where you can add pictures and create repetitive schedules. Although a big caveat is that you can only add users and activities using the website, which then reflects on the app. But as most users can now access it on the phone, I’ll give this one a pass.
In case you don’t want your parents or caregiver to edit your schedule. You can also restrict them to publisher rights, where they can just add activities but not modify them. You get a 30-day trial period after which it costs $11.52/month for up to 3 accounts and unlimited planning invitations.
- Requires sign in
- Visual monthly planner
- Add activities on repetition
- Supports multiple accounts for a single calendar
Even though there are special schools for kids with Autism if you’re looking for a home-schooling app. This is what you need. Otsimo is a certified special education app that teaches kids in a fun game-like manner. It focuses on teaching kids core skills which are important for overall behavior development. Your child starts by taking a ‘Developmental Screening Test’ which helps in identifying issues and preparing tailored content based on the answers. The app has over 100 games on core skills, vocabulary, household goods, communication, and more. As development happens only when done regularly, the app lets you set a goal to Basic (8min), Casual (16min) and Engaged (30min), and get notification reminders.
You get a 7-day trial version after which it costs $20/month. This also adds ore games, daily reports, speech therapy skills, etc.
- Screening test for customized curriculum
- Get speech therapy game on Alexa
- Requires Sign-in
5. Speech Blubs
If your child also struggles with speech issues and shows signs of poor pronunciation, Speech Blubs will help you fix that. The app has a variety of modules like mouth gym, guessing games, sing-along, etc, to help the child practice. For example, If we take the word ‘Monkey’, it uses a very quirky way in the form of a video tutorial by a kid. So the user can try and copy not only the sound but also how the jaw moves, which makes it fun. It’s not just restricted to animals but you’ve other topics like stars, planets, shapes, etc. Adding more fun to learning, your kid after completing each pronunciation session can take a picture in an animated avatar. Fancy, right?
The app has a 7-day free trial after which it costs $11/month. They also feature a blog, which has articles and other useful resources.
- Create a practice reminder
- Sing-along practices
- Face-filters to keep the child hooked
Poor motor skills are a major factor that adds up to someone with Autism struggling to write, draw, or type. While the other two would need physical intervention. Typing can is dealt with an app designed specially to improve and aid kids with poor motor skills. Keeble is one such accessible keyboard app recommended by Apple. It has an array of features that make it easy to use, such as auditory feedback, spoken cues, preventive accidental selection, AI word prediction, etc.
The app is available in 11 languages. You also the option to choose fonts designed for kids and users with dyslexia.
- Audio feedback
- Speech recognition
- AI speech prediction
- Select on dwell feature
Get Keeble for iOS
7. Autism Parenting Magazine
If you have a child who has been diagnosed with Autism, it can become a huge challenge if you’re not well equipped with the right resources. Autism Parenting Magazine garners a readership of over 70K and this app brings the print version to your phone. The best part is you can find various articles ranging from expert advice from professions, therapies to help your child develop to his full potential, news, and research, etc. It also features a wide range of real-life stories from parents, which might help you understand the parenting aspect in a better manner.
The app is released monthly and you can get it delivered to your phone $2.99/month.
- E-version of the Print Magazine
- Released monthly
- Read articles, stories, news, research and more
Autism Support Parent Group
Every parent has to contribute to a child’s growth, however, with autism, you would not only need that extra care but have to invest more time and energy. Even with all the apps, a human touch might help you far more. Therefore, if you’re someone who gets stressed, a support group is a great way to talk to other parents who g through a similar lifestyle.
- Autism Support Group for parents to connect them to groups online and in their area for support.
- AutismNow is a great place to look for resources, latest research and news
- MyAutismTeam is a free social network platform to connect with others. You can also gain practical advice, insights, regular Q&A, etc.
- AutismOnTheSeas is an international organization that develops vacation services for parents and kids with special needs including Autism, Down Syndrome, etc.
I hope these apps can help you both as a parent and a great learning resource for your kids. If you have an Apple device, you can also find a curated Autism apps list on the App Store. However, there is no such option with Android. So this was my list of Best Autism Apps for Kids and Parents. If you have got a suggestion, do leave a comment below.