iPad Is a Breakthrough for Children with Autism
An iPad and autism are two different terms that coincide in one word “child”. The iOS tablet computer has proved to be an amazing device for autistic children. It gives many kids the opportunity to speak, hear and learn.
The iPads House has contacted people who are familiar with the problem. They gladly shared their thoughts and experience with our readers, and advised us the most interesting and useful applications for autism that might help parents and teachers from around the world to understand children with special needs.
Best iPad Applications for Autism
Tablet computers and special apps have become real breakthrough tools for autistic people whose health condition prevents them from speaking. Digital devices and programs allow communicating.
The iOS tablet computer has become a miraculous device for children and students with disabilities.
“It enables students who can’t speak independently to have two-way dialogue with their teachers and communicate their knowledge along the way,” Valerie Umana of Regan Communications states. “For teachers, this device provides insight into a student’s progress and an understanding of students’ development that is far clearer than what could be discerned by reading students’ facial expressions and body movements.”
This is the list of incredible autism apps for iPad that you might find useful and handy.
1. My Healthy Smile is a $5 application developed by Fraser. It can help kids to “survive” dental visits, as it teaches younger ones about oral health and explains what they should expect at the dentist.
The social scripts are meant for children who have autism. My Healthy Smile is designed for kids between the developmental ages of 3 and 10. It was developed in partnership with families, oral health professionals and dentists.
“It is a virtual walk through what going to the dentist is like,” Fraser’s Communications Specialist Mary M. Arneson says. “It can help children and adults with special needs as well as their parents, caregivers and dentists, who collectively can help make a difference.”
To run it on your iPad, you should have iOS 3.0 or later. The apps also works on iPhone and iPod touch.
2. Another Fraser’s autism application is called QuickCues. It’s also sold for about $5 on iTunes.
QuickCues teaches children new skills. “This simple app allows a person to quickly plug in and search for tips on communicating, life skills, socialization and coping all while blending in with their peers. With the newest tip we will be adding will include employment,” Mary M. Arneson says.
Besides, it explains how to read body language, maintain personal hygiene and good relationships, etc.
If iOS 4.0 or later is installed on your iDevice, this autism app can work for you.
3. AutoVerbal Pro Talking Soundboard is available for $9.99. This medical application has become Number 1 iPad app for kids with autism. It has photographs, both female and male voices, built-in phrases, text-to-speech option, etc.
“Unlike expensive dedicated devices, the elegant interface of the app makes sure kids don’t feel any stigma for using it,” Todd Bernhard of No Tie Software says.
AutoVerbal works on iPhone and iPad with iOS 3.1.3 or later. It works with and without internet connection which is pretty nice.
Both applications can help autistic children become familiar with various categories, including colors, animals, alphabets, etc. and learn new words in a fun way.
Flashcards, audio files and simple navigation of Flashcards are just great. And the word quiz game Futaba is an interesting free app with tremendous potential for being used in schools and learning settings.
“Based on our experience many parents have indicated that their kids with autism, special needs (or otherwise) will engage with the iPad in ways that they wouldn’t normally with a desktop learning application.” John McCann, Director of INKids Pty. Ltd., says. “Futaba has been used in special needs classrooms (although it was designed for preschool and K1 children).”
5. Verbal Victor is another amazing application designed for kids who can’t speak. Its price is $6.99 and it can work like a traditional AAC device for little ones.
Verbal Victor was developed by a Wake Forest University computer science professor and his students. It is designed for kids with communication problems and developmental delays.
It can be used by parents and therapists who are able to customize content for the needs of a child.
Free iDevice Give Away for Kids with Special Needs
Most apps we mentioned above are available for money, and the tablet computer itself is also very expensive for families with needs. Luckily, free iPad for autism has become a reality thanks to such sympathetic and understanding people as Gary James.
Gary founded a site with Apps for Children with Special Needs where you can find over 500 useful and helpful programs. This website has started a campaign to raise money and give a free iPad for children with autism.
To apply for the free tablet computer, a family should fill in iPads 4U Application form explaining how the tablet computer can help and why it can help their child.
“I am currently on a tour giving 1 iPad to 1 child in each of the 50 States,” Mr. James told us. “So far I have given over 80 iPads away.”
To Be Continued…
The iPads House thanks every person who helped us write this article. There was so much useful information, that we will continue to list best iOS autism apps with examples how exactly they can be used by teachers in class and parents at home in the nearest future.
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