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  • Parent Autism Blog

  • Welcome to the parent autism blog at Autism Epicenter. This is an online journal written directly by parents of children with ASD. We'll share the triumphs and challenges as well as anything else that comes to our minds as related to Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

    Two parents post here:

    - Shane
    Autism Dad and the founder of Autism Epicenter. His son was born in 2002 and diagnosed in 2004 with classic autism.

    - Sherri
    Mother of "Sir Dantes". He was born in 2007 and diagnosed in 2009. "Ms. Maxie" is her typical daughter (doesn't have autism). Sherri works full time and blogs because she finds it to be therapeutic.

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Comment from: Jenifer [Visitor] Email
I think this is all very exciting but many of the children and young people with disabilities that could benefit from these apps also can't physically manage a small device like an Iphone or owning one puts them at risk of theft. The clunky ole Augmentative Communication device is not something the neighborhood thugs are going to pinch but the temptation changes when it's an Iphone hooked onto the wheelchair or whatever. Also, the controls can be hard to manage for one-handed users. And I have no idea if these work for people who use puff & sip devices. But maybe we can move in those directions.
03/23/10 @ 12:39
Comment from: Shane Nurnberg [Member]
You make some good points, Jenifer!

Some of the apps allow for the images to be enlarged to help those with motor skills challenges. But puff & sip devices won't work with them... yet!

As far as theft goes, I think many people (especially the children) are supervised well enough that theft shouldn't be an issue. AND there are also apps that turn iPods/iPhones into alarms, so IF they were grabbed a loud alarm is heard that cannot be turned off by anyone but the owner.

Still, I see your points though. An iPod isn't for everyone.
03/23/10 @ 13:09
Comment from: Shane Nurnberg [Member]
Note: Apple is not the developer of the apps. And it's the developers who control the price of each individual app. I've noticed they can (and often do) put them on sale for a time or even change the price for a while. So the prices aren't written in stone.

At the time I'm writing this comment M-CHAT is now $1.99, but at the time I wrote the original blog it was $26.99.
04/15/10 @ 10:36
Comment from: Paul [Visitor]
My son is 24, autistic, and non-verbal. He has a Chat-PC communication device that we were able to get a number of years ago. He uses the Chat-PC but does not readily pick it up to communicate.

My wife and I bought an ipod nano so our son could watch his videos. He loves animated videos and cartoons. However, he found the scroll wheel difficult to control since he does have some fine motor problems.

When we saw how well our son was able to interact with the touch screen on my ipod touch we decided to get him one of his own. He now uses the ipod touch to watch his movies and play some basic games.

He uses the ipod touch at home but it is really valuable when we go out somewhere. It gives him something to do almost anywhere we go.

We are now looking into getting one of the communication apps. However, I wonder if he will avoid the communication app and go straight to his videos or games. Has anyone had any experience with individuals using both the communication apps and the entertainment apps?
06/01/10 @ 14:00
Comment from: Shane Nurnberg [Member]
Hello Paul - Though my son is only 8 now and verbal (it's like pulling teeth), he loves Need For Speed on our iTouch. But he still asks to see his visual schedule on there too. He's fascinated that when he touches one of the pictures it talks even if it's just my voice saying, "Eat your dinner."
06/01/10 @ 14:33
Comment from: Janine [Visitor] · http://www.goodkarmaapplications.com
@ Paul...

Yes to your question...

What helps if you have one itouch for communication and one for gaming. Use two different colored cases so your son can visually see the difference. My son isn't interested in gaming, but for a friend that son is this did the trick.

Not cheap...but, might save your mind ;0)

I have found the cases from ihome work the best. Speaker control is on the outside and is more durable than the imaingo.(I think that is how it is spelled). You can buy them on Amazon.

@ Shane...thanks again for your wonderful website. You are a wealth of information and a real blessing to the ASD community. Thanks for taking the time to provide these resources to our families!!!!!!!!!!
06/17/10 @ 23:55
Comment from: Lisa [Visitor]
Thank you so much for this helpful and comprehensive review of current apps. I'm overwhelmed as I try to decide what apps to put on my autistic daughter's new Ipad. If you had no restrictions on cost, but could only have one of each type of app (communication, picture schedule, etc...), what would you choose? My daughter is 16 and I think she's going to love this, but I'm about to shut down from info overload! :)
07/28/10 @ 16:40
Comment from: Becky [Visitor]
I just found your site and love reading your blog. I am about to get my daughter who is 5 and is nonverbal and on the spectrum an ipad. I look forward to reading more on your blog and can't wait for her to be able to use and talk with the ipad.
11/30/10 @ 08:06
Comment from: Amy [Visitor]
Thanks for the reviews. Sure wish I would have found it before buying a few apps (picture scheduler immediately comes to mind). My son has been using my old iphone, but we just got a brand new ipad today! He's 7 and is higher functioning. It will be great to see what kind of apps will be developed for this population. Many of the ones out now aren't appropriate for him (he's verbal) or are too easy. He did stories2learn today and enjoyed that. I'm debating the Milo one but not sure if it's still for kids in his age group. We are currently teaching nouns and verbs (he's in first grade). Thanks again--this is a great resource!
12/20/10 @ 12:43
Comment from: Cathy [Visitor]
Your iPad can be added to homeowners insurance in case it gets damaged. We did it with our son's (8 year old with autism and apraxia) through state farm. Not sure if iPhone or iPod touch can be insured, but cases are better for these devices. IMainGo X is a good speaker case for the touch, but a bit bulky. But it's got good sound. I love Proloquo2go for his communication device. He does sometimes go into games at school, but he gets in trouble and we stop it pretty quickly.
12/30/10 @ 19:41
Comment from: Visitor [Visitor]
Schools are using the devices and working to get more. I work for a school system and we have ordered several iPads, iPods, and writing grants for more. Thank you all for sharing your successes. It takes a community to raise a child,it just so happens a global community works too!
01/22/11 @ 07:57
Comment from: Susan Treptow [Visitor] Email
Thanks for the useful information. My child is turning Seven this week and was diagnosed with ASD in May 2010. He is verbal, but has severe communication problems. He enjoys his itouch and I have seen a great improvement since we purchased it for him especially when in public. He has a hard time finding the right words for things or constructing sentences so I want an app that will help with that. Words coming from a computer or the itouch he picks up but when it comes from mom he has a hard time.
03/08/11 @ 05:16
Comment from: Heather [Visitor] Email
My son's speech therapist @ his school has an ipad. He loves it. I wish I could afford one. But I am a single mother of 4 who is not working so I can't get him one. I wish they were more affordable. But I agree they have some great apps for those with autism.
03/11/11 @ 04:48
Comment from: janet baird [Visitor]
my autistic daughter turning 4 and non verbal but understands. just bought i pad but find some apps too slow or badly made still investigating so many apps so little time... but thinking i could do better with the learning apps. the words one great need more like it....
11/25/11 @ 02:02
Comment from: Jess [Visitor]
Hi :)

I agree that the ipads can really help certain children and that new apps are being created all the time!

I would always suggest that an assessment by a Speech therapist can help to determine if a child is phsyically able to access an ipad manually, or via a switch or not. If not then alternative devices can be investigated!

I also agree that some of the apps have been poorly made and badly designed! There are some good webistes out there that are blogging and reviewing communication apps for more info just google :)
04/10/13 @ 05:18

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