Parents – Are you aware of the great autism apps available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad? These apps can be of tremendous help to you and your child with ASD. Apple devices are cool and the apps are pretty inexpensive once you get the device itself. (The way I’m going on here you’d think iOwnstockinthecompany. A little Apple humor. I couldn’t resist!)
Let me paint you an example; If your child is non-verbal consider that purchasing an augmentative and alternative communication device like a DynaVox costs thousands of dollars. Then consider the iPod Touch with the smallest memory capacity will run you about $240 after tax. And that model will do you just fine. Then $10-$200 more for the appropriate apps. There’s really no comparison when it comes to price. And functionality tends to be just as good. Did I mention how much cooler these little Apple devices are? Oh yeah!
I bought an iPod Touch around the end of February 2010. My intentions were selfish, I’ll admit. I didn’t buy this thing with autism in mind. But I’m amazed with some of the apps you can purchase. I had no idea! Don’t let me lose you – ‘apps’ is just another word for applications or programs. I bought my iPod for web surfing, e-mail, and music, but now I’m all about the apps! (QUICK UPDATE: As of Sept. 2010 my son has an iPad.) If you don’t know, the iPod Touch is essentially an iPhone minus the phone and GPS which are both standard on the iPhone. But the iPhone also comes with a monthly bill. Being anti-cell phone and anti-monthly bill, I opted for the iPod Touch. The apps are compatible with both iTouch and iPhone and they are increasingly becoming compatible with the iPad. Since I’m already getting tired of typing ‘iPod Touch’ I’m going to call it an iTouch for the remainder of this article.
Let me review several of the apps, which I hereby dub ‘autism apps’. But make no mistake – these apps can help children with varying disabilities, not just ASD. Many of these were developed by parents who have children with autism or similar disabilities. And, since I figure anybody can review the apps that are around 2 bucks or less I’m going to concentrate on the higher end. Generally those are the more relevant autism apps anyhow, and before dropping $10 to $200 you’ll want to be edumecated.
If you’re wondering why you should pay attention to my reviews rather than Joe Schmoe’s reviews, well, I own all of the following apps and I have a technology background. They are all installed on my iTouch (and/or my son’s iPad) so I have firsthand experience. I’ve used them. I’ve tested them. I’ve put them through the ringer. A big thank you to the developers of many of these apps who generously and freely gave me their products on the strength of Autism Epicenter and the fact that I spread the word here and through speaking engagements. THANK YOU!
With that said…