Your autistic child may have challenges socializing, communicating, and using appropriate behaviors in school. He may struggle academically and have poor self-confidence. Finding tools to help your child effectively develop these skills can be a challenge, but there are now many innovative technology tools that can help him thrive. Try some of the tech-savvy options below.
Findme is a great app for helping students with autism build their social skills–a challenge area for many individuals with autism. To use this tool, your child identifies a certain “character” in various scenes, then taps the correct character and is rewarded for correct choices. This app is suitable for kids as young as 18 months and as old as adults, and those who are both verbal or nonverbal can enjoy this tool. As an added bonus, this app is based on University of Ettinburgh research, which focused on creating an app that would help individuals with autism develop more effective social and communication skills. It’s a fun and engaging tool that all individuals with autism can enjoy.
Quick Talk is a great communication tool for individuals with autism. It helps those who are nonverbal communicate by touching buttons that convert words into speech. This iOS and Android app can be personalized for unique words, icons, and settings and can help with simple and more complex choices, yes/no questions, and class participation. Options for pictures or words are included for varying degrees of literacy. It’s a great tool for helping those with autism to better express themselves.
This palm-sized wearable device helps nonverbal individuals with autism to better communicate. With this device, users can send messages to others with simple gestures like swiping, tapping, or shaking. Users can either choose from a list of messages to send or create their own, and the message can be relayed to a smartphone, thereby communicating with someone either near or far. The receiving user can then send a response using their smartphone to the Touch user. Customized gestures can also be created, like a child returning home from school or hungry for a snack, or an adult who made it home or to the office. It’s an innovative, portable way to communicate!
Smile at Me is a great tool for helping your child build social skills and learn to recognize emotions, as many individuals with autism have trouble identifying social cues. To use the tool, pictures of children in both positive and negative situations are presented, and your child selects either a happy or sad emotion, depending on the picture. The repeated practice provided with this tool can help your child learn to interpret social cues, and users enjoy the rewards that are given for appropriate choices.
This tool is a great one for creating social stories and for building communication skills for individuals with autism. To use this tool, players enjoy creating visual scenes and social stories integrating sounds, pop-up text, and animated text. Scenes can then be linked to one another and added to various books that are grouped by topic or theme. This is a great tool for enhancing receptive language, visual memory, and communication skills.
Many individuals with autism struggle to communicate and socialize. With these tech-based tools, your child can build these critical skills while enjoying the process.