Grade: all
Subject: Special Ed

#1033. Autism Apps

Special Ed, level: all
Posted Mon Dec 12 05:47:38 PST 2011 by (
Autism Apps,
Materials Required: iPad

We have revised our lesson ideas and activities book. The new version, titled Lesson Ideas and Activities for Young Children with Autism and Related Special Needs: Activities, Apps & Lessons for Joint Attention, Imitation, Play, Social Skills & More includes an additional chapter on mobile apps (over 100 app ideas) that can be used in instructional lessons. Here are some sample ideas from the newly added "Apps" chapter.

Joint Attention

* Balloon Pops (Joe Scrivers, $0.99)- Take turns popping the balloons with the student.
* Magnetic Alphabet (Dot Next, $1.99)- Put images on the board based on themes, animals, dinosaurs, sea, farm, etc. Let the student move whatever item they choose onto the "magnetic" board. Or sing Old Mac Donald and use the farm board to show the animals on the farm.

Imitation Skills/Matching

* Talking Ben (Outfit7, Free)- Have fun letting Ben imitate words and sounds that your class or your family makes.
* Rhythm Repeat (Filpo Games, $0.99)- Use this app for your musically inclined students. It may work well in a music class or in an auditory imitation activity. The students will need to listen and watch, then tap the same sequence after hearing it.


* My First AAC by Injini (NC Soft, $24.99)- Circle Time may be a great place to use this app. The customizable screen layout can display 2 large icons or 8 smaller icons per category. Categories such as weather, colors, days of the week can be programmed into the app. It has more than 250 icons organized by category, the choice of a boy or girl voice, and animated icons.
* Speech with Milo: Verbs (Doonan Speech Therapy, $2.99)- Perfect for teaching verbs, this app can be used during a language lesson. Have students view Milo acting out the verb, then ask them to do the same thing that Milo does. In the app, the verb is spoken as the action is completed and auditory input helps to reinforce the action.

Self- Help

* My Little Suitcase by Moms With Apps (Moms with Apps, Free)- Have the students "pack" the suitcase on the app, then pack in a real suitcase.
* I am LOVE Kids Yoga Journey Lite (Gramercy Consultants, Free)- Use this app to teach self-relaxation. Use the videos as a visual support to show the yoga poses.

Independent Skills/ Pre-Vocational Skills

* More Cookies! (Maverick Software LLC, $0.99)- Practice mixing, baking and decorating cookies on the app for a few days. Culminate the lesson by applying the skills learned to a real cookie baking session.
* Everyday Skills (Ablelink Technologies Inc., $39.99)- Use this app with a unit on chores. Use the video that demonstrates washing dishes to teach the skill of washing dishes. Show it on the big screen as a movie. Have students either "wash dishes" in the play area or practice washing plastic dishes in the sink.

Social Skills

* Sentence Builder (Mobile Education Tools, $5.99)- In this app, students build sentences by looking at the given picture and scrolling for the words on a "wheel" on the screen. Use the app to have the students build the sentence on the app. Then, using chart paper or the whiteboard/chalkboard, model how to write the sentence so that they can see it in print as well.
* Manners (Conover Company, $0.99)- Place this app in a listening area with headphones. Have two students listen and watch the video on "Meeting/Greeting People." In another center, highlight, the main steps of the "Meeting/Greeting People" lesson on chart paper with visual pictures to accompany the words. In the third center, practice, the steps they learned using words, sign language or handshakes.

Play Skills

* Glow Hockey 2 for iPad Free (Natenai Ariyatrakool, Free)- Divide the students into groups. Have one group work in the play area using a real hockey puck and hockey stick, the second group at a small table learning the vocabulary terms about hockey and the third group taking turns using the air hockey app.
* Color My Name (Girl's World Pty. Ltd, $1.99)- This app is perfect for an "All About Me" unit. Use it 1:1 with a student to have them design an art project based around their first name.

Sensory Involvement

* Wheels on the Bus (Duck Duck Moose, $0.99)- Sing the song, finger paint a picture of a bus, then play the app.
* Magic Piano for iPhone, (Smule, Free)- Students can use this app to tap anywhere on the screen and make music. A visual image accompanies the sound output.

Basic Concept Mastery

* Kids Learning My First Numbers (, Free)- Teach 1:1 correspondence with this app by using the screen with the bears. Try using plastic counting bears on a small tray, in conjunction with the app, to have students count out the same number of bears they see on the screen.
* TalkCalc (KeilaniSoftware, Free)- Use this fun way to visually show the functions of a calculator. Allow a student to use this TalkCalc when learning to use a calculator. The app verbally labels the keys and the answer for the user.


* Toddler! (Red Hammer Software, $0.99)- Use this app's vehicle's page with a unit about transportation. The pictures have sound and could add a multi-sensory component to your lesson.
* ABA Flashcards Actions (, Free)- Teach verbs with visual flashcards in this ABA style app. Try using this app during 1:1 time for a child working on learning to identify action words.

Fine Motor

* iWriteWords (Gdiplus, $2.99)- Use this app as a practice session for 2 minutes before a handwriting class.
* Shape Builder the Preschool Learning Puzzle Game (Darren Murtha Design, $0.99)- Use shape manipulatives to have the students identify shapes. Have students match written words of shape names to the shapes. Then, give students the opportunity to play the puzzle builder app.