Autism and useful apps for education

Stephen McHugh
This post was last updated on
August 19, 2022

Technology like apps weren’t around when I was growing up. However, I have taken some time to think about how these apps may have been useful to me when I was young. I’ve not used any, but, having carried out some research online myself, I have found several that I believe would have been my favourites when I was young. Please be aware that what I have written about them in relation to my situation and experiences when I was young may be different to other children’s particular situations.

PinJust in case you don’t know, when I was diagnosed with autism aged around 7, my case was likened to me being in the Pacific Ocean within touching distance of the seashore. I also had delayed language and speech development

The computer graphics used in apps can make them more visually appealing, helping to capture and maintain one’s attention. I had an interest in colours, which, I believe, would have helped to get me more tuned in. In addition, by having activities tailored to a child’s particular interests and experiences can get them to cooperate more.

Some apps out there can also aid with getting creative juices flowing, especially where one can upload their own photos and input accompanying text, thus writing their own short stories in relation to interests and personal experiences.

Otsimo

This is a fun, educational and very engaging and interactive app, ideal for children with autism and their language and communication development. It has plenty of activities and games which, I believe, would have had me engaged with it, especially setting the clock, learning and matching weather conditions, learning to play musical instruments and animal sounds. Some of my interests included, and still do, are clocks and anything time related, weather, musical instruments, and anything nature related.

Speech Blubs 

I had, and still have an interest in animal sounds. One thing that stands out for me here is the fact that it talks about the importance of animal sounds in relation to speech development. It mentions that once children learn to make animal sounds, that can help to lead to the creation of other words. For me, there would have been a strong possibility that this would have been an app to help me with my engagement and cooperation and possible vocabulary building. 

The assessment here asks a series of questions about your child's milestones, so that you can get personalised content and a learning plan tailored to suit your child’s needs.

Pictello

With this app you can take and upload your own pictures and tell your story from there. This app may help to improve verbal and communication skills, by allowing students to create lines of text or even short stories with pictures. These can be then shared with other people. I once wrote what was going on in pictures and my own short stories based on interests and experiences. This is what would have made an app like this suitable for me in terms of developing my writing skills.

Proloquo2Go AAC 

My vocabulary was limited at the time when I attended school, especially at younger ages. I like the fact that this app would have been ideal for my language and communication development, especially in terms of how one can use it to build sentences, add new words and build vocabulary. I also like the fact that one can build vocabulary gradually here.

Choiceworks 

This app would have be useful in terms of getting me to understand feelings and recognise emotions better. It reminds me of the times when my mum would find me pictures of cats and guide me in working whether they were happy, frightened or angry judging from their body language. In addition she found me pictures of sets of eyes, and helped me to work out whether a particular person was tired, happy etc.

Further reading

Resources for Parents | Sesame Street and Autism

MyFirstApp | Educational apps for kids | Best learning apps

5 Apps For AUTISM YOU Need (For EDUCATION!) - YouTube

Technology and its benefits

Conclusion

Technology has, no doubt, moved a long way over the years, helping us in many different ways, and has enabled us to produce many interactive things, some of which are very useful to one's development, including socially and academically.  Those of us with autism can find ourselves more engaged with gadgets and other related technologies.

Let me know in the comments section what apps you’ve found useful for your child’s language development and education. If you’re in a teaching capacity, I’d also like to know what apps you’ve used to support the learning and language development of any autistic students, especially if you believe they may benefit others out there.


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