Not often there comes an incredible device like the Apple iPad as a savior for the autistic children for whom communication is often impossible. With the help of tablet computers and specially designed apps, the autistic children are able to communicate easily what they feel and want. These touch-screen apps designed for the iPad are now giving autistic people new ways to express themselves, some for the first time. Teachers and parents are hailing this technology as a breakthrough, one that can reveal the true depth of knowledge and emotions trapped behind those walls of silence of the children suffering from autism. Clinical experts say autistic children are showing a great deal of interest in the iPad with its easy touch-and-swipe screens. With specially-designed applications, or apps, these computers are helping them communicate and unlocking the isolation. Here is a lowdown to such 8 best healing iPad apps.
App#1-Grace: It is a non-speaking, simple picture exchange system developed for people with Autism to communicate their needs independently. Its users can select pictures to form a semantic sentence which they can instantly share. With practice, the user learns to attempt their own vocalizations with the pictures serving as a back-up or prompt. The goal of the Grace App is to encourage independent social interaction with the user taking control of what they want to say.
App#2-iComm: This app provides a communication aid for those who find it hard to speak. It’s a customizable, portable, interactive and accessible tool for parents to make a positive difference in daily life of an autistic child. Children who have cerebral palsy or autism are fond of and appreciate this fundamental communication system. iComm is an inexpensive alternative to many of the pricier communication devices.
App#3-TapToTalk: This app turns your iPad to an augmentative and alternative communication device. Children can tap on each image to hear fun audio. This app is known for its unique transition that has been found among kids with autism and possessing this app is much better than opting for any other communication augmenting device. It helps in bridging the communication gap between the autistic child and the parents/teachers.
App#4- Autism Xpress: The app has been helpful in promoting greater awareness about autism spectrum disorders. It is designed to encourage children with autism to recognize and express their emotions through its fun and easy to use interface. This free app displays basic facial expressions in a way which is comical and instructional; excellent for children who have difficulty understanding emotions.
App#5-iConverse: It is an educational app designed for young children with autistic problems and other communicative disabilities, and also toddler-aged children who are yet to master language. iConverse is an Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that replaces bulky and expensive communication devices used in the past. iConverse helps users to carry an AAC device in their pocket creating a means of communication that is appropriate, effective and discreet.
App#6- ABA My First Words: The app allows kids to view flash cards of some common first words as well as a matching game for pictures and words. The flash cards now come with audio effects making it more interactive for the kids. Children with autistic disorders can be benefitted from this wonder app to learn words in a communicative manner.
App#7- Choiceworks: This is an essential learning app for helping children to complete daily routines, understand & control their feelings and improve their waiting skills (taking turns and not interrupting). Based on the multi-award winning Choiceworks Visual Support System, this app is designed for caregivers to provide clear and consistent support to foster a child’s independence, positive behavior, and emotional regulation at home and in the community. It can also be customized for teachers in a school setting.
App#8- Dance Party Zoo: This app is designed for children who enjoy dancing, as well as those who need practice in motor and balance skills. This includes children on the Autism spectrum or with Asperger’s Syndrome, and other children who benefit from physical and occupational therapy. Dance Party Zoo provides practice in rhythm, balance, timing, and coordination. It can also serve as a rhythmic aid in reducing stress and anxiety. But most important of all, it’s lots of fun!