Apps for Autism Apps That Can Make a Difference, and Why

Corina Becker | Autistic Self-Advocate |

Shannon Des Roches Rosa | Autism Parenting Advocate |

Autism/iPad Synergy
 Dynamic graphics motivate
& engage visual learners

 Voiceover lets pre-readers

 No cursor analogy:
direct touch screen

 Fine motor ease stylus:
mouse not required

 Portable, can learn & play
anywhere, any time

Learning: Structured Setting
• iPad: not just AAC
Device (Note: iOS 6 has Guided Access for “locking” apps)

• Apps are organized
and accessible, break learning into discrete chunks

• Apps spreadsheet: m/p/on-ipads.html

Social and Play Opportunities
 Attracts siblings and
peers: social capital

 Can support social
skills, formally and informally

 Independent leisure
time  Learning activities  Games  Videos

Overuse & Abuse?
 Do autistic kids obsess over screen technology?  For kids like my son Leo, independent is good!  All kids need supervision, some need support to
maximize iPad benefits

 Valid concern for kids who crave screen time – can
manage with timer apps, Guided Access (iOS 6)

 Autistic adults say “Yes, we’re visual and very
focused, why not explore how to harness these traits productively?”

iDevice & App Benefits
 Life-long learning  Developing and Maintaining

 Communication  Sensory Input Management

Apps & Autistic Adults
 Lack of Apps Designed for Autistic Adults
 Mostly adapted from children’s apps  Apps for Non-Autistic Purposes  EpicWin  Grocery List  iPrompts

 Now tests out apps

Corina: Personal Experience
 At first used iPods for sensory management
/ filtering  Walkman, then Discman

 Apps for Assistive Communication  Affordable  Easy-to-Use  Portable  Do not stand out  Cool

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