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Best Autism Apps for iPad and Android (2019)

Best Autism Apps for iPad and Android (2019)

Children with autism need challenging but fun apps they can enjoy on a daily basis. However, choosing the best autism app is about more than making it challenging and fun. 

Primary School is part of the golden window of opportunity for working with children on the autism spectrum. For many children with autism spectrum disorder, early years are an excellent time to interact with peers and develop the social and communication skills necessary for school success. 

When traditional learning techniques don’t meet the needs of autistic children, autism apps for kids  specifically designed to nurture both ability and confidence can be used to supplement their learning. iPads are fast becoming the learning aid of choice when teaching kids on the autism spectrum. In recent years there has been a huge increase in the amount of apps for autism, but it’s often hard to tell between the good and the bad. 

Whether you're a parent of a child with autism or a teacher of a special needs classroom, these are the highly recommended autism apps that can help the children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Visual Reading-special Education is an extremely comprehensive and extensive app designed to support reading for young learners with autism spectrum disorders and associated learning difficulties. Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) principles are used to engage children in reading.

The monitoring features are second to none and provide you with excellent progress updates and reports that consider emotional states before and after sessions. The developers have created a program that truly considers learning difficulties and how they affect reading development. Visual Reading is probably the most extensive reading program I have seen that supports children with autism. 

Best For: Reading

Match & Find

( iPad - £12.99 )

Match & Find has been created for children with special educational needs.  Both its activities and the nature of its design are specially designed to create an environment and a learning experience suitable for these children to enjoy developing their understanding.

Match & Find is designed to help develop young children’s memory, matching, searching and sequencing skills. Working memory is very important for the development of language and numeracy, and the carefully designed activities in this app can help children train and improve their auditory and visual working memory.

There are a number of principles that have been followed to ensure that Match & Find works well for children who might find other educational apps overwhelming or inaccessible.  Their success is what makes this such a well-rounded and useful app.

Best for: Improving child's memory

Articulation Station

( iPad - Free )

Articulation Station was created by a certified Speech Pathologist to address articulation disorders, when a child has an impaired ability to produce a specific sound(s) and always produces the same error sound in its place.

The app is based on the process of traditional articulation therapy, which focuses on giving the child specific motor instructions on how to make a target sound. The core of this process is to teach a child to produce a target sound through a sequence of activities, including listening to and identifying the difference between the target sound from the error sound, correcting the production of the target sound until it is produced correctly, and generalising the target sound. 

The app enables practice at letter, word and sentence level to improve pronunciation and phonological awareness. Each word has 60 target words and all together Articulation Station Pro has over 1,000 target words.  The app enables easy scoring and data tracking.

Best For: Facilitating traditional articulation therapy

Social Quest

( iPad - £7.49 )

Social Quest is a great app for autistic children entering secondary school, as the ‘adventure game’ element appeals to children interested in interactive and problem solving games. Children work through real life situations and contextual images to solve problems, which also offers parents and educators ‘jumping off’ points to discuss the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of social language usage. The app is based on story-telling intervention, a technique identified by the National Autism Centre as particularly effective in the teaching of autistic children. Situations and questions also address development of self-talk for social situations, a strategy that can reduce anxiety and improve communication skills.

Best for: Social Interaction

Cosmo Training is a creative training and therapy system for people with additional needs. It consists of a set of interactive and multisensory controllers and games that motivate learners to develop motor, cognitive and communication skills through play and music. Cosmo's multi-sensory games work towards achieving skill based, functional and national curriculum compatible goals to help the child in tasks of everyday living.

Cosmo Training is an app unlike any other we have used in our school for children on the Autism spectrum. A whole host of multi-sensory activities are available that will ensure hours of fun and engagement for your children. 

Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the creation of Cosmo with the team behind it (Filisia), using evidence-based practice from the fields of Occupational and speech therapy to find assistive technological solutions to real life problems for children and young people with Autism. We  cannot recommend Cosmo highly enough to any person working with children with Autism. 

Best for: Autism learning and play


( iPad - £4.99 )

Choiceworks allows autistic children and teenagers to have a sense of control over their daily schedules. This app is based on the theory surrounding the benefits of schedules and sequences to people with Autism.

This app is especially useful for assisting the family routine due to the engaging, visual template that can be adapted to chart a personalised daily routine. This makes the process more predictable and therefore less stressful for autistic children. The app helps foster a child’s independence, positive behaviour and emotional regulation both at home and in the community. Each task can be marked as ‘done’, and schedules can be enhanced by adding a timer. The ‘feeling’ board and ‘waiting’ board can also be used to enhance interpersonal skills.

Best For: Scheduling and Time Management

Dexteria is an app that focuses on therapeutic hand exercises to improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness in children and adults who struggle in this area.

Dexteria focusses on hand exercises that improve Fine Motor skills and handwriting readiness in children and adults. The exercises take advantage of the multi-touch interface to help build strength, control, and dexterity. The exercises are designed to be repeatable and enjoyable, with a simplistic, visual and easy to use interface. 

Dexteria consists of 3 modes/ activities – Write It, Tap It and Pinch It. These activities are designed more like exercises rather than a game.

This app has won various awards in ‘special needs app’ categories and has a multi-user feature, useful if more than one child is using the app.

Best For: Motor Skill Development

InnerVoice: Communication

( iPad - £19.99 )

InnerVoice Communication is a universally designed, easy-to-use, and engaging communication tool that teaches speech, language, and social communication skills. 

As a teacher of children on the Autism Spectrum with complex communication needs, I am constantly looking for the most appropriate form of Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) to use with the children at our school. InnerVoice Communication is one of an excellent AAC app. It is now a firm favourite with our young communicators, their families and our speech and language therapists. It is not as complex when compared with other AAC options during initial set-up and the use of multi-sensory strategies in combining visual and auditory stimulation is wonderful. 

Best for: Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Special Words

( Android - £12.99 , iPad - £12.99 )

Special Words is an app that seeks to address deficiencies in expressive and receptive language in addition to attention, fine motor and hand-eye co-ordination skills. Special Words can be used by Teachers, therapists and parents to improve these skills.

Special Words is an app that seeks to teach word recognition, spoken language, attention and listening skills, in addition to hand-eye co-ordination. The app contains 96 words and pictures commonly used during early language development. Special Words can be used by parents, teachers, teaching assistants, speech & language therapists to enhance expressive and receptive language development.

Special Words app are helping many autistic children around the world, and are free from visual and auditory distractions that can upset and distract the children. The app is tested and recommended by experts in ASD from many countries.

Best for: Teaching Reading To Children With Autism

SENspeller is an application that helps to teach letter and sound recognition to those on the autistic spectrum. The concept behind the app is to play to the strengths of visual learners.

Communication and comprehension can often be limited with children on the autism spectrum. SENspeller has 3 distinct stages of spelling development, and as a parent you can monitor each child’s progress through the stages. This helps to ensure that your child is learning to spell rather than simply picture and word matching. Many children on the autism spectrum are visual learners and rely heavily on visual cues to aid their learning.

This is a useful app for teaching spelling to young learners with autism and other special educational needs.

Best for: Spelling to Autistic Children

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