Apps for Autism Highlights “Touch and Write”

Touch and Write                   By:FizzBrain


From The Developer

Kids love learning to write – especially when they can use shaving cream, paint, and jello! “Touch and Write” was developed by real classroom teachers, and recreates the fun and effective teaching strategy used in classrooms every day: learning letters by writing with shaving cream, jello, finger paint, and more! “Touch and Write” uses a letter style similar to those most commonly taught in schools, so it prepares children for a real classroom. “Touch and Write” also allows you to create your own lists of names and words so that you can individualize the learning experience for your child! And it comes with 6 of its own word lists, including the most important words for young children to learn – high frequency sight words!

From the Customer

My students love Touch and Write iPad app! It is filled with visual, auditory, and kinesthetic input that stimulates their sensory system. On the one hand, it is a favorite app to learn pre-literacy skills such as letter sounds, letter formation, spelling and words, on the other hand, Touch and Write is a terrific reinforcer. Touch and Write is packed with kid friendly, motivating features such as writing with whipped cream, cool sound effects, music, graphics and an array of luscious paper textures that keeps their attention and focus on task.

My favorite feature is having the ability to customize a word list, based on individual needs, that the students actually want to practice.

Touch and Write iPad app comes pre-loaded with 2 high frequency word lists, 2 alphabet word lists, numbers 0-9, upper case and lower case alphabet lists so that students can practice the most common occurring words. Lastly, the target area for writing the letter does not have rigid boundaries allowing for a bit of user error as well as stops and starts. This decreases frustration and abandonment of task. As one of my colleagues put it, “I wish I could write my reports in chocolate frosting.”

Check out the YouTube video for a hands-on demonstration

Add to FaceBook


Apps for Autism Highlights “You’re The Story Teller: The Surprise”

The Surprise
By: Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development


From The Developer

You’re the storyteller! In this beautifully animated, wordless story, the child watches each scene and can then record and/or write their very own narration!

There are 8 chapters in this story. Each chapter’s animation clips runs an average of 15 seconds, allowing the child to describe and retell the story in small increments. The user may replay the entire narrated story from beginning to end via the Table of Contents. You can also watch the original story with or without music accompaniment, email your story including the voice file, or print it out from your iPad!

From The Customer

It’s Monday morning, I’m late and have three students waiting for my arrival. Instead of panicking I pull out my iPad, open You’re The Storyteller app and begin my session.

You’re the Storyteller iPad app is a seemingly simple open ended app that lets the user target speech, language and/or social goals of up to 30 students (Pro version). Better yet, You’re the Storyteller provides prompts such as challenge words and questions for each chapter encouraging students stay on topic while recording and/or writing their rendition of the story.

As a speech-language pathologist I can use You’re the Storyteller to focus goals such as vocabulary, articulation, verbal sequencing, turn taking, perspective, labeling, describing and interpreting body/facial expression.

Occupational therapists can also use You’re the Storyteller to encourage keyboarding and problem solving skills.

All of my students have been highly motivated by the record feature, however may need some encouragement to produce the written portion.

Parents and caregivers love receiving their child’s story via email or in the backpack at the end of the day. “The Surprise” is the first story developed for You’re the Storyteller app. I hope there are many more to follow!

Add to FaceBook

Apps for Autism Highlights- iballz

By:Friendly Integration LLC

iBallz cost: $24.55
Bags and cases range from $27.99-$39.95

From The Developer

iBallz Original is a shock-absorbing harness for Apple iPad (1st, 2nd and 3rd generation). Four shock-absorbing balls fit over the corners of your iPad and are held in place by an adjustable elastic cord. Easy to attach and remove, iBallz provide ultimate drop protection without adding weight or concealing your iPad. Dropped from any angle, it never touches the floor and is elevated above spills and sticky surfaces.

From The Customer

Simple, yet effective and functional iBallz protects your iPad from tumbles and drops with four lightweight balls held in place with an adjustable bungee cord. This makes a striking visual impression that generates curiosity and draws student’s attention to the iDevice. And yes, they can survive a drop. Since using iBallz my iPad has made it unharmed through multiple accidental falls and spills.

Initially, I thought my students would pull the balls off or focus their attention on playing with the balls. I was wrong, most students simply looked, touched and maybe squeezed the brightly colored balls and then continued onto the iPad activity.

If that’s not enough, Friendly Integration gives you a choice of 4 bags and cases (Lid, Satchel, Hard Case or Soft Sleeve) custom made to fit perfectly with your iBallz harness. From a unique hand held folding sleeve to a shock-absorbing Satchel with a padded shoulder sling each bag or case serves a different purpose to fit your individual needs.

Add to FaceBook

Apps for Autism- A Finalist in The Benjamin Franklin Awards

The Benjamin Franklin award is regarded as one of the highest national honors in small and independent publishing.

To be considered for the award was an honor, to be a finalist is just amazing; to win the award would be the ultimate recognition of hard work and dedication.

There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into the Apps for Autism book. I say goes in, even though the book is finished and published, because work has been on going on the companion website that will be launched in the coming months.

Buy Now Apps for Autism

The website will keep the book up to date by continually reviewing and adding the latest iPad and iPhone apps along with techniques as they apply to the special needs community.

Purchasers of the book will be able to log in and get the latest iPad, iPhone app reviews. The website will also have a forum where parents, teachers and therapists can share experiences, ask questions and share ideas and personal stories.

With so many apps for the iPad and iPhone continually coming into the market our goal is to show case those that are particularly effective in the area of interest, whether it’s communication, social, behavioral or learning fun.

Many of the apps are similar in function and purpose; however, they are different in the details like, characters, colors, and sequence and user friendliness. No big deal to many of us, but for someone on the spectrum it may be the difference between having a session that is engaging and productive and a frustrating session where the student wants to do anything and everything but engage.

We put the apps through their paces on daily basis with many students of varying abilities and goals. This allows us to tease out the most effective apps and show case them in the “Apps for Autism” book and soon on the website.

Although the apps show cased work with many students there will always be exceptions. If there weren’t, it would be a perfect world and there is no such place.

I’m always looking for suggestions, ideas and success stories that I can share with the community. Feel free to leave a comment.

Add to FaceBook

Discover Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)

AAT Course Book Cover

In Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) the human-animal bond is utilized to help meet therapeutic goals and reach individuals who are otherwise difficult to engage in verbal therapies.

AAT is considered an emerging therapy at this time, and more research is needed to determine the effects and confirm the benefits. Nevertheless, there is a growing body of research and case studies that illustrate the considerable therapeutic potential of using animals in therapy.

AAT has been associated with improving outcomes in four areas: autism-spectrum symptoms, medical difficulties, behavioral problems, and emotional well-being.

So, you decide you want to give AAT a try. Picking an animal companion to help you in a therapy session is the easy part. Effectively using your furry friend as a key player in the therapy environment can be a little more complex.

This course is designed to provide therapists, educators, and caregivers with the information and techniques needed to begin using the human-animal bond successfully to meet individual therapeutic goals.

After completing this course you will have covered 6 key areas:

  1. Identify the key features of AAT
  2. Name three examples of how to build communication skills using AAT
  3. Identify special considerations for working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders
  4. List uses for AAT in occupational therapy and mental health practice
  5. Identify situations where AAT may not be appropriate
  6. List five ways to minimize risk in the practice of AAT

HealthCare professionals earn 2-CE credits or 0.2 CEUs

Add to FaceBook