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7 Helpful Apps for Parents of Children with Autism

7 Apps for Autism - TeacherCast Guest Blog

Technology, and tablets, in particular, have made new approaches possible to teaching students with autism spectrum disorders. They have provided tech-minded parents and teachers with a number of very specific tools, and children – with the possibility to control a small part of their environment and, above all, the opportunity to communicate. Here are some helpful apps aimed to develop necessary skills in autistic children and provide advice and information for their parents.


Cognoa App

Available: iOS, Android, Web

Cognoa is an evaluation tool that helps to identify autism in children, assess and track their development, as they reach the important milestones. It is possible to receive a detailed feedback on your child’s progress, based on short videos of his or her natural behavior at home.

The results can be shared with teachers and pediatricians. You can also join the community of aware and active parents, that help their children with different issues. In addition, the service provides expert-recommended activities, which can help autistic children to improve their fine motor and sensory skills, socialization, and more.

The Connections

Available: iOS, Android

Lamarque Polvado, the founder of CareStarter, who developed the app, felt helpless when his daughter was diagnosed with autism. He knew nothing about the disorder. Unfortunately, the doctor was not very helpful, leaving Polvado with a “sheet of paper full of grim statistics”.

Therefore, his main goal was creating a referral portal to help parents and caregivers in overcoming fears and anxiety that usually accompany a diagnosis of a chronic condition. The app provides all necessary information, diagnosis-specific content and aims to build the community of people with similar concerns, who help each other.

Autism Track

Autism Track App

Available: iOS

The app was created for parents and caregivers of autistic children in order to collect different data specific to this condition, track progress, medication, behaviors, and symptoms (e.g. eye contact, echolalia, aggression, etc.), and based on this determine what is working and what is not.

The clean and intuitive interface (with sliders and checkboxes) allows keeping a record of every occurrence day by day and it only takes minutes. What is more important, it allows adding your own symptoms and intervention to the standard data set. Different caregivers can access a profile of the child, as well as different profiles can be created within one account (to track more than one autistic child.)


Pumpic Cell Phone Monitoring App

Available: iOS, Android

Nearly half of the children diagnosed with ASD tend to wander off, mainly due to the difficulties they experience with expressing themselves and making contact, so they cannot ask other people for help and provide the information that is essential for their identification. This monitoring app has a feature of GPS-tracking, so you can always see where your child is. It alerts you if he or she leaves the safe zones that you have defined, provides a record of the routes and a current location of the child.

First-Then Visual Schedule

First then Visual Schedule

Available: iOS, Android

The app was created as communicative aid, to help caregivers in providing a structured environment for children with ASD and other developmental issues. It empowers parents and teachers to give positive behavioral support via step-by-step “visual schedules”.

Though often having troubles with reading comprehension, autistic children are usually very good with images, so visual schedules are going to be of great help. All kinds of schedules can be easily created and customized for daily routines, as well as for some specific tasks with the use of your own photos and your voice recordings. You can choose among three different formats (full screen, first-then screen, and list screen) the one, which meets the needs of your child or ward.

Learn with Rufus: Feelings and Emotions

Learn with Rufus Feelings and Emotions App

Available: iOS, Android

Not every child with Autism has communicative issues, however, they are very common. Children diagnosed with autism often struggle to identify emotions of people around them and respond accordingly, hence the difficulties with communication. The app aims to help children with learning facial expressions, essential for social interaction.

It uses friendly animated character, Rufus Robot, and a selection of images to introduce the emotion words and provides a number of games and activities for securing them in the memory, and simply for relaxing during the break. The app is highly customizable to meet the needs of children of various ages, abilities, and needs. It also keeps track of the progress and stats.

Toca Boca

Toca Boca App

Available: iOS, Android

Toca Boca is not just a single app, but a series of apps aimed to teach young children social interaction and some practical skills. A hospital, a hair salon, a kitchen, a birthday party – there is a number of environments, situations, and types of interaction, with which a child can familiarize with a help of these games. This is great for social skills and imagination because of Toca Boca apps, apart from being beautifully drawn and user-friendly, allow kids to create their own stories. Moreover, these apps also teach math and basic money handling.

These apps can help parents with assessing the developmental progress of their children and ring the changes to learning routines making them entertaining and engaging. They will help kids with ASD master social and cognitive skills and feel more confident in otherwise confusing and hectic world. The important thing is to be consistent and ensure that the child uses the same apps (or even the same device) at home, at school, and in all other environments.

Jana Rooheart is a blogger and online safety expert. She is devoted to making the Internet safer for kids and to warning parents about all the possible hazards of online activities.

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