Autism awareness: cool games and apps

In keeping with Autism Awareness Month, I wanted to mention some really cool apps that might be useful or interesting to kids with autism.

First and foremost is Zac Browser, originally created for the author’s autistic grandson. It provides an environment tailored to the interests and skills (both cognitive and motor) of people on various parts of the spectrum.

For picture stories, Widgit SymbolWorld has an assortment for younger and older readers.

For sensory experiences and / or learning cause and effect, Shiny Learning has an assortment of online games that allow the user to interact at their own pace with little more than a tap or click. You can move the mouse to hear music, click to see fireworks, or hold the button to make pictures or shapes move around the screen.

A number of apps are popping up in Apple and Android; it warms me that HP and autism advocates held a “hackathon” to develop autism apps. Some are free, and many are low-cost.

The iPad has a bit more publicity than Android, but there are Android  lists:

List of Android applications for people with autism

Special Needs Apps for Android devices

For augmentative and alternative communication (AAC):

The Spectronics blog has a comparison chart of AAC apps for iPhone and iPad.

For education:

Model Me Kids has a list of social skills apps for the iPhone and iPad.

Psychologist Katharina Boser created a wiki of autism apps organized by the needs they meet.

For (much) more, see About Apps and Autism on the ALSC blog.

About Amy

Children's librarian, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
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