Tuesday, January 10, 2012

iPad, iPod, iPhone apps for children with Down syndrome

from Touch Autism:



Touch Autism began to build mobile device applications (iPod, iPad, iPhone, and others) for children with autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities and other special needs after discovering how incredibly useful this type of technology can be.
Some of the many advantages of these apps are that they suit visual learners, they allow for non-verbal and non-written responding, they provide immediate and consistent feedback, and are very motivating, because they are just so much fun!
Touch Autism is a two person team dedicated to making the best technological apps for autism, Down syndrome and other special needs that we can! The Touch Autism Team is comprised of Jenny Winningham, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Tomas Krones a Software Engineer. The two of us continuously work toward creating technologies that can help people with autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities live independent and productive lives.



  1. Staying Safe and Safer Strangers- A Stranger Danger Social Story for Autism, Down Syndrome & Other Special Need - This app is made up of two community safety social stories. One story focuses on safer strangers and buildings, and the other focuses on what to do if you are lost. 
  2. Calm Counter - Social Story and Anger Management Tool for Autism, Down Syndrome and Special Needs - The app opens up to a "I need a break screen" that vocalizes "I need a break" when it is tapped. The screen then transitions to a red screen with an angry face and the number ten. With each tap the screen transitions to a calmer face and color. In this way, the app prompts the user to count backwards from ten followed by a deep breath. The app also includes a simple social story with line drawings about anger. The social story talks about feeling angry and things you can do, like counting to ten, breathing deeply and taking a break, to calm yourself down. The settings screen allows you to choose from male, female or no vocals for counting back from ten and for reading the social story out loud.
  3. Touch Trainer - Autism & Special Education - The Turn Taker uses visual and/or audio cues to facilitate turn taking and/or sharing in children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome or other special need. This app has also been used successfully with young children, children diagnosed with ADHD, and with any child that finds it difficult to share! 
  4. Divorce Social Story - A Social Story for Children about Divorce – Autism, Down Syndrome and Special Needs - This app is a simple and short social story about diveroce and what it means for a  child. The app uses simple language and graphics to explain that divorce means parents living in separate houses, and that it's ok. 
  5. Turn Taker - Sharing Tool and Social Story for Autism, Down Syndrome and Special Needs - The Turn Taker uses visual and/or audio cues to facilitate turn taking and/or sharing in children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome or other special need. This app has also been used successfully with young children, children diagnosed with ADHD, and with any child that finds it difficult to share!
  6. Preference & Reinforcer Assessment - Autism & Special Education - his Preference (Reinforcer) Assessment app was designed by a BCBA (board certified behavior analyst) to make running a preference (reinforcer) assessment amazingly easy to do, so that anyone can effectively and scientifically determine their child’s or client’s preferences. Reinforcement (Preference) Assessments are an incredibly important procedure in any behavior change program. They are not conducted nearly as often as they should be because they can be difficult to run, or because many parents, caregivers or practitioners have not been sufficiently trained to run them. This app includes such features as descriptions of all of the types of preference assessments, a timer to determine the end of a trial, and specific instructions and visuals to help you set up and run the assessment. Once the assessment is finished the app will automatically calculate the percentage of times each item was selected in which it was available, and will present this info in an easy to read bar graph. The data and graph from each client will be saved on the app, so that the user can easily review results from past assessments.
  7. My Day With WH Words - A Social Story and Speech Tool for Autism, Down Syndrome and Other Special Needs - This app includes a social story about talking about one's day, and a simple visual support for "WH" questions (Who, What, When, Where, Why, How). The story focuses on why it's important to tell people about your day, and what each different WH questions mean.
  8. Potty Training Social Story - Autism, Down Syndrome & Special Needs - This is an interactive story about potty training that is customizable for boys or girls. The app also includes and extensive FAQ page that lists answers written by a board certified behavior analyst to common potty training questions.
  9. Knock Knock Numbers - Autism & Special Education - Knock Knock Numbers was designed by a BCBA as a fun way to teach kids how to tell knock knock jokes, while working on number recognition. The app teaches 20 different jokes and each one prompts the user to identify a number between one and ten.
  10. Conversation Social Stories and Simple PECS Communication Tool - Autism, Down Syndrome & Special Needs - This app is made up of four social stories about different conversational skills and simple communication tools to go with them. The stories focus on greetings, asking someone to play, what to talk about in a conversation and tips for great conversations. 
  11. Autism Apps - Autism Apps is simply a comprehensive list of apps that are being used with and by people diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome and other special needs. It also includes links to any available information that can be found for each app. The Apps are also separated into over 30 categories, and the descriptions are all searchable, so any type of app is easy to find and download.
  12. Touch Tutorial - Elderly, Autism & Special Education - Touch Tutorial was designed by a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) to teach users with little to no experience with new technology how to use touchscreens. Touchscreens, like those found on ipads, iphones, ipod touches or other devices, are being used more and more frequently in every day society. This application uses easy to understand language and icons to teach foundational skills and then builds on these skills so that the user learns many of the common gestures necessary to operate a touchscreen device. Also see Touch Tutorial Lite - Autism, Special Education & Elderly 

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