AppStore User Rating:
Autism Discovery Tool offers explanation and simulations of some of the sensory differences that may be experienced by individuals with autism or sensory processing differences. The app provides tips for working with individuals with autism and for making them more comfortable, as well.
- Explores seven sensory scenes (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, balance, and body position)
- Offers multiple tips for each sensory area
- Provides 3 simulations of atypical sensations in each area
- Includes animated interactions with sound effects
- Designed for interactive exploration
Autism Discovery Tool is a high quality app that mostly performs as expected and intended. Developers did a good job of portraying various sensory differences and experiences that some autistic individuals may be having. Touching marked hotspots on each screen reveals toolbox tips that teachers, caregivers, and others can incorporate to build understanding and increase comfort for people with autism or other sensory differences. The tips congregate into the “toolbox” for each sensory area after they have been accessed. Each scene also includes simulations of how the world may be perceived by people with hypersensitive or hyposensitive input in that area, or by those with distortions.
Six of the seven sections worked beautifully, but the taste section did not seem to be working as well. The marked hotspots did not reveal the tips as expected, and I’m sure users will be disappointed in that section currently. Once this glitch is fixed, users will be able to access information across all seven sensory areas. One suggestion, though, would be to develop a way to reset the app for new users. Those familiar with the material may want to refer to it again and again, but new users would benefit from “discovering” it on their own. This feature would be most useful if it were optional, allowing the app to be reset when desired to promote awareness with new users.
Autism Discovery Tool is an outstanding awareness and education resource that will be helpful to anyone who is living or working with an individual who is on the autism spectrum or who has sensory processing differences. Many people find these conditions difficult to understand, and so do not know how to manipulate the environment to help people feel more comfortable and support their growth and progress. This app offers a clear explanation of some of the sensory differences and how they impact people’s lives. Each of the seven sensory sections offers 8 or more tips that form a “toolbox” of resources. These can be used as a source of ideas to understand and interpret behaviors, preferences, and challenges faced by people with autism or sensory processing differences.
The app is set up like a game, with interactive hotspots scattered around the screen. Each opens a tip related to the sensory area. Each section also includes simulations and explanations for how the world might seem to persons with over- or under-active perceptions, as well as to those whose perceptions are distorted. Best of all, the app puts a positive spin on the tips, not only listing things that might be challenging about the condition, but also offering suggestions that play to the strength of the situation. For example, a person who has trouble with excessive visual stimulation may also have a talent for producing visual works of art.
This app is not intended to be entertaining.
Autism and sensory processing differences are confusing conditions that are frequently misunderstood. Autism Discovery Tool offers over 75 tidbits of information and advice for interacting with these individuals, as well as simulations of some ways in which their sensory input may be different than most people expect. The app is a great tool for building understanding and compassion, as well as for presenting these differences in a positive light highlighting strengths and talents. It is a great value for the money for parents, caregivers, and teachers who want to help educate others. It would also be useful for students who seek to understand classmates with autism or sensory processing problems.
This app is very child-friendly.
- Parent area (contains no external links)
- NO social media
- NO in-app purchase
- NO 3rd party ads