Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) develop at a rate differently than their peers. But instead of singling them out as abnormal, it’s better that we adhere to their specific needs and specialities. Thankfully, there are a host of ways to cater to their challenges and strengths by offering up lots of apps, tools, freebies and games that enhance all of their unique qualities.
From developing more comfortable social behavior to reducing daily anxiety, there are a plethora of great minds, organizations and brilliants ideas that we can utilize to help stimulate these special kids while allowing them to grow with confidence.
In This Guide..
Autism Track | iTunes: Perfect for families with an autistic child, this app makes it easy to track patterns and keep a visual calendar. This can be used by entire families to help gain more knowledge and understanding life with Autism.
Doodle Buddy | iTunes: There’s so much to love and get creative with throughout Doodle Buddy. Which is its purpose, allowing kids to stretch them imagination and get outside their comfort zone with play.
Look In My Eyes | iTunes: Building eye contact never was more fun than with this train-loving game! Whether your young one needs help building their confidence, social skills or just loves trains, this will hit every note. Throughout the activity, users will practice their eye contact by earning rides as engineers of their very own steam trains.
iConverse | Download: Designed specifically for those with communicative disabilities, iConverse helps those without a mastered language (from toddlers to autistic individuals). Basically, a button is touched and the individual’s want and need is seen and heard by those around.
Learn With Rufus | iTunes | Google Play: For autistic children that need help learning emotions and the facial expressions that come with it, Rufus is here to help! This is a great app for strengthening social skills.
Emotions and Feelings: Autism | Google Play: A lot of children with autism have trouble recognizing common emotions through facial expression and with this app, they can learn how in a fun, interactive way. A combination of stories will show them the correlations and explain to them why things can make people feel certain ways.
1 on 1 Communicate Easy | iTunes: Providing visual prompts, pictures, sounds and more to help with decision making and schedules, this app targets those with on the autism spectrum as well as those ADD, ADSD and other special needs conditions.
iPrompts | iTunes | Google Play: Made for parents, teachers, therapists and others caring for those with autism, iPrompts offers visual support for kids that need more structure. There are picture schedules, visual countdown timers, and even a large image library that help days go by smoother for everyone involved in the life of those with unique needs.
Pictello | iTunes: A visual story creator aimed at helping the communication skills of non-verbal children, you’ll love the imaginative muscles that your own little one will be able to build within this app. Helping to remember events and teach social skills as well.
The Social Express | iTunes: Aimed at children with social learning challenges, The Social Express is an interactive app that targets core deficit areas. From school and beyond, the animated visuals will encourage kids to practice social skills.
Even more apps – Check out 10 other helpful apps here.
Helpful Daily Tools
Bio Hug: A deep pressure, portable “hug” that will calm people that need help focusing and relieving anxiety.
EZ Sox: An innovative way that helps dressing oneself a bit easier. EZ Sox make pulling on socks less frustrating and a lot smoother as part of one’s getting ready routine. (There’s training underwear available too!)
Comfort Silkie: These blankets are designed to “soothe the senses” and put children – and adults – at peace while at rest. Made with a variety of signature fabrics: Silkie Satins, Ultra Soft Plush, Cozy Cotton Flannels, and Luxe Fur.
Undercover Tape: Do itchy tags or seams annoy your kiddo? Well, undercover tape makes every piece of clothing – old or new – comfortable by covering up the bothersome bits!
Twiddles: Made for those with specific sensory conditions, Twiddles are comfort aids that keeps hands and minds engaged. The continuous focus and movement provides soothing powers during situations that would otherwise result in anxiety or discomfort.
ABL Denim: Premium quality – adaptable – denim jeans for those with sensory issues or limited mobility.
Pressure Vests: Designed to calm children with autism, ADD, SID and ADHD, the pressure vest provides deep sensory feedback to the entire torso – the “snugness” is evenly distributed.
Sensory Sack: The Sensory Sack provides activity that helps calm, soothe, focus and entertain those that need the extra boost. This tool gives those with sensory processing disorders or autism a place to pretend, crawl, stretch and more.
Discover Putty: A means for strengthening fine motor skills, Discover Putty is a great activity for those that need a “fidget tool.” Users continue to pull and strength the putty until the hidden treasures are found.
Bouncy Bands: Perfect for kiddos that just can’t seem to sit still. Bouncy bands refocus that energy while helping those same children become successful in the classroom.
Freebies & Resources
Disney Cognitive Disabilities Services: If you’re planning a trip with your child to Disney World, check this out! They offer a variety of services for those with cognitive disabilities – including Autism Spectrum Disorder – in hopes of making their stay a lot more enjoyable. These services include accessing attractions a bit quicker for those who are unable to tolerate long lines and special companion bathrooms.
Santa’s Little Hackers: This is a seasonal toy drive with its goal being to take toys on the shelves now and adapting them for children with unique needs.
ASDF Autism Gift Card Program: They provide families raising an autistic child with a $250 gift card throughout the holiday season.
Free Help Forms: If you visit this site, you’ll find a ton of free help forms you can immediately download and print right at home.
iTaalk: A non-profit foundation with the mission to provide those with autism an easier means of communicating. Children with autism have a chance to receive a free tablet through this program.
Songs of Love: Another foundation dedicated to inspiring and uplifting children with unique needs, they provide personalized songs – free of charge.
ASL Browser: Learn sign language for free within the ASL Browser!
Autism On The Seas: These cruises are specifically for adults and families with autism or other disabilities. They have activities that cater to these unique needs, youth programs, adults programs and more on board.
Weekly Autism Planner: This is a free printable for parents of those with autism. Keep track of appointments, goals, activities, medications and more all within this planner.
Rosetta Stone Demo: Check out this free Rosetta Stone Demo for those wanting to learn or brush up on a language.
Fun & Games
The Moodsters: These five characters are here to help your kiddo express themselves! Through stories and activities, children will be taught important, emotional intelligence skills.
Do2Learn: This site offers a variety of educational games for those with special needs. From a feelings game to online coloring pages, there’s a lot to explore.
Make Beliefs Comix!: Practice writing, reading and storytelling by creating your very own online comic strip. Parents can use it to by creating storylines that convey information to their children to help them learn about certain social situations, etc.
Zac Browser: The first web browser made specifically for autistic children.
ChordBuddy: A tool used to teach special learners how to play guitar – including those with ASD as it meets their unique needs in audio, visual and kinesthetic areas.
Her Interactive | Nancy Drew Interactive Games: Check out this site for a variety of fun-filled, mystery games for your little detective to explore.
Me & My World Social Skills Teaching System Board Games: There are 6 themed puzzles included in this game set – but the entire Me & My World curriculum offers up more than 50 lessons to experience.
Aven’s Corner: A section of the web dedicated to bringing unique, online kids’ games specifically for preschool aged children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Pick & Draw: Learn how to make cartoon faces within this easy-to-use drawing game!
Minecraft: An incredibly popular game for children of all ages, it’s also becoming quite a good choice for those with ASD. It’s visual, it’s creative, it promotes social skills and it’s portable too.