Apps for Autism – new resources to explore!

Apps for Autism

ResourceLink has recently purchased a title, Apps for Autism, which is an extremely comprehensive guide to over 200 apps that have been carefully chosen to assist students with Autism develop communication, social and behaviour skills. You can meet the author, Lois Jean Brady on this video below:


We have experts within our Brisbane community also. Recently my colleague Ben van Trier and I were privileged to attend a training session with Bronwyn Sutton, a well known Brisbane-based Speech Therapist, who has a particular interest in Early Intervention, and has done extensive research  in identifying a large range of apps that are useful when working with children who are on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Her book, Apps for autism and learning : making an informed choice is also available to staff of BCE through the ResourceLink library. One of the features of Bronwyn’s research is that she has an Australian focus, and so wherever possible, she suggests apps that are either developed in Australia or that are not distractingly accented.

Bronwyn suggests that when working with students with Autism, the device is used either as a learning tool or a gaming device, as these students do not always have the cognitive flexibility and impulse control to resist the simple click required to access a game. Also, the ease to close an app is tempting for students with impulse control issues – for students with these challenges, she suggests using BubCaps, which make the button more difficult to click on and off.

One of the key messages that Ben and I took away from Bronwyn’s workshop was that with the huge number of apps available, effective evaluation of apps is vital.

Apps for Learning
Available to borrow through the ResourcLink library, or to purchase through Amazon (click the image to access details).

While quality titles exist that go some way to provide lists of useful apps, such as Apps for learning : 40 best iPad/iPod Touch/iPhone apps for high school classrooms  by Harry Dickens and Andrew Churches.

The difficulty with books is that they are dated from the moment they are printed. Therefore, it might be more useful for teachers and schools to develop their own evaluation tools, which can be applied to apps as they are discovered. The next post on the ResourceLink blog will explore the process of evaluating iOS apps for iPads and iPod touches, and provide some frameworks and strategies for implementing this process into your school or current practice.