1. 9 Technology
Disclaimer: This document reflects the views of the author. It is Autism Ontario’s intent to inform and educate. Every situation is unique and while we hope this information is useful, it should be used in the context of broader considerations for each person. Please contact Autism Ontario at info@autismontario.com or 416-246-9592 for permission to reproduce this material for any purpose other than personal use. © 2012 Autism Ontario  416.246.9592  www.autismontario.com.
1.1. Effective Use of Educational Software with Students who have ASD

Guidelines for the Effective Use of Educational Software with Students who have ASD and or other Developmental Disabilities

By Leslie Broun, M.Ed., ASD Consultant
Educational software can be a valuable component in the array of methods and materials used to teach students who have Autism Spectrum Disorders and/or other developmental disabilities. The use of the computer and educational software provides several advantages to the learner: 
  • The computer screen is a visual medium which allows the student to access her/his strength in the visual modality.
  • Computer programs offer unlimited opportunities to review concepts. Repeated trials allow opportunities to refine or consolidate a task or skill sequence.
  • Software programs that have been created for students who have learning difficulties generally maintain consistency in the language of instruction and in the program routines, as well as provide an element of predictability in how exercises will be presented.
  • Most educational software eliminates the need for using a pencil, particularly in the area of Mathematics. Many students with ASD and other developmental disabilities have significant difficulty using a writing tool, which can seriously interfere with task performance. When the pencil is removed from the learning experience, it frees the student’s focus and cognitive energy to deal with task expectations rather than struggle with numeral or letter formation.
  • Working with educational software allows for a focused instructional experience.
  • When software can be shared between school and home, the student may be more able to generalize information from one environment to the other. 

There are some preliminary steps that instructors can take so that students can participate to the best of their ability and with a clear understanding of task expectations. 

  • Make an informed decision about the software program you choose for your student.
    • Ask other instructors about software programs their students have used.
    • Look at educational catalogues and brochures that advertise educational software.
    • Go to the websites of companies that sell educational software. Many of these websites include free downloads and/or demonstration videos that explain the programs and that can be trialed. Some sites also offer software manuals that can be downloaded.
    • Seek the advice of a software distributor who has a broad knowledge of what kinds of programs are available.
    • Check to see if your classroom computer, as well as your school board’s computer systems, will be able to accommodate the program. 

When choosing educational software, preview its program components. Check to see if the cognitive level for intended users is indicated. It is critically important to study the software to determine which elements of a program are appropriate for the student. There are some important questions to ask in this process: 

    • Does the student have the pre-skills necessary to engage in the program?
    • What kinds of software has the student used in previous situations?
    • How did the student respond to other software programs?
    • Are there components of the program which may be too easy or too difficult for the student?
    • Does the program include audio? Does it give verbal task instructions? Are instructions clear and simple or do they involve two or three steps?
    • Does the student have adequate receptive language skills to understand the instructions or will they need further explanation by an instructor (perhaps put into a printed or written format)?
    • Is there a reading component to the program? Are the student’s reading skills adequate for effective participation in the program?
  • Look for the software features that are most useful for students with ASD/DD:
    • Clear visual images that do not veer too far from reality: either photographs or accurate drawings
    • Well-articulated and clear language of instruction
    • Single-step instructions whenever possible
    • The availability of Pause and Repeat features
    • Scaffolded tasks that do not become too complex too quickly
    • Task review opportunities
    • Tasks that allow the student to work independently
  • Check the technical requirements of the program. Can the technical components be manipulated, e.g. voice, length of time between tasks, mouse, touch screen, keyboard or switch capability? Determine which method of access will be most efficient for your student. 
  • Does the program have a data collection component? Can it be printed? Can the student participate in her/his own data collection process? 

 There is a vast array of educational software available which addresses the broad spectrum of academic and social needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and developmental disabilities. This software can be an extremely useful component in a well-rounded and comprehensive educational program for our students.


Key Words:  Education, educational software, instruction, software requirements

Disclaimer: This document reflects the views of the author. It is Autism Ontario’s intent to inform and educate. Every situation is unique and while we hope this information is useful, it should be used in the context of broader considerations for each person. Please contact Autism Ontario at info@autismontario.com or 416-246-9592 for permission to reproduce this material for any purpose other than personal use. © 2012 Autism Ontario  416.246.9592  www.autismontario.com.
1.2. Augmentative & Alternative Communication Applications

Tip Sheet

Alicia Garcia, Speech-Language Pathologist 

What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)?

AAC allows people who have difficulty speaking to use gestures, signs, pictures, symbols or technology to express their wants, needs and thoughts. This tip sheet deals with technology used for AAC.

AAC relies on Speech Generating Devices (SGDs). At their simplest, these are machines that can record messages that their users then play back when they want or need to communicate to others. More complex devices allow people to communicate unlimited, unique messages by choosing from large sets of pictures, words or letters.

Modern technology allows commercial devices, such as the iPad and iPod Touch to be used for ACC thanks to specific ACC “apps” (software). This makes SGDs cheaper and easier to acquire than ever before. It also makes SGDs more appealing and socially acceptable for their users. In addition, users can take advantage of a wide assortment of other functions that can also support communication and language, such as taking and viewing photos or videos, accessing the internet, or using email or educational software.

What do AAC Apps Look Like?

There are hundreds of apps for communication, ranging in price from free to $300.  As a rule of thumb, the more features offered and the more customization allowed, the more expensive the app. Even the expensive apps often have free or low-price “lite” versions that offer basic features. This allows users to try out the app without investing a lot of money and, if they want, upgrade to the full version later.

  • AAC apps vary greatly in how they look, but fall into these general categories:
  • Apps with Pictures and Recorded Speech: a speaking partner records messages, then the user plays the appropriate message by choosing from a set of photographs or picture symbols
  • Apps with Pictures and Text-to-Speech: the user plays the appropriate message by choosing from a set of photographs or picture symbols, which then produce the message using the device’s own text-to-speech function (no recording necessary)
  • Text-Based Apps: the device “speaks” whatever the user types on the keyboard


How do I Choose the Right App?

Choosing the right AAC app for your child (of any age) is important: after all, you are choosing the language that your child will use to communicate and, in most cases, even the words that they will use. The ultimate goal is to match the child’s communication needs with the app’s features. With so many choices and devices to choose from, this can be difficult: whenever possible, get the advice of a specialist in communication or a speech-language pathologist with AAC knowledge. They will help you explore and consider the best app for your child based on things such as: type of pictures (photographs, line-drawings), ideal number of pictures per screen, amount and type of “navigation” (finding pictures on different screens), type of words (names, actions, describing words, etc.), function or purpose of messages (asking for things, making comments, asking questions, etc.).

What are Some Popular AAC Apps for iPads, iPhones and iPods?  

Say Hi! AAC*: (FREE) App with pictures and recorded speech. Has up to nine customizable pictures per screen, clean interface, straightforward and very easy to program.


Answers:YesNo HD*: ($3.99) App with pictures and recorded speech for the iPad. Has two large customizable buttons per screen, up to 30 screens, allows creation of "lesson plans" (sets of custom button pairs linked by navigation arrows), simple, easy presentation for basic choice-making.


Scene Speak*: ($9.99) App with pictures and recorded speech. Presents scenes or environments (living room, kitchen, etc) containing sound areas that users can select; scenes can be personalized.


Assistive Chat: ($24.99) Text-based App. It has a keyboard with large typing area, word prediction buttons and up to three different voices.


GoTalk NOW*: ($79.99) App with pictures and recorded speech. Has up to 25 customizable pictures per screen, large photo library with clear and crisp photographs, built-in internet image search and recorded voices; text-to-speech in variety of languages available at extra cost.


Sono Flex: ($99.99) App with pictures and text-to-speech. Has a large library of line drawing pictures, five voices, over 50 pre-programmed boards; free Lite version available.


Verbally Premium: ($99.99) Text-based App. Has a keyboard, word bank and frequent phrases; personalized word prediction, versatile ready-to-use app for literate individuals; free Lite version available.


TapSpeak Choice*: ($149.99) App with pictures, recorded and text-to-speech. Has Dynavox/Mayer Johnson PCSTM picture symbol library.  Has up to 56 pictures per screen.


Touch-Chat HD: ($149.99) App with pictures and text-to-speech. Has four pre-programmed page sets targeting different communication needs, allows use of grids, interactive scenes or keyboard; messages can be easily shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or via text message or email.


Proloquo2Go: ($189.99) App with pictures and text-to-speech. Has large line drawing picture library, grids and keyboard with word prediction, large set of customizable features; comprehensive and easy-to-follow online training and support.


Speak for Yourself: ($299.99) App with pictures and text-to-speech. Has up to 120 pictures per screen, comprehensive vocabulary of the words used most frequently in face-to-face communication.


 *Peut être utilisé en français

Please note: Prices listed are from the Apple Store, August 2012.

I Have the Device and the AAC App, Now What?

Having access to an AAC app does not automatically make someone able to communicate. Communication is a two-way process involving a speaker and a listener. A key component when teaching someone to use AAC apps is ensuring they understand that the device is a communication tool that they will use to express messages to someone who is listening and will respond to what they say. Learning to effectively use an SGD to express needs and wants, to share ideas, to have conversations with family and friends requires ongoing communication and language training: you should consult with a speech-language pathologist who can provide both.

Is AAC Covered by Ontario’s Health Care System?

The Assistive Devices Program of Ontario provides funding for SGDs for individuals who qualify. You will need a prescription for a device from an ADP-certified AAC team at one of the designated AAC Clinics across the province. Consult your local children’s treatment center for more information.


Keywords: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC); Applications (apps); Communication; Computers; Educational Software; Software Requirements
Disclaimer: This document reflects the views of the author. It is Autism Ontario’s intent to inform and educate. Every situation is unique and while we hope this information is useful, it should be used in the context of broader considerations for each person. Please contact Autism Ontario at info@autismontario.com or 416-246-9592 for permission to reproduce this material for any purpose other than personal use. © 2012 Autism Ontario  416.246.9592  www.autismontario.com.
1.3. Autism Apps

Tip Sheet

What are iDevices?

iDevices are mobile devices from Apple computers. There are three models of iDevices: the iPad, the iTouch and the iPhone.

What are Apps?

Apps are software or programs that run on mobile devices. They are designed to perform a variety of tasks for many different purposes such as entertainment, education, business, productivity, etc. Apps for iDevices are installed via Apple’s iTunes online store.

What kinds of Apps are available for children with special needs?

There are thousands of apps to facilitate communication, support learning, promote independence or just have fun.  To find the right app for your child, start by installing AutismApp. This is a free app that offers a comprehensive list of apps for children with autism classified by their purpose or function e.g., behaviour and social skills, communication, fine motor skills, fun and games, sensory, speech and language, visual schedules, math, literacy, etc. AutismApp includes detailed information about each app, as well as price, reviews, screenshots and, in some cases, videos. It can only be used with a Wi-Fi connection.

Some popular apps for children with autism, classified by their function or purpose are:


Pictello: ($18.99) allows creation of talking photo albums, Social Stories®, and talking books; stories can be shared with non-Pictello users as PDF files through email, http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/pictello/id397858008?mt=8

All About Me Storybook: ($2.99) customizable storybook offering picture, text and audio support to help children share their personal information; it contains twelve chapters including name, address, birthday, phone number, family members, things I like, etc. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/all-about-me-storybook/id426201106?mt=8

The Social Express: ($88.99) interactive social lessons to help children understand social situations, identify feelings in others, read non-verbal cues, learn how to start conversations, etc.  It has appealing graphics, a useful cueing system and customizable skill levels, http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/the-social-express/id477525808?mt=8


Abilipad: ($18.99) allows creation of customizable keyboards with alphabet, whole words, phrases or pictures; a notepad section on top of the keyboard displays the child’s writing accomplishments, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/abilipad/id435865000?mt=8

ABC PocketPhonics: ($2.99) teaches handwriting, letter sound identification and first words spelling in fun, interactive ways; it has pleasant images and sounds, http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/abc-pocketphonics-letter-sounds/id299342927?mt=8

I Like Books: ($1.99) 37 picture books for children ages 0 to 6; words are highlighted in red as the audio is played back.  It has attractive images and large text offering an errorless and enjoyable reading experience,



Choiceworks: ($9.99) allows creation of customizable feeling boards, waiting boards with timer and visual schedules paired with an all done column to check off steps, http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/choiceworks-visual-support/id486210964?mt=8

Time Timer iPad edition: ($6.99) visual countdown; electronic version of popular Time Timers used in schools and therapy sessions,


iMovie: ($4.99) great movie making app to create and edit movies and teach desired behaviours via video modeling (i.e., the child watches a video of himself or a peer performing a desired behaviour successfully and then is encouraged to imitate the behaviour), http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/imovie/id377298193?mt=8


Answers YesNo HD: ($3.99) has two large customizable talking buttons for simple, straightforward choice making tasks; includes up to 30 pairs of customizable buttons, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/answers-yesno-hd/id393762442?mt=8

GoTalk NOW: ($79.99) has up to 25 pictures per screen, large photo library with clear and crisp photographs, built-in internet image search, and recorded voices; text-to-speech in a variety of languages is available at an extra cost,


Proloquo2Go: ($189.99) popular communication app; has large picture library of line-drawing symbols, grids and keyboard with word prediction; includes large set of customizable features, http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/proloquo2go/id308368164?mt=8


Inclusive Smarty Pants ($2.99): large, colorful cartoon faces with animated expressions and sounds to help children identify feelings and emotions, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/inclusive-smarty-pants/id490126715?mt=8

Put it Away: (FREE) teaches children how to tidy up and clean up a room by dragging items to specific locations on a scene (e.g., in a kitchen scene, bowls and plates have to be placed in the sink); exercises category, sorting and memory; can be fully customizable with scenes created from the photo library, http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/put-it-away/id494750234?mt=8

Toontastic (FREE): cartoon movie maker; kids can pick the background, characters, colours, or music, record voice and create their own animated video stories,


Picture the Sentence HD ($5.99): educational app that helps children understand language by visualizing key parts of sentences individually and then as a whole, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/picture-the-sentence-hd/id478599625?mt=8  


Talking Carl: ($0.99) funny cartoon that repeats everything that you say in a silly voice, http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/talking-carl-gugl/id434860636?mt=8

Thomas & Friends Game Pack: ($2.99 each): interactive puzzles, colouring and animation; a must-have for Thomas the Tank Engine lovers who enjoy matching and puzzles, http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/thomas-game-pack/id352660283?mt=8

Hand Drums: ($0.99) fun and simple app with large and realistic looking images, http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/hand-drums/id380564151?l=fr&mt=8  

The following apps can be used in any language, including French:


  • Pictello
  • Abilipad
  • Time Timer
  • iMovie
  • Answers YesNo
  • GoTalk NOW
  • Inclusive Smarty Pants
  • Toontastic
  • Hand Drums


Please note: Prices listed are from the Apple Store, August 2012.

Keywords: Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Applications (Apps), Computers, Communication, Behaviour, Social Skills, Educational Software, Leisure, Teaching Strategies


Disclaimer: This document reflects the views of the author. It is Autism Ontario’s intent to inform and educate. Every situation is unique and while we hope this information is useful, it should be used in the context of broader considerations for each person. Please contact Autism Ontario at info@autismontario.com or 416-246-9592 for permission to reproduce this material for any purpose other than personal use. © 2012 Autism Ontario  416.246.9592  www.autismontario.com.
1.4. 25 iPad Facts & Apps for Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder & Other Exceptionalities

By: Kimberly Maich, PhD, OCT, Brock University and Carmen Hall, MC, CCC, BCBA, PhD Student, Apple Distinguished Educator, Fanshawe College

With the inception of the iPad and the surge of app development for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the iTunes “App” Store where iPad applications (typically referred to as “apps”), are purchased for classroom implementation can seem a little overwhelming at times! Nonetheless, the user-friendly nature of the tablet, its accessibility, and its relatively low costs have changed the way many learners with ASD can, for example, learn new skills, meet curricular expectations, utilize augmentative communication, and access required accommodations (Banda, Grimmett, & Hart, 2009; Mang & Wardley, 2012). The following 25 apps and facts can help with building a strong entry level foundation of professional knowledge and skill to support students with ASD in your classroom through the use of iPad-based tablet technology.

1: Devices

A range of tablet devices are currently available, falling primarily into one of three categories: (a) the iPad, (b) Android tablets, and (c) Windows tablets. Although variety and price varies, the iPad has dominated in the education field, with iPad sales in school doubling each year (Travlos, 2012). The primary reason for this participant success is the availability of desired apps, as well as the presence of built-in accessibility features which provide immediate options to meet the needs of a range of learning styles. Currently, the iTunes store has over 40,000 educational-based apps available, including a significant portion of online textbooks and other learning resources available on interactive iBooks, a framework for building customized teaching and learning materials. Apple has also created iTunes U, a free, user-friendly learning management system which allows academic content sharing at any age, grade, or level (apple.com/education/ipad/itunes-u/). In comparison, other, similar devices are more limited in the educational sector.

2: Accessibility

One of the most valuable characteristics of the iPad is its built-in accessibility. These features are created for individuals with various learning styles, challenges, preferences, and/or disabilities, adapting the presentation of information for vision/hearing/communication, physical/motor skills, and learning/language/literacy needs. An overview of these features are available online at apple.com. To find these options on the iPad itself, go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility. Guided access, text-to-speech, speech-to text, and zoom are some other options which provide accommodations for individual learning needs.

3: Guided Access

Some students are prone to exiting target instructional apps for more preferred and/or reinforcing apps, creating a situation of off-task time that should be devoted to learning. The guided access option allows educators and/or parents to lock the screen (wholly or partially) and disable the iPad’s home button, enabling a greater likelihood of on-task behaviour.  

4: Text-to-Speech

Text in documents, iBooks, notebooks, online documents, etc., can all be read aloud at any point by enabling or “turning on” this built-in option. Simply choose the nationality of the voice, and each time text is highlighted on the iPad, it is then “spoken” aloud.

5: Speech-to-Text

This feature is only available in models newer than the iPad2 (e.g., iPad Mini, iPad Air). The built-in keyboard microphone, if utilized, transcribes spoken words with impressive accuracy into electronic text.

6: Zoom

Turning the zoom feature on will allow users to zoom in on (i.e., magnify) any portion of the screen—or within apps themselves—with a three-finger tap.

Finding Apps

Apps can be overwhelming when looking at the tens or hundreds that appear after a search in the App Store. In order to make the searching process more efficient, consider apps or websites that are specific to special education or ASD to help find the app that is suitable for a particular student’s needs with greater efficiency and accuracy.

7: Autism Apps Search Engine

Autism Speaks has recently released a unique search tool targeted specifically on finding the best apps for ASD: Autism Apps Search Engine.  While this tool is not limited to iPad apps, they are included. This search tool is not only unique in its narrow focus, but also allows its user to search by function, device, age group, as well as through a more commonly-known keyword search.  Its user can also read and add comments and ratings, and most exciting: read summaries of any related research. Read more about Autism Apps on the Autism Speaks website.

8: Apps for Teachers

Apple itself has also created a new category in their online offerings: Apps for Teachers found on their website. This includes information about traditional academic subject areas, as well as special education-based apps. This category can be found within the Apps for Teachers site by scrolling down to “Accessibility” which launches “Special Education Apps” in the iTunes store organized by subcategories such as “Communication.”

9: App Abled

Although there are many other choices in cyberspace, App Abled, found online at www.appabled.com, also warrants mention. Self-professed as “app advice for the special needs community,” this site offers up multiple lists, regular reviews, a developer of the week, and an app of the day. Utilize any of these app-finding sites and tools to narrow down your search from “everything on the internet” to “what works for a child with ASD,” and find the apps for you and your needs with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

10: Apps Gone Free
Before you delve further into the world of apps, step back and look through the new selections of the day in the Apps Gone Free app: an app about apps! Apps Gone Free makes no for-cost recommendations. They simply post what are described as “xpert-picked top-ranked apps, for FREE!” as daily suggestions for your selection. Read more about this app (and download it) online on iTunes.

Apps for Social-Emotional Growth

One of the most significant benefits of using the iPad for students with ASD is the benefit of teaching social skills in a systematic manner. Since students with ASD do not typically acquire social skills by observation alone (Myles, Simpson, Ormsbee, & Erikson, 1993), targeting skills with relevant, skills-based apps can be beneficial.

11: Social Express

A comprehensive social skills teaching tool. Follow a story where various characters make social mistakes, while stopping to ask the student questions on what occurred and what they should do next.

Cost: $, Available on iTunes

Read More: at thesocialexpress.com

12: Bla Bla Bla for Volume Regulation

An app that mirrors the student’s voice input with a visual image of various characters whose expressions and voice match the volume of the student. Good for teaching volume control.

Cost: Free, Available on iTunes

Read more online on Lorenzo Bravi’s website, www.lorenzobravi.com

13: Story Wheel

Designed to teach conversation turn taking, story development, and imaginary play through making an interactive story with another person.

Cost: Free Trial Version plus in-app purchases, Available on iTunes           

Read more online about Story Wheel, www.storywheelapp.com

14: Hidden Curriculum for Kids, Adolescents, & Adults

Based on the well-known book, The Hidden Curriculum (Smith-Myles, Schelvan, & Trautma, 2013), these apps simply ask questions and provide choices related  to common social situations that are often a struggle for those with ASD.

Cost: $, Available on iTunes

Read More about The Hidden Curriculum resource www.aapcpublishing.net

15: Speech Prompts

A multi-functional app providing a volume meter that can be customized by context, and a voice match that teaches tone, intonation, and pitch by recording and visually depicting sound waves. Users can compare, manipulate, save, and review various sound waves.

Cost: $, Available on iTunes

Learn more by watching an online demo at http://vimeo.com/55303423

ABA-Based Apps

In the recent National Standards Project completed by the National Autism Center (2009), the majority of strategies with a strong evidence base are found with the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Some of the below ABA-based tools are tools for the needs of students, and others are developed for the ABA-based needs of educator and clinicians.

16: Behavior Snap

A data collection app that collects duration, frequency, ABC, and interval data that can be made into reports and shared in an email database.

Cost: $, Available on iTunes

Read more on the developer’s website at www.behaviorsnap.com

17:  Preference & Reinforcer Assessment

A tool that guides individuals to complete multiple stimulus (with and without replacement) and paired-choice preference assessments, with additional features (e.g., where to place reinforcers) while collecting data automatically.

Cost: $, Available on iTunes

Read more at the autismepicenter.com

18: Kindergarten.com Apps

A variety of apps that teach basic concepts to early learners with flashcards, receptive identification, and problem solving, based on the principles of ABA. Apps include a built-in data collection feature, prompts, and reinforcement.

Cost: $

Read more at kindergarten.com

19: Skill Tracker Pro

A comprehensive data collection software which provides options for various clients and observers, with automatic charting features and video recording.

Cost: $, Available on iTunes

Read more at www.behaviortrackerpro.com

20:  Token Board

A versatile token board that includes personalized pictures and numbers of tokens to customize a token economy.

Cost: $, Available on iTunes

Read more at zorten.com

Apps for Literacy Support

A range of apps are available to support literacy-based classes, as well as literacy needs, acting as tools for supporting students who struggle with reading, writing, organization, and more. Many of these are similar to apps that many be familiar to teachers, students, and parents from their experiences with Special Education Amount (SEA)-funded hardware and software purchases (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2013). However, they may not have the same level of complexity as the laptop-based software. On the other hand, they may have a sufficient number of features to support in-class needs for junior, intermediate, and high school learners who need accommodation and support for success as independent learners in a literacy-infused environment.

21: Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation is the app equivalent of Dragon Naturally Speaking with its speech-to-text features.

Cost: Free, Available on iTunes

Read more at nuancemobilelife.com

22: Typ-o HD

Typ-o HD is an example of word prediction software. In addition, its user can pre-set three levels of spelling support, and can touch-and-hear choices of word replacement to make informed writing decisions.

Cost: $ but free trial versions are advertised by its developer, Available on iTunes

Read more at secondguess.dk

23: Firefly K3000

Firefly K3000 is the app-based version of Kurzweil 3000, providing text-to-speech capabilities and more. 

Cost: Free, Available on iTunes

Read more at bridgesontario.wordpress.com

24: Inspiration Maps

Inspiration Maps allows visual learners to brainstorm, plan, research, outline their written work (e.g., essays), and more in an interactive, visual manner. Kidspiration Maps and Kidspiration Maps Lite are analogous program options for younger learners and/or those developing more basic skills.

Cost: $ or Lite Version for free, Available on iTunes

Read more at inspiration.com

25: AudioNote

A great app for students to take notes. At the same time that notes are being taken, a simultaneous audio recording is occurring. Pictures can be inserted and when the student needs to reference the audio clip for the missed portion of the lesson, it will play when the text is touched.

Cost: $, Available on iTunes

In Sum

Along with the pedagogical experience and critical decision-making skills of professional educators, these 25 apps and facts related to available devices, accessibility features, finding apps, apps for social-emotional growth, ABA-based apps, and apps for literacy support provide a framework for utilizing the iPad successfully for students with ASD.


Banda, D. R., Grimmett, E., & Hart, S. L. (2009). Activity schedules. Teaching Exceptional   Children, 41(4), 16-21.

Mang, C. F., & Wardley, L. J. (2012). Effective adoption of tablets in post-secondary education: Recommendations based on a trial of iPads in university classes. Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, 11, 301-317.

Myles, B. S., Simpson, R. L., Ormsbee, C. K., & Erickson, C. (1993). Integrating preschool children with autism with their normally developing peers: Research findings and best practice recommendations. Focus on Autistic Behavior, 8 (5), 1-18. 

National Autism Center. (2009). National Standards Report. Retrieved from http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/pdf/NAC%20Standards%20Report.pdf

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2013).    Special education funding guidelines: Special equipment amount.  Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/

Smith-Myles, B., Schelvan, R., & Trautma, M. (2013). The hidden curriculum for understanding unstated rules in social situations for adolescents and young adults. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Company.

Travlos, D. (2012). Apple: Eight reasons why the iPad will dominate the tablet category. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/darcytravlos/2012/11/30/apple-eight-reasons-why-the-ipad-will-dominate-the-tablet-category/


Disclaimer: This document reflects the views of the author. It is Autism Ontario’s intent to inform and educate. Every situation is unique and while we hope this information is useful, it should be used in the context of broader considerations for each person. Please contact Autism Ontario at info@autismontario.com or 416-246-9592 for permission to reproduce this material for any purpose other than personal use. © 2012 Autism Ontario  416.246.9592  www.autismontario.com.