65+ Awesome Apps for Autism

Tablets, smartphones, and apps are opening up new worlds for people on the autism spectrum. From the boy in New York whose BFF is Siri to the girl in Australia whose mom created an app to help her communicate, people around the world are finding immersion, independence, and a voice through an ever-growing array of apps and devices.

But the immense variety of apps can overwhelm us all. How do you narrow down the number and figure out which ones work best?

We asked our instructional designers, ASD committee, staff Instructors, and Certified Instructors what apps they use or have heard good things about, and came up with these 65+ tried-and-true apps, tested by teachers, behavior interventionists, therapists, and other professionals and family members who support individuals with ASD. We hope they help you promote independence and meaningful interaction for the people in your care. Please be sure to share what works for you!

Learning Apps

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Bugs and Bubbles

Educational app with multiple games involving color choosing and math.

1/18

ChoiceBoard-Creator

Allows you to create choice boards using your own photos, text, and music.

2/18

Emotions

Uses real faces to help people learn emotions. You can customize it with your own photos.

3/18

iDress for Weather

Uses an internal GPS to monitor the weather. A swipe to the left shows choices that are appropriate for the outside temperature.

4/18

iEarnedThat

Interactive puzzles for positive reinforcement.

5/18

i-Lexis Lite

Using a game approach, this app teaches words associated with environments like "Home" and "School," and you can customize it with your own photos.

6/18

Little Writer

This tracing app even lets you record your own language, add your own words, and pictures and names of family and friends.

7/18

Mad Libs

The classic word game on an app! Teaches humor as well as writing and vocabulary.

8/18

Montessori Crosswords

Helps kids develop their reading, writing, and spelling skills using word-image-audio-phonics combinations.

9/18

My Piggy Bank Lite

Through positive reinforcement and repetition, this app teaches the value of money and how to count.

10/18

News-2 You

For beginning readers and special needs students. Connect with the world through this app's symbol-supported news articles, puzzles, and games.

11/18

Phonics Genius

Helps kids recognize words by sounds. Features over 6,000 recorded words grouped into 225 categories. Students can record themselves and compare their pronunciation to the app speaker. Totally customizable too--you can add and delete words!

12/18

Sight Words

Kids can learn sight words by sight, sound, and touch.

13/18

Story Wheel

Create and share stories from image prompts. Promotes inferential thinking one icon at a time. Can have one or more players.

14/18

TeachMe Series

Teach Me Toddler . . . Teach Me Kindergarten . . . Teach Me First Grade! Going up to third grade, these educational apps contain age-appropriate learning topics and motivational reward activities.

15/18

TonePad

Make music! Create tone patterns by touching the tones on the screen. These become sequences and the patterns are repeated.

16/18

Turn Taker

Uses an illustrated social story to teach kids how to take turns. Includes a customizable sharing timer and visuals indicating My Turn, Your Turn, and Finished.

17/18

YoWindow

A free visual weather app that lets people see the weather that's forecast.

18/18

Social Skills Apps

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Everyday Social Skills HD

Uses video to teach functional skills such as using a public restroom, waiting in line, asking for directions, and joining a group.

1/9

Feel Electric!

This app from Sesame Street and The Electric Company helps kids identify their emotions. Includes an emotions diary and allows users to create stories, as well as a Mood Dude.

2/9

Hidden Curriculum for Kids

Real-life scenarios to teach about unwritten social rules.

3/9

i Create Social Skills Stories

Create and customize your own social stories to help individuals build their social skills.

4/9

Model Me Going Places 2

This visual teaching tool helps kids learn to navigate challenging locations in the community. Features photos of real kids modeling appropriate behavior.

5/9

The Social Express II

This app, part of The Social Express online program, teaches kids how to think about and manage social situations, develop meaningful relationships, and succeed in life.

6/9

Sosh Lite

For teens and adults to improve social skills.

7/9

Too Noisy

Voice meter including sound sensitivity adjustments.

8/9

Urinal Test

A comical game that addresses social etiquette and the unwritten rules for men's restrooms.

9/9

Self-Calming/Self-Awareness Apps

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AutismXpress

Helps kids interpret and express emotions and feelings. Includes Mr. Gassy and Mr. Burpy!

1/10

Breathe2Relax

This one is great for helping calm through the use of breath control. It provides a breathing tutorial, plus a visual for how long to inhale and exhale.

2/10

Calm Counter Social Story & Anger Management Tool

This visual and audial tool helps people self-calm when they're angry or anxious. A helpful feature is the prompt to count down from 10 to 1 and take a deep breath.

3/10

Feelings

Based on the Feelings Book, this app fosters The Three E's (Emotional Identification, Emotional Understanding, and Emotional Regulation) at home, at school, and in the community.

4/10

Fluidity

The colorful real-time fluid screen helps with self-regulation and calming.

5/10

Heat Pad Lite

Good for doodling, relaxing, and interacting with other users, this app simulates heat-sensitive surfaces and reacts to fingertips in changing colors.

6/10

iCounselor: Anger

Teaches skills for reducing anger.

7/10

iCounselor: Anxiety

Teaches skills for reducing anxiety. Includes calming activities and ways to change negative thoughts.

8/10

Liquid Mirror

Self-calming much like Fluidity, Liquid Mirror also gives you the capability to capture photos.

9/10

Pocket Pond

Features a relaxing pond including fish and vegetation with real-time movement and sounds.

10/10

Speech, Sign Language, & Augmentative Communication

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ASL Dictionary 5,200 Signs

Videos of professional interpreters signing 5,200 words and phrases.

1/12

Dragon Dictation

Voice recognition app for transcribing speech to text.

2/12

iSign Lite

An animated phrasebook of the American Sign Language (ASL) gestures.

3/12

MeeGenius!

A digital text eReader of children's books. Comes with 12 free books.

4/12

Sentence Builder

Helps elementary-age children build grammatically correct sentences. Also helps with pronunciation and punctuation.

5/12

SignlexFree

Videos of 99 ASL words. Supports English, Spanish, and five other languages.

6/12

Smarty Ears

These apps promote speech and language skills.

7/12

Tobii Sono Flex

Similar to Proloquo2Go, turn an iPad into an augmentative communication device. For a free app, the Sono Flex Lite contains a wide variety of words, phrases, and subjects.

8/12

Speak It!

A text-to-speech app in which you can copy and paste text from an email and also save text as an audio file.

9/12

TapToTalk

Turn an iPad into an augmentative/alternative communication device.

10/12

Use2Talk

Using icons, videos, and photographs, this app provides nonverbal and low-verbal users tools to communicate.

11/12

Voice Meter

A visual voice meter with adjustable sensitivity to help kids monitor the volume of their own voice.

12/12

Staff Tools Apps

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Autism Tracker

Helps identify behavioral patterns, the frequency and reasoning behind behaviors, and cause & effect. This data-tracking tool can also graph results and convert them into an email.

1/12

Class Dojo

A classroom management tool for working with students and parents! Teachers can use the app to give students encouragement for positive behavior and track behavior throughout the day. The instant messaging feature is helpful for keeping parents involved in their child's success. Students can also create their own accounts, customize their avatars, and review their own performance.

2/12

The CPI App

If you've had Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training, enhance your skills with 24/7 access to review CPI models, videos of key skills, and strategies for de-escalating a situation before it can turn into a crisis. Also includes an Ask CPI feature!

3/12

First Then Visual Schedule (FTVS)

Create your own visual supports for transitions, schedules, and more. Use the Picture Scheduler to create a list of items to be replayed back in order or to set an alert to pop up later.

4/12

Flash Cards

Make flashcards for anything!

5/12

Functional Behavior Assessment Wizard

Helps identify the function of a problematic behavior. Also generates reports and graphs and helps develop interventions to encourage positive behavioral change.

6/12

Functional Planning System

A cross between a video playlist and a calendar, this app allows you to schedule activities and set alarms with step-by-step videos that prompt the user through the completion of the activity. You can shoot your own pictures and videos and record audio, too. Great for working with both kids and adults on the autism spectrum! Watch a video about the app.

7/12

iReward

Provides a visual of goals and uses stars and smiley faces to fill in spots above rewards.

8/12

Time Timer Visual Time

Helps individuals visualize time.

9/12

VisTimer

Another helpful tool for conceptualizing time.

10/12

WhatNext

Shows the remaining time until the next event.

11/12

Work System

Customize a work system task list to foster independence.

12/12

Bullying Prevention

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Though not autism-specific, these apps are helpful for reducing the bullying that students with autism often face.

KnowBullying

For parents, caregivers, and educators. This free app features simple conversation starters to get kids of all abilities talking about their day. Also includes warning signs of bullying and tips for preventing bullying.

1/3

SodaPop App

Create social circles on a private social media platform. Users can use the Safe Zone feature to communicate anonymously with assigned agents such as school nurses, principals, and guidance counselors.

2/3

Stop!t

Gives kids a tool to report cyberbullying easily and anonymously.

3/3


Learning Apps

Bugs and Bubbles

Educational app with multiple games involving color choosing and math.

ChoiceBoard-Creator

Allows you to create choice boards using your own photos, text, and music.

Emotions

Uses real faces to help people learn emotions. You can customize it with your own photos.

iDress for Weather

Uses an internal GPS to monitor the weather. A swipe to the left shows choices that are appropriate for the outside temperature.

iEarnedThat

Interactive puzzles for positive reinforcement.

i-Lexis Lite

Using a game approach, this app teaches words associated with environments like "Home" and "School," and you can customize it with your own photos.

Little Writer

This tracing app even lets you record your own language, add your own words, and pictures and names of family and friends.

Mad Libs

The classic word game on an app! Teaches humor as well as writing and vocabulary.

Montessori Crosswords

Helps kids develop their reading, writing, and spelling skills using word-image-audio-phonics combinations.

My Piggy Bank Lite

Through positive reinforcement and repetition, this app teaches the value of money and how to count.

News-2 You

For beginning readers and special needs students. Connect with the world through this app's symbol-supported news articles, puzzles, and games.

Phonics Genius

Helps kids recognize words by sounds. Features over 6,000 recorded words grouped into 225 categories. Students can record themselves and compare their pronunciation to the app speaker. Totally customizable too--you can add and delete words!

Sight Words

Kids can learn sight words by sight, sound, and touch.

Story Wheel

Create and share stories from image prompts. Promotes inferential thinking one icon at a time. Can have one or more players.

TeachMe Series

Teach Me Toddler . . . Teach Me Kindergarten . . . Teach Me First Grade! Going up to third grade, these educational apps contain age-appropriate learning topics and motivational reward activities.

TonePad

Make music! Create tone patterns by touching the tones on the screen. These become sequences and the patterns are repeated.

Turn Taker

Uses an illustrated social story to teach kids how to take turns. Includes a customizable sharing timer and visuals indicating My Turn, Your Turn, and Finished.

YoWindow

A free visual weather app that lets people see the weather that's forecast.

Social Skills Apps

Everyday Social Skills HD

Uses video to teach functional skills such as using a public restroom, waiting in line, asking for directions, and joining a group.

Feel Electric!

This app from Sesame Street and The Electric Company helps kids identify their emotions. Includes an emotions diary and allows users to create stories, as well as a Mood Dude.

Hidden Curriculum for Kids

Real-life scenarios to teach about unwritten social rules.

i Create Social Skills Stories

Create and customize your own social stories to help individuals build their social skills.

Model Me Going Places 2

This visual teaching tool helps kids learn to navigate challenging locations in the community. Features photos of real kids modeling appropriate behavior.

The Social Express II

This app, part of The Social Express online program, teaches kids how to think about and manage social situations, develop meaningful relationships, and succeed in life.

Sosh Lite

For teens and adults to improve social skills.

Too Noisy

Voice meter including sound sensitivity adjustments.

Urinal Test

A comical game that addresses social etiquette and the unwritten rules for men's restrooms.

Self-Calming/Self Awareness Apps

AutismXpress

Helps kids interpret and express emotions and feelings. Includes Mr. Gassy and Mr. Burpy!

Breathe2Relax

This one is great for helping calm through the use of breath control. It provides a breathing tutorial, plus a visual for how long to inhale and exhale.

Calm Counter Social Story & Anger Management Tool

This visual and audial tool helps people self-calm when they're angry or anxious. A helpful feature is the prompt to count down from 10 to 1 and take a deep breath.

Feelings

Based on the Feelings Book, this app fosters The Three E's (Emotional Identification, Emotional Understanding, and Emotional Regulation) at home, at school, and in the community.

Fluidity

The colorful real-time fluid screen helps with self-regulation and calming.

Heat Pad Lite

Good for doodling, relaxing, and interacting with other users, this app simulates heat-sensitive surfaces and reacts to fingertips in changing colors.

iCounselor: Anger

Teaches skills for reducing anger.

iCounselor: Anxiety

Teaches skills for reducing anxiety. Includes calming activities and ways to change negative thoughts.

Liquid Mirror

Self-calming much like Fluidity, Liquid Mirror also gives you the capability to capture photos.

Pocket Pond

Features a relaxing pond including fish and vegetation with real-time movement and sounds.

Speech, Sign Language, & Augmentative Communication

ASL Dictionary 5,200 Signs Screenshot

Videos of professional interpreters signing 5,200 words and phrases.

Dragon Dictation

Voice recognition app for transcribing speech to text.

iSign Lite

An animated phrasebook of the American Sign Language (ASL) gestures.

MeeGenius!

A digital text eReader of children's books. Comes with 12 free books.

Sentence Builder

Helps elementary-age children build grammatically correct sentences. Also helps with pronunciation and punctuation.

SignlexFree

Videos of 99 ASL words. Supports English, Spanish, and five other languages.

Smarty Ears

These apps promote speech and language skills.

Tobii Sono Flex

Similar to Proloquo2Gof, turn an iPad into an augmentative communication device. For a free app, the Sono Flex Lite contains a wide variety of words, phrases, and subjects.

Speak It!

A text-to-speech app in which you can copy and paste text from an email and also save text as an audio file.

TapToTalk

Turn an iPad into an augmentative/alternative communication device.

Use2Talk

Using icons, videos, and photographs, this app provides nonverbal and low-verbal users tools to communicate.

Voice Meter

A visual voice meter with adjustable sensitivity to help kids monitor the volume of their own voice.

Staff Tools Apps

Autism Tracker

Helps identify behavioral patterns, the frequency and reasoning behind behaviors, and cause & effect. This data-tracking tool can also graph results and convert them into an email.

Class Dojo

A classroom management tool for working with students and parents! Teachers can use the app to give students encouragement for positive behavior and track behavior throughout the day. The instant messaging feature is helpful for keeping parents involved in their child's success. Students can also create their own accounts, customize their avatars, and review their own performance.

The CPI App

If you've had Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training, enhance your skills with 24/7 access to review CPI models, videos of key skills, and strategies for de-escalating a situation before it can turn into a crisis. Also includes an Ask CPI feature!

First Then Visual Schedule (FTVS)

Create your own visual supports for transitions, schedules, and more. Use the Picture Scheduler to create a list of items to be replayed back in order or to set an alert to pop up later.

Flash Cards

Make flashcards for anything!

Functional Behavior Assessment Wizard

Helps identify the function of a problematic behavior. Also generates reports and graphs and helps develop interventions to encourage positive behavioral change.

Functional Planning System

A cross between a video playlist and a calendar, this app allows you to schedule activities and set alarms with step-by-step videos that prompt the user through the completion of the activity. You can shoot your own pictures and videos and record audio, too. Great for working with both kids and adults on the autism spectrum! Watch a video about the app.

iReward

Provides a visual of goals and uses stars and smiley faces to fill in spots above rewards.

Time Timer Visual Time

Helps individuals visualize time.

VisTimer

Another helpful tool for conceptualizing time.

WhatNext

Shows the remaining time until the next event.

Work System

Customize a work system task list to foster independence.

Bullying Prevention

KnowBullying

For parents, caregivers, and educators. This free app features simple conversation starters to get kids of all abilities talking about their day. Also includes warning signs of bullying and tips for preventing bullying.

SodaPop App

Create social circles on a private social media platform. Users can use the Safe Zone feature to communicate anonymously with assigned agents such as school nurses, principals, and guidance counselors.

Stop!t

Gives kids a tool to report cyberbullying easily and anonymously.