When I graduated from OT school this past May, my Dad offered to buy me an iPad2 as a graduation gift. He thought that maybe I would be able to use it in my work with kids with special needs as I drove to and from clients’ homes and saw them in the clinic. I decided it would be a good investment, so a few hours after I received my Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, we headed over to the Apple store and picked out my shiny new toy.
In the months since that purchase, I’ve thought to myself that one of the many things I could do with the iPad is use it in therapy. Pediatric Occupational Therapists often work with children with limitations in the areas of fine motor skills, problem solving, cognition, motor planning, handwriting, body awareness, self-care, feeding, sensory processing, and more; all of these areas can be addressed in part or whole through the use of the iPad.
As I’ve been getting ready to go back to work in a few weeks (I recently had a baby), I’ve started downloading tons of apps on my iPad that I think could be useful with my pediatric clients. I downloaded 20 or so apps and then, wouldn’t you know it, I heard that 60-Minutes was going to be airing a special on how the iPad and its apps have revolutionized the lives of people with autism. I guess I’ve been on the right track!
You can click here to watch the 13-minute piece that encouraged millions as it aired last night (October 23rd), titled, “Apps for Autism.”
I thought it might be helpful if I posted a list of useful links for tracking down apps that can help people with autism. If you’re like me, you probably want your library of information to be organized so that, in the future, you can easily find what you’re looking for. So here I present to you The List. It’s long, but I’m sure there are lots of links out there that I don’t know about (and perhaps there will be even more added to the world wide web now that 60 Minutes has put autism and the iPad in the spotlight). If you know of other links, apps, or research being done to enhance the usability of apps for people with autism, please make your contribution in the comment box below! (And since I’m a Pediatric OT, I’m very interested in apps that would be great for kids!)
*Please note that I am not endorsing the following links; I am simply sharing them. If you have positive or negative things to say about any of them, please respectfully share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
. . .
Sue’s Favorite Autism Apps: http://independentclinician.com/autism-apps/
Apps for Children with Special Needs: http://a4cwsn.com/
iPad Apps for Autism: A Spreadsheet of Reviews and Recommendations (VERY comprehensive, organized, and consistently updated): http://www.squidalicious.com/2011/01/ipad-apps-for-autism-spreadsheet-of.html
Inov8: There’s a Special App for That: http://www.inov8-ed.com/category/special-app-for-that/
Autism and the iPad: http://autismandtheipad.blogspot.com/
Evolve iPad Enclosure (makes your iPad nearly indestructible and allows you to lock the app you’re in so a client can’t go into and out of programs willy nilly): http://www.ipadenclosures.com/ipad_kiosk_enclosure/ipad_enclosures/evolve
iTherapy: Speech Therapy for Autism: http://www.proactivespeechtherapy.com/
Smurks (expressing emotions): http://smurks.net/
Verbally Premium (a text-t0-speech app reviewed by iAutism): http://www.iautism.info/en/2011/10/08/review-verbally-premium/
Let’s join together as we continue in our work to help people with autism grow in their independence and their ability to function and THRIVE in this world!