Technology is a huge part of everyday life, and for adults on the spectrum, it can be a great asset for those who are nonverbal, lack some communication skills, or need to improve their motor skills. In the 1970s, those with ASD were given treatments based off of a no-technology culture. Thanks to wonderful advancements in technology, we now have the ability to help individuals on the spectrum communicate by using devices that are literally right in the palm of their hands. Tablets are easily accessible and offer an array of applications that can address specific challenges an adult on the spectrum may face. They are easily obtainable, customizable, and affordable. These devices are considered essential tools for adults with ASD who are very often visual thinkers.
The following is a list of popular applications that may assist you or your loved one on the spectrum:
Organization and Choice-making
By Techno Chipmunk
This app is specifically designed for those with communication challenges. You can create customizable choice boards and implement customized auditory rewards. It can also be used to prepare its users for the sophistication of other communication devices. Along with it being absolutely FREE, some of its features include large buttons with a black and white contrast to promote visual attention, adjustable box sizes, and a clean board design to prompt minimal visual distraction.
If you are willing to spend a bit more, you can also check out iPrompts.
Implementing and Following a Schedule
Visual Schedule Planner
By Good Karma Applications, Inc
This picture-based calendar lets its users design a visual representation of their day’s events. It helps “ease transitions and anxiety.” What is so great about this application is that it enables those who need extra assistance to add video clips that model a task even further. Some other features include timers, checklists, and reminders. This app retails for $14.99.
Proloquo2Go – Symbol-based AAC
Even though this app is on the pricier side ($249.99), it is still very affordable compared to the prices of other Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. The award-winning app encourages communication skills and “fosters language development through researchbased vocabularies.” It caters to all adults on the spectrum including high functioning individuals and low functioning individuals. This app not only aids in communication, but it also focuses on fine motor, visual, and cognitive skills. Additional features include personalization, customization, language development, and classroom and therapy support.
If you are interested in a more affordable option, try MyTalkTools Mobile.
Fine Motor Function
Dexteria – Fine Motor Skill Development
By BinaryLabs, Inc.
This handy app works to improve fine motor skills and handwriting in adults. Along with its ability to increase coordination and control in the hands and fingers, this is also a great tool for occupational therapists to use as it has an automatic tracking and reporting feature. Progress reports can be emailed from the individual to the therapist and vice versa. The exercises are also meant to be “repeatable and engaging [and should be] done on a regular basis in short sessions. This app is only $3.99.