Children and teens with autism or Aspergers often struggle with spoken language and communication. In this collection, you'll find tools that support both auditory and visual learners, with apps that promote communication through simple pictures, picture-based stories, and text-to-speech. For more quality apps, browse our full library of literacy apps.
Many of the reviews we link to are from Common Sense Education, a trusted resource for learning about apps and other edtech tools.
Flashcards that promote learning and language building. Clear audio and text for auditory and visual learners. You'll find more than 200 flash cards with images for kids to practice connecting visual emotion cues like body language and facial expressions to written and spoken words. The app allows users to create their own cards to add to the stock cards and to record their own voices on the cards.
Expressive Builder is designed to help children improve sentence ideation, sentence formation, and receptive and expressive language. Extensive use of audio clips promotes improved auditory processing for special needs children with autism spectrum disorders or sensory processing disorders. Auditory playback of child's voice offers reinforcement for language development.
Grace Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal Children
A simple picture exchange system allows children to communicate their needs by building sentences from relevant images. While created with and for people with autism, it can be used by anyone with a speech disability or delay. The app is designed to be easily updated by each child, with minimum support from adults.
I Get... My Schedules at School Social Skills Stories
This app offers a photo social skill story for children who need support in understanding the sequence of their school day. Forty-two icons with real picture images are used to illustrate the sequence of events with the ability to customize each page by importing photos, changing titles, adding text and audio. Additional custom pages can be added to the sequence of events.
Create pictures, flashcards, storyboards, routines, and visual schedules. Record custom audio in any language. Converts words with text to speech. Utilize as audio visual prompting tool or AAC device.
Learn with Rufus: Feelings and Emotions
This app is designed to help children learn the facial expressions that correspond to happy, sad, angry, afraid, surprised, and disgusted. The game is highly customizable to meet the needs of children with varying skills, ability levels, and learning styles.
Pictello is an interactive storytelling app that lets students and kids make virtual storybooks with their own titles, photos, videos, and captions. It can be especially useful for kids who have difficulty understanding social cues, reading facial expressions, and interpreting body language. Different options for how text and pictures are read or uploaded support different types of learners. A library of sample stories can help fuel the creative process. Note that stories within the library show kids who have learning difficulties and special needs, as well as ones who don't.
Proloquo2Go is an app designed to help teachers and therapists empower kids who have limited or no speech with an alternative way to communicate. It offers natural sounding text-to-speech voices, up-to-date symbols, automatic conjugations, vocabulary of over 7000 items, and ease of use. It uses an adaptable, multi-size grid format to present images and words on "buttons." Buttons represent different groups of items, actions, "little words," and more. Students can choose from single words or combine words to make detailed sentences that express their wants, needs, or emotions — almost anything. You can add buttons using your own pictures or images that are meaningful to each user.