So You Want to Help Your Autistic Child Learn—There’s an App for That!

We are now living in a technological Land of Oz.  Every kind of tablet, smartphone, and Apple product dances wildly in a field of mobile possibilities.  It seems like Google may emerge as the great wizard as it tries to take control of the market with its Google Glass technology.

With so many choices to tickle our technical fancies, we have now become self-absorbed in our devices.   A conversation has now become a face-to-face interaction, and those are not so much desired any more.  We communicate and engage more with our gadgets than we do each other.

Now apps have become the new kid on the block.  They are like the little munchkins of the land, many of them piping up and down like the lollipop trio, simplifying and entertaining our lives.

The yellow brick road of technical delights has found its way in the classroom.  Many schools are using technology to engage their students in education.  There are apps that can teach another language, explain algebra, or compose and house writing in an online cloud.

How can you use apps to engage your autistic child?

In Parents Magazine,  Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, has discovered ten apps that can help your child learn the alphabet, number sense, and social skills. The technology blends the visual and kinesthetic learning styles as a different approach to educating autistic children.

Quinones-Fontanez offers brief, but informative descriptions of each app in her article.  You can even apply what the child has learned on the mobile device to real-life situations.

For example, Toca Boca teaches children how to handle money through the art of storytelling.  In a kindergarten classroom, you can use toy shopping carts and cash registers and have children practice what they have learned from the app and create a story that they could later write and illustrate.  When you and your child are out doing the weekly grocery shopping, activate his or her memory by bringing up one of the scenarios from the app and applying what they have learned.

Engage your autistic child’s learning and help him or her interact with his surroundings by checking out the other apps in the Parents Magazine article.

*Quinones-Fontanez, Lisa.  “Ten Best Apps for Kids With Autism.”  Parents Magazine.  2013. http://www.parents.com/kids/development/intellectual/best-apps-for-kids-with-autism/