Can You Screen Your Child for Autism at Home?


As autism gets turns into real epidemic and more children get diagnosed with autism every year, it’s very important to recognize autism at its earliest stage. Early intervention and timely treatment can minimize some of the side effects of the … Continue reading

Playing Xbox AT SCHOOL?

6610212 - candid close up portrait of a cute six year old boy watching television

Xbox Kinect is being used an educational device for students with ASD and is having incredible results thus far. Continue reading

New & Improved Google Glasses Offer Help for Autistic Children

(Image taken from Brain Power Program and WBZ-TV)

As we continue to develop new ways to help children and people on the spectrum learn life skills, there has been a general consensus that technology has the potential to overcome many of the challenges they face. Ned Sahin, neuroscientist, … Continue reading

New Perspectives for Children on the Spectrum

Paul Braun with son Mitchell working with a drone.

One group of parents is using technology to help engage children who are on the autism spectrum in something that they are interested in, with children who also share their interests. “Taking Autism to the Sky” or TATTS, was developed … Continue reading

Using Technology as a Tool for Skill Development


Dr. Dana Reinecke gave a presentation at the 2014 International Autism Conference titled, “Technology Opens Doors for Students of All Ages on the Spectrum” where she discussed the best ways to use different aspects of technology to help those on … Continue reading

Learning Digital Skills

autism expressed

Dr. David Mandell, director at the Center for Mental Health Policy & Services research, says “If our expectation is that people with autism will have opportunities available to them to fully participate in communities to be gainfully employed and to … Continue reading

7 Easy Steps to Finding the Best Special Needs Apps

“Our mission is to ensure that individuals with special needs, including autism, have access to effective, affordable app technology.” [i]

Founder of Autism Plugged In, Jack Kieffer, recently published the book “7 Easy Steps to Finding the Best Special Needs Apps,” to assist parents in finding an app that will work best for their child. Apps have been proven useful for children with special needs, improving their social skills, behavioral skills, fine and gross motor skills, and cognition. But with about a million apps available out there, how can parents know which one to choose for their child? Especially when the apps cost money and the parents are already paying for therapy sessions for their child. That’s where Jack Kieffer comes in, breaking down the process of picking out a suitable app step by step.


Kieffer’s book helps parents save money, learning how to get “trial runs” for apps instead of paying for them right away. In addition, the book provides insight on how to protect the devices from breaking or being damaged.


The book is complete with “illustrations, examples, downloadable worksheets, and simple step-by-step instructions.”


Autism Plugged In was founded in 2011, providing parents with reviews on special needs apps for their children. Staying up-to-date on the latest apps is important, but can be confusing and stressful. With his book, “7 East Steps to Finding the Best Special Needs Apps,” parents can breathe (a little).



[i] “PR Web” Finding Special Needs Apps Just Got Easier Thanks to Autism Plugged In. 12 Sept 2013. Web. <>

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.