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

The Social Network: TheraConnect

autism social media app

Like Facebook, Theraconnect allows users to connect via similar interests. It goes one step further in that it simultaneously serves as a database for therapy as well as employment opportunities, housing facilities, and continuing education opportunities specifically designed to fit users’ needs. 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

Autism App Adopted by Clinical Institutions

SpeakAllis an iPad therapy app that is specifically designed for children and adults who have little to no functional speech skills, especially in the area of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The app allows them to acquire initial symbol vocabulary and learn the process of constructing simple sentences. It can be customized to each child or individual learner’s specific needs by allowing the instructor or caretaker to use recorded audio of their own voice as well as custom images from your iPad library. The app uses these photos and graphic symbols to represent what the child wants to say and helps them construct sentences accordingly.

Developed at Purdue University, this app is now being adopted for use at speech and language clinics at San Jose State University in California and the University of Central Florida in Orlando. “The SpeakAllapp is a major technological advancement in the available AAC tool kit for use with children with autism,” says Chad Nye, executive director of the University of Central Florida Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, “the system is easy to understand, learn, adapt, and deliver and should be in the professional tool kit of anyone working in the field of autism or other language interventions. The transparency of the actions make the stimulus and response items a practical application that can be individualized for each child.”

Clinicians are impressed by the apps clean layout of the app, especially since they have been looking for ways to figure out the issue of sensory overload with dynamic displays that are hard to work with. To much sensory information can create stress and anxiety for an autistic person struggling with speech development and further hinder their learning process. Communication is one of the biggest issues that children and families with autism face because they don’t have enough verbal speech to meet their day-to-day communicating needs.

A free version of the SpeakAllapp provides usage of up to 20 graphic symbols, two activity sheets, and one learner’s profile. The premium versions of the app include access to four different synthetic voices, data tracking and managements, unlimited symbols, unlimited activity sheets, and unlimited learner profiles.

Shema Kolainu takes full advantage of apps that can be used for speech therapy, especially ones that use clean visuals and auditory cues to help facilitate language production. In fact, one of our very own non-verbal students said his first words and first simple sentence, “want iPad,” just this past month. Integrating these newfound technologies into our therapy practices are an important part of creating a strong foundation for the children and students we work with. Innovations and advancements in technology will be covered in depth on Day 3 of our 2014 ICare4Autism International Conference.

Get more conference info & tickets here

Get more info on SpeakAllhere


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. <>