I’m continually impressed and amazed at how much impact the iPad is having in education – and especially in helping students with autism or on the autism spectrum. So I’m delighted to share this guest post today, covering 10 great iPad apps (and one great iPad case) for Students on the Autism Spectrum.
This post was written by Cathy Hoesterey. Here’s a little background on Cathy and her qualifications to write on this subject:
Cathy Hoesterey is an assistive technology specialist and occupational therapist living in Bellevue, WA near Seattle. She works for Belllevue School District in the special education department providing technology for special needs students ages 3-21 years old.
Cathy presents at national conferences and gives webinars on iPads and other assistive technologies. Her blog iPad for All is designed to support iPad users of all ages and abilities, as well as educators, therapists and families. She finds the overwhelmingly positive response of her students to the iPad energizing and rewarding.
As an assistive technology specialist working with special needs students for many years now, I’ve seen a lot of technology come and go. However, I have never seen a device so engaging and versatile as the iPad. In the past it was not uncommon for a student to abandon an expensive communication device because it was too complex to use, heavy and often unattractive. The iPad has a certain cool factor with students and their peers that cannot be underestimated. Teachers and family members are also more willing to use it.
ABC News recently reported that a government survey of parents says 1 in 50 U.S. schoolchildren has autism. The definition of autism has expanded to include less severe and related conditions such as Asperger Syndrome. I work with dozens of students who have significant communication needs, the majority of them with autism. The apps that follow are some of those that we most frequently use with students on the autism spectrum. Of course, every student’s needs are unique so we do customize the iPad or other device to meet their particular needs.