A few days ago an Androidzoom user posted in our Facebook page if we knew some Android apps for people with autism spectrum disorders. We’ve to admit that until that moment we hadn’t reviewed any autism-friendly Android app. However, it sparked our curiosity not just about apps related to behavior disorders but apps that help people with special needs to make easier their daily routine. This is just the first post of a series of committed Android apps.
One of the reasons Android user are more proud of is that feeling of being part of a community made up by both developers and users. In a community, individual peculiarities coexist with shared common features. Thus, in a community there are also individuals and groups with special needs. People with autism spectrum disorders are in there. Since they’re also a natural part of the community, they must have a voice in it.
Although it should be said that it remains a lot of work to do yet, some developers are approaching the issue. There’s a respectable list of autism-friendly Android apps. This is one of the most complete list we’ve found. There you can find apps with different purpose: language learning, social behaviour, therapy, schedulers,… Most of these apps have been developed for kids, since special learning applications are recommended for children with the autism spectrum. Actually, childhood is the most important period for learning not just for them but for everyone.
We wanted to zoom in this post three autism-friendly Android apps
Emotions and feelings – Autism (Touch Autism)
This app has been specially developed for kids in the autism spectrum, although it can be also used by other kids since it’s a learning app for all audiences. Well, this is a mix of game and e-tale. There are two basic game modes: “Story” which follow a day in a kid life through emotions and feelings. Instead of the story mode, you can also choose “emotions and feelings” mode which like a carousel of faces with different emotions and what can cause it. Finally, you can choose “Read to me” or “Read myself” with improves reading and listening skills of your kid.
This learning app is set in a kids-friendly interface with hand-drawn cartoons graphics. Language used to describe situations is simple and understandable. In a nutshell, a simple and useful app for helping your kids to learn emotions and feelings. We recommend you to check out other Touch Autism (developer) apps. We’re pretty sure you’ll find interesting stuff.
This is an app that helps your kids to form phrases: action + object. It works really simple: it contains three buttons at the top that represent three actions (I want, I am, I am going). The kid just has to tap one of them and the tap any object below to form a sentence. For example: “I want food”, “I am going home”. Of course, all the actions and objects contains both, the written word and a thumbnail that describes what it is. When the kid tap both actions or objects, Speech-to-text engine (called Diego), says the word. When linking action + object, Diego will say the full sentence. Thanks to this app, you children will learn how to make sense sentences, to read and to pronounce properly. We’ve only noticed a few catches: interface should be enhanced, it needs more objects and the free version only allows you to form phrases with the action “I want”. And Pro version is too expensive. We hope developers will fix these points.
Behavior Status (Chris L. Bennett)
This app is specially recommended for kids with some behavior disorders like autism, asperger, etc.How does it work? Really simple: use traffic light to track your kid behavior. You can add as many kids as you want (your children, students, kids you’re looking after…). Then, you can start adding behavior status, date and time in order to track it. It will helps you to monitor what specific factors upset your kids and make them having a negative behavior.
Thus, set their behavior as positive, neutral or negative (green, yellow, red). Alternate Status input supports up to 5 colors for a more detailed tracking. You can record nodes throughout the day, e-mail status report or even checking for new blog posts on behaviorstatus.com. Donate version removes ads, allows you to enable specific behavior tracking by child, copy specific behaviors from one child to another, stats and graphing. In summary, a simple app that will help you to collect data enough to set a positive routine for your kid. Recommendable.
Yes, we agree that these apps and most of the others of the list need to be enhanced in some regards; starting by the price. It uses to happen: when there’s a need, there’s a market niche for some. However, we really appreciate the effort of some other developers of making an Android ecosystem “for everyone”. It shouldn’t be a sect but a real community. These projects help to make it real. We can only encourage them to keep it up.
Emmanuel Lund, writing from the humane-side of the Android community.