Current estimates suggest that one in 270 people globally is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, as per the World Health Organization. People with autism typically struggle with communication, socializing, understanding emotions, repetitive behaviors, sensory issues, meltdowns, and many other problems.
As a spectrum disorder, autism differs from person to person. Because of this, everyone with autism faces their own difficulties. But today, there are many apps that enable those with an autism spectrum disorder to overcome the different challenges they face daily, whether it’s communicating with others, learning new skills, getting more sleep, or managing different emotions. Below, we’ve rounded up the best autism apps of 2021.
For many people with autism, a consistent routine is paramount to getting through everyday life. Without one, they can quickly become anxious and stressed. Should you need help establishing a successful routine as someone with autism, it’s worth checking out visual daily planning app Tiimo. With it, you can create a visual schedule that outlines the various tasks and activities to be completed throughout the day.
When creating activities and checklists in the Tiimo app, you can visualize them using emojis, icons, and colors. Tiimo also offers a visual timeline for managing different tasks and will remind you about your activities. Additionally, you can choose from a range of pre-designed routines to build a daily schedule quickly, create up to five schedules, access an iCal integration, and so much more.
Getting a good night’s sleep can also be challenging for those on the autistic spectrum. But a great way to better reduce stress and sleep is by downloading Relax Melodies, which is available on both Android and iOS. One of its main features is a vast library of relaxing sounds that’ll help you fall asleep quicker; it includes nature effects, meditation music, white noises, isochronic brainwaves, and binaural beats.
Additionally, you get access to more than 160 guided meditations covering areas such as restful sleep, stress and anxiety relief, napping, deep sleep, tinnitus relief, falling back asleep, and morning. Other features include bedtime stories, breathing exercises, bedtime reminders, a favorites section, a timer, and more.
Communication is an arduous task for autistic children and adults, with many being non-verbal. However, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app CommBoards Lite provides image-based soundboards to help autistic people make their thoughts and feelings known to those around them.
All a user needs to do is click on different pictures and symbols to create a sentence that is read out loud by the app. This method encourages oral communication and expressing thoughts and feelings. It offers a range of pre-designed communication boards based on categories such as feelings, playing, eating, drinking, and more, but users can also create their own boards by uploading pictures and sounds. Another good thing about CommBoards Lite is that it doesn’t require an internet connection, meaning the app can be used anywhere and at any time.
Proloquo4Text is another augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app aimed at transforming the lives of people who are non-verbal. The user types the words they want to say on an on-screen keyboard before the app converts them to speech.
What’s great about this app is that it’ll analyze the things you write in order to suggest words and sentences, making it even faster for you to communicate. It sports an easy-to-use interface, with your keyboard, words, and phrases displayed on one page. The app provides an impressive choice of over 100 voices and supports 18 international languages. You can purchase Proloquo4Text on iOS devices for $119.99.
Many autistic people have difficulty making sense of the different thoughts and feelings they experience daily, but that’s where mood tracking apps like Daylio can help. With Daylio, you can create a log of your daily moods and activities.
This information is then turned into data and graphs to help you better understand how you feel and what you get up to regularly. You can also set and track goals on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, which will help you make positive changes in your life.
If you’re a parent or guardian of an autistic child, a good educational app to try out is Otsimo. Developed in collaboration with special educational needs teachers, psychologists, and parents, it provides more than 100 assistive games for learning words, numbers, colors, animals, vehicles, music, emotions, and other vital skills. As your autistic child takes part in different educational games via Otsimo, you can monitor their progress by accessing report cards and other insights.
Calm Counter is a great visual and audio app for when someone with autism is experiencing anxiety, depression, anger issues, or any other overwhelming emotion. The app encourages users to count from 10 and take a deep breath, which helps them calm down. There’s also a story that explores anger as an emotion and how to tackle it. By heading into the app settings page, users can select either a male or female voice for the countdown and short story. Alternatively, they can turn off vocals altogether. It costs $2.99 on the App Store.