8 Expert-Recommended Autism Apps for Children on the Autism Spectrum

Which Autism Apps are right for your child? A comprehensive list of autism apps that are being used with and by people diagnosed with autism has been compiled.

Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) either have difficulties with communication or are entirely nonverbal, but there’s an increasing number of resources being developed to give them a better chance at expressing themselves.

The iPad has proven itself as an extremely helpful learning tool for children on the Spectrum, providing an interactive and visual-driven way for them to enhance their communication and cognitive skills. Plus, iPad apps come with customizable options for parents and caregivers to tailor an app’s benefits to meet a child’s specific needs.

With the abundance of new Autism Apps coming out all the time, parents may be at a loss of where to even begin. Below is a list of some of the highest recommended Autism Apps for children with ASD based on research and expert opinions.

  1. Learn with Rufus: Feelings and Emotions

Learn with Rufus was designed by Dr. Holly Gastgeb, a clinical and developmental psychologist with over a decade of experience with ASD. Learn with Rufus helps children on the Spectrum gain a better understanding of facial expressions and emotions to build a more solid basis for communication and social interactions. The app improves the ability to link certain facial expressions with their corresponding emotions — happy, sad, angry, and more. The app is available at an affordable cost of $4.99.

  1. Aacorn


aacorn is an assistive communications solution (AAC) for children with special needs. The app features a dynamically changing “word tree” that presents words via branching pathways, helping children of all ages and learning levels build the vocabulary for simple and complex sentences. According to Autism Speaks, the effectiveness of aacorn is backed by research. It comes in on the pricey side at a cost of $149.00 USD, but a second copy is provided for free when you purchase allowing families and SLP’s to ensure their support team has a copy. There is a newly launched Pro Version called Aacorn Plus which includes 7000+ new words with the symbolstix system library and a wide range of text to speech voices. It is prices at $249.99 USD with the same 2 for 1 offer.

  1. Cognoa


Cognoa was co-developed by the former Vice President of Clinical Programs at Autism Speaks, Dr. Clara Lajonchere. The app is clinically tested and trusted by over 300,000 families, according to the website. It provides expert-recommended activities — at no cost — to help children with ASD who struggle with fine motor and sensory skills, tantrums and socialization, and more.


  1. Rainbow Sentences


Using colors and visual cues, Rainbow Sentences teaches children how to construct grammatically correct sentences by being able to recognize nouns, verbs, and prepositions. In order to make basic sentence structure easier to learn, the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘where,’ and ‘why’ parts of sentences are color coded. The app, available for $7.99, also enables children to record their sentences in their own voice to advance expressive language skills.

  1. ABA Flash Cards


The ABA Flash Cards app, validated by research, enhances language building through clear audio and text, accommodating both auditory and visual learners. A nice perk is that the app is free.


  1. Convey


Convey was designed to help both nonverbal children and children with the ability to communicate enhance their communicative abilities. Children are encouraged to communicate using the app’s simple pictures and basic actions: tapping a picture of holding down a button until the screen changes. Depending on what you’d like to get out of the app, you can go with a free basic version, a silver version that costs $9.95, or a gold version that costs $29.95.


  1. First- Then Visual Schedule


The First- Then visual schedule app provides an audio-visual representation of an activity, routine, or transition in order to teach children how to act more independently as well as decrease the anxiety associated with transitions. Caregivers can create schedules to show day-to-day activities or steps needed to complete specific routines, helping the children to understand what’s expected of them and what the reward will be. The app is available at a cost of $9.99.


  1. Stories2Learn


With the Stories2Learn app, parents and caregivers can create unique stories for their children using audio messages, photos, and text. These stories can help a child in a number of areas, including social skills, reciprocal play, literacy, and nonverbal communication. The stories can also illustrate how to follow certain rules in school and playground settings. S2L costs $13.99.


Post provided by Action Behavior Centers


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2 thoughts on “8 Expert-Recommended Autism Apps for Children on the Autism Spectrum

  • June 8, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    I couldn’t help but notice the article states “iPad app”!!!!!! So are these apps only available to autistic children whose family can afford an iPad?? Or are these apps available to all autistic children whether they have an “iPad” or not??? Not all families can afford an “iPad”!!!!

    • July 22, 2017 at 1:29 am

      Hi Ruth,
      These apps are for IPAD and are ones that charge. I would be happy to make another blog for parents that have free apps only. I created an educational website of free resources for all children with a special focus on autism. Please view it at http://www.able2learn.com. I hope there is something you can use for your child. Nina

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