Tuesday 14 September 2021

My top apps for our autistic kids

Boy in iPad

There's no doubt that all my kids get technology.  Sometimes it can seem like they are glued to their screens but, especially for my autistic son's, they learn a lot from being online and there's a bunch of apps that are really good at engaging them in learning or sensory feedback, which is so important when they struggle with these on a daily basis.  Here's some of my favourites. 

BBC Apps

Obviously my kids love iPlayer, but the BBC has some brilliant educational apps that are great for kids like mine who functioning in the early years and KS1 curriculum.  The CBeebies Playtime Island app is brilliant and features all the kids favourites from the TV. It's got games that work on coordination, timing and working things out (even if it's by trial and error) and it full if great encouragement for the kids. 

Perhaps even better is the CBeebies Go Explore App, which again centres around the shows but works specifically on games and songs that help with writing and maths too depending on where you go. The Alphablocks and Numberblocks are the best for this sort of thing with tracing letters and singing times tables.

AAC Apps

Augmented & Alternative Communication apps are so helpful if like us you have a child who finds it difficult to communicate.  There are some amazing ones that need a subscription like Proloquo2Go that are almost like ALS boards or PECS on an iPad.  GoWidget also do a basic free version as do Leeloo and both are worth a look if you think ALS boards work for your child. 

Subject Apps

The best Maths focused app for KS1 / 2 we have used is by the developer Onebillion - it's brilliant.  It's great and builds up topics gradually.  It's only downside is that after a while David simply memorised all the right answers - but some of maths is just memory based anyway.  For older kids IXL is great and has an app and desktop site too. 

You can learn a lot about the world through GeoGuessr.  It's an app our eldest autistic son absolutely loves.  It uses google maps to drop you somewhere in the world at street view and you have to figure our where you are.   It could be on top of the Canadian Rockies, on a beach, in the middle of a busy street or even on an F1 circuit!  Who knows but the kids have to use their skills to work out which country it is.  This is great for learning about land, cultures, climates, locations and different languages.  

Sensory Apps

In addition to having a sensory sensitive cover for your device you can also get a few good sensory apps that my kids like. The first is called TeasEar - Slime Simulator and is an anti-stress / anxiety relief app that turns your phone screen into a 'texture' such as a gummy bear filled slime that you can tap, slide and scratch with your fingers whilst it makes appropriate sounds and vibrations through your phone.  you can even design your own slime packets for it.  

Super Slime Simulator also does something similar too.  Fidget Box 3D puts a fidget or pop toy on the screen for you to 'use' via the screen.  Music Zen also have this mixed with relaxing sounds.  Of course there's plenty sound ones that you could try.  Nature Sounds is free and I've heard good things about White Noise+ .

Have you got any great Apps to recommend?  We are also looking for more! 


  1. I've never heard of these sensory covers or apps. How interesting. #KCACOLS

  2. Fantastic apps, never heard of half of these so good to know :) #kcacols

  3. Wow, I never knew these apps exist. I'm happy to hear there are apps that are supporting children in feeling more comfortable and in education too. Thanks so much for joining us at #KCACOLS xx

  4. I didn't know sensory apps existed, I especially like the idea of the one that vibrates as you use it- I think I'd find that therapeutic. It's great that there's so many ways of getting sensory stimulation now. I remember when I was younger it was bubble wrap, peeling glue from my hands or alternating my fingers in my ears when my mum was vacuuming. I never thought of them as being autistic behaviours before now.

    Katrina x

  5. Tech is so good at helping all areas of life and it’s great for SEND too. I just love the way that the works is levelling up. Don’t get me wrong more can be done but so much progress #kcacols

  6. Thank you for these suggestions Ann, there are quite a few apps on your list here that we've never tried, so I will be checking them out now!
    We use an AAC app call Grid for iPad, by a company called Smartbox. It's a pretty big one, and it's a robust AAC system similar to Proloquo2Go (PECS however is not quite what would be classed as robust AAC, as it's not quite as flexible or versatile, but that's a sidenote in this context) x #KCACOLS


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