Using the iPod Touch for Autism.

Just thought I’d update on the communication issues we’ve been having with Thomas. (For first time readers Tom is severely Autistic and non verbal).  I was going to get him the ‘Go Talk’ system, but it was just way to expensive to get the right one for his needs. Even though I know I could get the money back via funding later, I still had to have it to start with.  And I needed to do something now. Interestingly our paediatrician commented about the iPad, and showed me some communication Apps she had in her iPhone, she suggested that an iPad (when they get to Australia) may be the way to go. I told my husband this, who I know thinks I am full of it.

But I went and got the iPad mini, hehe, the iPod Touch and put all the Autism apps I could find on it, and all the ABA flash cards (which are free from on iTunes for the month of April).  So far his response to it has really been good. I installed his own communication pictures into the talking application and away we went. I was quite dubious when the doctor suggested it, but it seems to working. The only problem for him so far has been the size of the Touch, it’s just not big enough for him to see all the choices available in the apps. So sorry husband I think I’m going to have to get an iPad.  Georgie (Miss3 – mild/moderate on the spectrum) is also doing extremely well with it, she can operate it on her own and find the preschool apps and solve puzzles. For that alone its been worth it. I really think it is teaching her to read.  And it cost me around 500 bucks less (money saved I can spend on the iPad, hehe). Now all I have to do is convince husband that it’s not for me… really, it’s not 😉


Filed under Autism

13 Responses to Using the iPod Touch for Autism.

  1. bill domican

    my wife is Australian, She designed the Grace App. See link

    Would be interested to know what you thought, Bill

  2. Hi Candy, we have developed something you might like. It’s not a voca- as it was developed specifically for autism and we wanted to maintain verbal behaviour. Some of the kids using vocas will make requests without approaching a listener.
    It is just really simple picture exchange with 8 catagoriesand a custom button to add your own pics. Steve the developer has it on iPad now too, although I’ve yet to see it as I’m waiting for iPad version 2.0

    have a look at the vimeo on my blog and get in touch if you want to know more. Search for Grace App for autism.

    And I’m delighted you are using the itouch instead of a larger AAC device. Much more discreet and portable and cheaper to repair! If you email me I will tell you some of the other tricks you can get from the iPhone. Using the video for social stories and well videos – really saves our sanity!


  3. bill domican

    Small world. I was having breakfast here in co wicklow Ireland when I saw your blog on Richard Bolsters (usa) facebook. I posted the comment above, went upstairs and told my wife Lisa about it. She had picked it up on twitter and replied. Telss me your from Inverell. I used to visit as a rep to see Henry Fong at Sam Kee. Lovely old town.

  4. I like this Candy, I especially like that your Paed thinks this way. Kindergarten (search for it in the app store) have all their ABA type games free for the month of April.

    Oh and I have an app called Grace, after my 10 year old autistic daughter who used picture exchange books for 7 years, until Steve Troughton Smith designed this for her. It is a non-voca, just uses the pictures which the user touches to form a sentence, then tilts the phone to make the sentence large in order to share it with a listener (Verbal Behaviour)

    Asher Moses is covering it in the SMH and Age this thursday. You might like to do a little search and check it out first.

    If you manage to get your hands on an actual iPhone 3Gs – consider this. You can hold the phone up and make videos of anything, youtube clips, the start of favourite shows like Bear or Yoko Jakamoto or potentially perseverative activites like looking at running water.
    Then the user can watch the videos back endlessly without needing network access (great in the car, on planes, in supermarket queues etc.
    We find it less annoying than having to stand around looking (and squealing) at an overflowing gutter or culvet and leads to Shared Attention, which is a fantastic skill to teach. My Bratty names each aspect of the activity that we filmed, and shares it with me, purely for the enjoyment of sharing. A rarity in our world.

    anyhoo, nice to meet you xx

    • Thanks I have been twittering about the app overnight. I have questions. I will head to the website and contact you. I have it on a Touch, not the phone as my kids press EVERYTHING, so to save my sanity (and phonecalls) I use the touch, and it’s cheaper than the phone should it get dropped. I have worked out how to get pics from my blackberry to the touch easily now, so that helps. And I have installed all my sons com pics into it from my pc, and put them into the app. So far I am really happy with it, especially the layout, other apps on the touch are too big for the screen. Which is why I was leaning towards an iPad so my son could see all the choices he needs. But your app may have changed that 😉
      Yes my paed is wonderful, she often thinks way outside the box when it comes to Autism. She is fantastic.

  5. Great when Paeds think outside the box 🙂

    I’ve been eyeing off my husbands iPhone and wondering how I can budget one for myself. I think it would be fantastic to have a portable visual schedule device for my girls. Also handy to be able to watch videos or play games just when they need distraction.

  6. Nadja

    Great information! Thank you!

  7. rachael

    my asd 7yr boy ben uses my iphone with a few apps for autism, our dr in armidale put me onto them and it has been great, he really has gotten a lot out of them, and when he has finished we let him play with the lego photo or star wars light sabre.. we have seen some real improvements in last few months

    • I bet I can guess which Doctor it was 🙂 She is lovely.
      We are now using the Grace App & others on the iPad and it has been an excellent tool for the kids. Even just using the preschool type apps like the ABA flash cards have seen our kids speech really improve quickly. I am a total convert. 😉

      • rachael

        that would be the one, we used to go to the other one as he was our other childrens dr when we lived in colly and moree, as he used to fly in, but with ben he said i can see the preschool dont like him and i find him difficult too, would you like some ritalin… he was three. and other dr had said to us at 6 weeks when he hated eye contact well he could be autistic… he had it in his notesstill but he just said he needs ritalin so we went to catherine

      • She is great isn’t she.
        I wonder if you and I have met in the waiting room? You never know 🙂

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