Do you use your iPad to help your child communicate?

For those just coming in, we have three children with Autism.  Our son Tom is quite severe and has very impaired communication abilities, he has never grasped writing, talking or signing.  However he can communicate using pictures very well.  Autistic children around the world, rely on communication pictures to tell their carers what they need.  Usually this involves a folder full of little laminated pictures, like this;

This folder can get very fat as your child gets older and wants communicate more needs with you.  Not only that,  this folder is fiddly, you can’t add to instantly and you need to know someone or own a laminator to make up the little pictures.  And then at least once a week you have to remake some because they get chewed.  Now that we use an iPad/Touch, we can add to our picture library instantly.  This saves Tom a lot of frustration and me a lot of stress, from the inevitable tantrum that follows when a need cannot be communicated.

Some time ago we made the transition to using an iPad (and iPod Touch) for Thomas’ communication needs, the App we use to do this is the Grace App.  I’ve talked about the Grace App lots I know, but I just can’t talk about these kind of Apps enough, and finally schools and services here in Australia are starting to catch on.  Read what I thought of the Grace App here and here

However these devices and apps can be hard for families to obtain, as the initial cost can be hard to afford, and funding can be even harder to obtain as not all services can see the benefit in using them.  But like I said, this is starting to change, Yay! 

The lovely Lisa; creator of the Grace App, has sent me a code for a free download of her fantastic app for one of my readers that needs it.  Awesome yes?  So please pop a comment below if you, a friend, a school, someone in need – could use the app on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad – to go in a draw for the code.  This App is valued at over $45AU, so please tell your friends.  I’ll draw this on Friday. 

iPods for Autism people, let’s get the word out there!


During the past week or so I have transferred my blog onto a new server, so there were lots of entries received in the cross over period.  Luckily I got an email for all of them, as I was not able to transfer (find) the comments over onto this post. Whoops.

So, the extra people who entered are:  Janelle  S, Robin R, Mike R, Sue A, Barb C, Michelle N, Sharon P, Laurel F, Mitchell P, Annette S, Thea B, SmellyJelly, Lana V, Michelle A, Jamie E, SeeSpotRun, Kerry W, LaraW, Sharna T and TeeJay.


And the winner is….  Nicki Zeith – thanks for entering, your iTunes code will hit your email inbox shortly.  And thanks so much for your comments everyone, I hope I captured them all O_o Can anyone who did comment and didn’t get listed please message me, and I’ll pop an extra entry into my next giveaway for you. 🙂


Filed under Autism, Giveaways, School, Technology/Gadgets, The Kids

8 Responses to Do you use your iPad to help your child communicate?

  1. Thanks Darl – it is an absolute pleasure. Remember folks, even if you haven’t managed to obtain an iDevice you can still grab this code. Set up iTunes on your desktop and enter it into the “redeem” button on the far right of the screen, then download the app.
    When you do get hold of an iDevice, be it iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone (or all 3) the app will be automatically syncronised when you set it up. You can even adapt it for several devices to suit different family members – if you are one of us multiple autism families like Candy and me.
    Thanks for sharing again darl. I still owe you a fur coat and a gold tooth when I make my millions. xx

  2. My beautiful son jack has down syndrome and we are currently trailing a iPad for communication at school, this would be a great help for him, he has very limited understandable language

  3. mandy watts

    My beautiful son jake has autism. he uses his ipad and ipod to communicate through iconverse. he cannot talk . he takes his ipod to school , but the teachers lock it away in the cupboard when I leave. i wish teachers would embrace this technology.

  4. We are currently waiting for our ipad2 to come in. Mr Magoo 5, wo has AS, has fairly good communication. But when things are not good that is the first thing to go. Plus the educational benefits of these devices are fantastic. He currently has an ipod touch.
    With The Princess 3, is very noisy, chatty at home. BUT when at early intervention or day-care they hardly hear a boo out of her. I am keen to see if she will use the ipad or the ipod touch for a means of communication outside the home.

  5. Oh sadly I missed it… I would have loved the chance to win this for my nephew who is Autistic and loves his Ipad like mad… it looks fab!

  6. You know, we just ordered an iPad this week! {It’s August, I realise this post is a few months old now}. It is a pretty big luxury item for us so we borrowed a friends first to make absolutely sure it was a good ‘investment’ for my son with Autism. He is just starting to make sounds and words but he’s still a long way behind. He is very strong visually as most children on the spectrum are. He just loved the words and pictures, gets a little disengaged with the world around him when using it and yet to communicate with it, but he is still very young. We have a PECs folder, but as you say…. fiddly, frustrating!
    So – we’ve since taken a loan to purchase our very own iPad. I know you can use the HCWA fund but really we are trying to reserve that for therapies. As soon as it arrives I’ll be revisiting this page to read all the associated posts and find out more about the Grace App THANK YOU!

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