Common Sense


Best Apps for Kids with Autism

More app creators are turning their attention to the particular learning needs of kids on the autism spectrum. Educators often cite the need for apps that provide visual cues to aid in communication, support transitions to reduce anxiety, and create a consistent structure in students' daily schedules. The apps on our list can help kids learn to better identify and regulate emotions, communicate and express themselves, manage time and routines, and interact with others.

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Emotional Regulation

Touch and Learn - Emotions

Free app helps kids identify emotions, recognize body language

Bottom line: Bridges the gap between feeling or witnessing emotions and using words to describe them.

Breathing Bubbles

Students release worries and embrace joys with anxiety-fighting tool

Bottom line: A must-have tool for your classroom management toolbox.

The Mood Meter

Well-designed tool encourages kids to reflect on and manage emotions

Bottom line: Appealing, thought-provoking tool builds emotional intelligence.

Language and Communication

Skill Champ

Foundational-skills-practice tool supports specific learning needs

Bottom line: Well-designed tool for targeted foundational skills practice.

Autism Core Skills School Edition: Academic, Communication, and Social Skills Plus Data

Robust app combines high-quality lessons with handy quantitative data

Bottom line: Academic and social lessons are worth the purchase price for the amount of depth and data produced.


Audio, visual prompts help boost kids' communication skills

Bottom line: LanguageBuilderDeluxe is a useful tool for teaching and learning language skills, especially if adults are nearby to adjust app settings and provide feedback.


Wh- questions taught in concrete ways for kids with language delays

Bottom line: A solid, if basic, approach to teaching question words and concepts to students with significant language issues.

Proloquo2Go - Symbol-based AAC

Brilliant tool helps kids with speech difficulties communicate

Bottom line: The price is hefty, but Proloquo2Go carries its weight by providing students and teachers an effective, one-of-a-kind communication tool.


Unique way for kids with limited verbal skills to express themselves

Bottom line: Expensive but worthy investment can pay off in helping non-verbal kids learn to communicate thousands of things.


Fabulous tool can help kids create social stories

Bottom line: Pictello is a great way for kids to create social stories that can help them find their unique voice and prepare for internal and external struggles.

Routines and Schedules

FTVS HD - First Then Visual Schedule HD

Useful multisensory tool teaches self-direction and follow-through

Bottom line: This simple but powerful tool engages kids in independently following a schedule.

Time Timer

Easily conceptualize, manage, and visualize time

Bottom line: Goes above and beyond standard timers to include handy customization and visual cues.

Choiceworks Calendar

Empowering calendar tool alleviates transition anxiety

Bottom line: Great structure, lots of visual choices, and ease of use make this tool a worthwhile investment.

Social Skills

Kid in Story Book Maker

Easy-to-make personalized stories can help boost social skills

Bottom line: A must-have story creation tool for teachers in special-needs settings.

Social Stories

Quick and simple behavior-reinforcement tool for kids with autism

Bottom line: Teachers will find this an efficient way to engage their students in understanding and creating social stories.

Social Story Creator Educators

Create multimedia stories that help with social skills

Bottom line: Solid and very simple app for kids with social challenges.

Social Adventures

Expert-approved activities nurture students' social skills

Bottom line: A treasure chest of social-skills-building activities created by speech and language pros that are worth the high price and need for facilitation.


Themed scripts help kids practice successful social exchanges

Bottom line: For speech-language pathologists, this is a must-have tool for helping kids learn conversation skills.

The Social Express II

Fabulous multimedia lessons boost social-awareness skills

Bottom line: Compelling webisodes help students learn to cope with real-life situations.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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