Common Sense


Best Apps for Kids with Autism

The autism spectrum is just that: a widely varied and broad range of abilities, challenges, characteristics. For some kids, social skills and communication are particularly difficult. Coping with change and the unexpected can also require support. Educators often cite the need for accessible 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 and websites on our list can help kids learn to better identify and regulate emotions, communicate and express themselves, manage time and routines, and practice successful social exchanges.

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Emotional Regulation

Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings

Songs and activities help kids express, recognize, understand emotions

Bottom line: Daniel Tiger and his friends present excellent examples for kids who are just learning healthy emotional expression.

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.


Experiential game teaches empathy toward those with autism

Bottom line: Lessons on inclusion and community in the classroom require post-game facilitated discussion for deep learning.

The Mood Meter

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

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

Smiling Mind

Quick and easy meditation practice for busy classroom lives

Bottom line: This easy-to-follow meditation program can help reduce stress and support social and emotional learning.

Language and Communication

Skill Champ

Foundational-skills-practice tool supports specific learning needs

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


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.


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.


Visual lessons reinforce concepts for students with special needs

Bottom line: Thoughtful but dated tool helps with differentiation and progress-tracking for students with autism.


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

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

Manage and conceptualize time with great visuals, a few bugs

Bottom line: A decent option for visual timer needs, being sufficiently customizable, but there are still a few bugs and room for improvement.

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

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.

Stories in Motion

Comic-style course on social nuances aims to help kids with ASD

Bottom line: Sufficient tool to supplement social and emotional learning for students with autism.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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