Autism Spectrum Disorder Resources

This page is designed to assist and support children on the autism spectrum; however, many of the websites and apps can be used for any child.  Time management skills, for example, are beneficial to all children and can be used as motivators as well.

Assistive Technology (AT) is any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an AT device.  Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all individuals equal opportunities to learn–it’s the framework to provide access for learning through representation, action and expression, and engagement.

Informational websites and newsletters for parents/teachers:

Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder pdf

Rethink:  On March 27, 2014, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 1 in 68 children in the US is on the autism spectrum.  Chances are you or someone you know has been touched by autism in a very personal way.

Positively Autism:  Free monthly newsletter, teaching materials and tutorials.

ICATER ToolKit:  Receive a “Tip of the Day” from the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER).

James Madison University Learning Toolbox:  Tools and resources to enable students with learning difficulties to be better learners.

Smart Apps for Kids:  Sign up for a free email/newsletter!  Free app FRIDAY and other good deals!!

Autism Apps:  Find many apps for autism!  Not as comprehensive as Smart Apps, but still good.

Don Johnston Products:   Assistive technology products that help students read and write.

Building Blox:  Free teaching activity ideas!

Classroom Architect:  Thoughtful arrangement of the indoor and outdoor environments will support your learning goals for children.  This tool provides an opportunity for experimentation with the layout of your learning environment.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL SKILLS

Do2learn:  provides thousands of free pages with social skills and behavioral regulation activities and guidance, learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills.

Kansas ASD:  Free video learning, bank of free social narratives and other visuals.

Jill Kuzma’s Site:  Shares great links, free materials, and more!

SODAS Social Narratives:  Huge bank of free ready-made social narratives!

Victories N Autism:   Great bank of free printable visuals for schedules, behavior/emotional regulation, and more!

Stories2Learn:  Promote social messages through stories written by children and family.

FACIAL EXPRESSIONS

ToonDoo:   Free website to create toons.  It’s a wonderful tool to use with students who are working on facial expression identification, matching expressions from uploaded pictures.  It can also be used as a writing tool.

Breathe, Think, Do:  Laugh and learn as you help a Sesame Street monster friend calm down and solve everyday challenges.  App-cost is currently free

Calm Counter:  Visual and audio tool to help people calm down when they are angry or anxious.  Includes a social story about anger.  App–cost is $2.99

Face Read 1:  What is on your face, is what you are feeling!  This app helps teach students to accurately read facial expressions.  App-cost is free

Kid in Story Book Maker:  Preparing a student who has difficulty with visualization?  Insert them right into the social story!  App–cost is $6.99 for full version; free version available (in-app purchases)

Pictello:  Needing to create and share social narratives/social stories easily?  Snap pictures… type text… done!  Repeated award winner & frequently mentioned!  App–cost is $18.99, but sometimes goes on sale

Bookabi:  Build creative and interesting social narratives.  May be used to create stories!  Cartoon backgrounds & characters or use your photo library.  App–cost is currently free

SOSH:  Social app for individuals with high functioning ASD and/or social anxiety in high school and beyond.  Focus = 5 areas of RELATE, RELAX, REGULATE, REASON, RECOGNIZE.  Goal setting, journal, task list, stress tools, social articles, emotion activities, & more!  Voice Meter, The Shredder.  App–Cost is $39.99 for the full version and free for the lite version

Social Emotional Exchange (S.E.E.):  Helps students identify and do basic inferencing of facial expressions using real photos.  Four levels – beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert.  App–cost is regularly $29.99, but is currently free

MindShift:  Helps build self-awareness/self-regulation of anxiety.  Identify anxiety, learn strategies, create an individual plan, find motivation.  App–cost is currently free

LITERACY AND COMPREHENSION

Tagul:  Help summarize and identify key concepts!  Students can grab the top keywords/concepts from a block of text or website.  Create a word cloud in different shapes.  Each word is hyperlinked to search on Google.com.

Literacy Zone:  Incredible website that has interactive teaching materials, online interactive stories, and literacy games!

Kiz Club Story Printables:  Printable visuals and resources that go with popular children’s books!

Blog:  Make, Take, Teach:  Great strategies and ideas are shared!  Find activities and intervention materials.

Free Printables:  Blog that has free printable books that work on prepositions and story comprehension.

Visual Aids for Learning:  A variety of free sequences of topics such as meal time and going to the dentist.  Free pdfs to download.

Visual Dictionary:  All-in-one reference – from word to visual.  Search the themes to quickly locate words, or find the meaning of a word by viewing the image it represents.  A quick glance at the index is all it takes to connect words with images.

Snap&Read:  An accessible text reader that can read any text on-screen as it floats over any application.

Dragon Diction:  Voice recognition application that allows you to speak and instantly see your text.  Avoid purchasing the standard version–premium is much better.

Voice Dream Reader:  Wide selection of high quality text-to-speech voices, reads anything, dyslexia-friendly font and customizable text size, color and spacing.

Struggling Readers and Writers:  Shares software, chrome browser extensions and applications, and iOS features and apps that can support struggling readers and writers.  This list was developed by Clair Judas at AEA 267.

Bookshare:  An accessible online library for people with print disabilities.

CanPlan:  Wonderful for sequencing and retelling.  Text is not required.  Helps improve comprehension and understanding and increases independence.  App–cost is free

Strip Designer:  Create comic book/graphic pictures from your camera roll/photos.  Insert speech bubbles and create a story.  Retell, literacy, comprehension, parallel stories.  Create social narratives.  App–cost is $2.99

WRITING

Cacoo:  Create diagrams online.  Options include site map, flowchart, mind map, wire frame, UML diagram, and network diagram.

Super Hero Comic Generator:  Students can create their own comic strip by producing a quick 1-3 panel strip. They can also create their own comic book that is 1-22 pages.

Snappy Words:  Free online visual interactive English dictionary and thesaurus that with visual connections to associated words.  You can easily see the meaning of each by simply placing the mouse cursor over it.  Students type words in the search box and click ‘Go’ or simply hit ‘Enter.’  Once the words branch off the main query, you can double click a node to find other related words.

Co:Writer:  A writing tool that aids with word prediction, phonetic/inventive spelling, grammar, and topic dictionaries.

My Story – Book Maker for Kids:  Students can easily create their own books and journals.  Write with finger/stylus, type, or talk about the page.  Create pages with backgrounds, stickers, or photos from your camera.  App–cost is $3.99

Brainstormer:  Creative combinations to spark ideas; good for high-functioning students with high vocabulary.  App–cost is $1.99

Stickyboard2:  Easily create sticky note boards for ideas on different topics.  Quick add, quick delete, quick organize.  App–cost is $4.99

Highlight by Cohdoo:  Quickly take photos (“highlights”) with location tagging.  Voice-note your photos, pause-resume.  Note-taking and writing.  App–cost is free

MATH

Math Playground:  Created by a math teacher, includes a wide variety of math topics, from problem solving to real world math.  Aligned to common core math standards and also includes a blog!

Math to Music:  Many students learn through music. Composers are beginning to develop math-specific songs to help students learn math concepts and skills. Whether teachers use a song to introduce or reinforce a concept, or as a regular part of calendar time, students are bound to benefit from the multi-sensory experience. Topics included are: number & operations, patterns & algebra, geometry & measurement, data analysis, probability & discrete math, and calendar math.

City Creator:   Engage students in using their visual spatial skills by having them design their own city!  Students choose a city, drag, drop, and create!

Dexteria Dots:  A visual way to conceptualize math equations!  A top rated, award-winning new app!  App–cost is $2.99

Mathsterious:  Different levels completing math facts & math equations.  100s chart – helps build concept of adding/subtracting.  App–cost  is free

TIME MANAGEMENT–An executive functioning skill:  helping students learning how to reduce stress by planning, prioritizing, organizing, working the memory, working through inhibition, learning cause-effect and flexibility.

Visual Timers:  Use this link to create a visual timer in PowerPoint.

Wait 4 It:  Great visual tool to help teach the concept of “wait”!  App–cost is .99 cents

WaitStrip:  Token timer.  Use to show time countdown or work toward completion.  App–cost is .99 cents

Stop-Go!:  Great visual timer with countdown and warning light.  Can be used without time (just tap to change transition.  App–cost is free

Kids Countdown:  Pieces of picture disappear as time elapses.  App–cost is free

Working4:  Token strip for task completion or time elapse; with motivator.  App–cost is .99 cents

Timer+:  Ability to set multiple timers (might be running simultaneously).  Can have regular timers set up for schedule – no need to reset.  App–cost is free

Visual Cue:  Many functions–First-Then, Choice Boards, Count down/up, Visual timer… and MORE!  App–cost is $9.99 (Lite version is free)

Visual Routine:  Very simple visual list/routine/schedule.  Limited stock library, but can easily use camera or photo library.  App–cost is .99 cents

ChoiceWorks:  Picture-based daily schedule.  Built-in social narratives.  “Waiting” board with timer + choices.  App–cost is $6.99

ChoiceWorks Calendar:  Picture-based monthly calendar.  Use picture library or your photos.  App–cost is $4.99

iGet… My Schedules at School Social Skills Stories:  Picture-based sequence schedule; photos for older students who may need visual pictures.  Use picture library or your photos.  App–cost is $4.99

Next Thing:  Simple text-based schedule/to-do list.  Can easily change order of tasks.  App–cost is $2.99

Lists To-Do:  Simple text schedule + work system/task lists.  Background image.  App–cost is .99 cents

PictoPlan:  Picture schedule of day/week.  Picture library or can use photos.  App–cost =is free for a limited time

Clear:  Very easy to set up task list; simple for user interaction and visuals.  App–cost is $4.99, but occasionally drops in price

OTHER DEVICES

Infogrip:  Keyboards, mice, furniture, and other assistive technology to help students meet their learning goals.

Panther Writer:  Four innovative keyboards for more efficient typing.