Activities

APPS for AUTISM

So I think we can all agree that 99.9% of kids LOVE electronics!! My son is addicted to his iPad (especially with YouTube!)  So why not add some structure and learning with the electronics.

Here is a list of APPS that would be great to use.  If you have apps that you love please share them with me so I can add them to the list!

-CHOICEWORKS

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Choice Works is a great app because it gives you a visual schedule board, waiting board and feelings board all in one app.  The visual schedule section allows you to create a daily schedule; the waiting section is for your timer and the feelings section is a convenient flow chart that helps kids with autism deal with emotions.

-FIRST-THEN VISUAL SCHEDULE

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This app provides visual schedules to help with transitions and decrease anxiety.

-IPROMPTS

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This app is for supporting organizational skills, setting expectations, and setting up reminders.

-AUTISM TRACK

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This app is designed for parents!  The app is a data tracking tool allowing parents to easily track behaviors, interventions and symptoms in one place.

-LEARN FROM RUFUS

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This app uses a child-friendly character to teach emotion words, facial expressions associated with emotions, and to identify emotions in others.

-STORIES 2 LEARN

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S2L offers parents and educators the ability to create personalized stories using photos, text, and audio messages.  These stories can be used to promote an individual’s literacy, leisure, as well as social skills.

-PICTELLO

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Pictello is a simple way to create visual stories and talking books.  Each page in a Pictello Story can contain a picture, a short video, up to 10 lines of text, and a recorded sound or text-to-speech using natural sounding voices.  The app can be used to teach social skills or to help kids remember events, and supports non-verbal children in communication with others. Better yet, stories can be shared with other Pictello users and even non-users.

-STARFALL ABC / LEARN TO READ

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Starfall ABCs (available only on iTunes) teaches the alphabet by helping kids sound out the letters.

-SUPER WHY!

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This PBS Kids app allows your child to go on a hunt identifying letters with Alpha Pig, trace letters with Princess Presto, practice rhyming words with Wonder Red, and help Super Why himself select words to finish a story.

-THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THE BOOK

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A favorite for many parents and kids, this playful app, also from Sesame Street, is bright, colorful, and laugh-out-loud funny. This storybook app features notes for parents on helping children through their fears, along with 31 helpful tips, such as “Encourage kids to mimic Grover’s over-the-top movements and gestures as you read along.” It’s fantastic for teaching cause and effect because kids will learn that with a touch of their fingers, they can interact with the story by “turning” pages, untying knots, and knocking down bricks.

-EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS — AUTISM

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Kids with autism often have difficulty recognizing emotions and facial expressions; this app, created by TouchAutism.com, uses social stories and simple illustrations to show what different feelings look like. The app also explains why people may feel a certain way.

-POP MATH (LITE)

This Lite version of the Wired Kids Choice Award app introduces basic addition and makes it fun for your kids. Six pairs of colored bubbles with numbers float around the screen, some showing equations and some showing the answers. Kids must pop the correct pairs to advance to different levels, and words of encouragement are given to keep kids going after each one. A child who has mastered addition can progress to the full version of the app ($0.99) to learn subtraction, multiplication, and division.


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AT HOME THERAPY ACTIVITIES:

Bead Mazes: not only does bead mazes provide a creative outlet, they would be an excellent way to improve fine motor and the pincer grip for preschoolers.

Dropper painting fun: 

What you need:

Eye droppers or pipettes – one for each color.
Food dye or very watered down paint.
A container for each color of paint/dye.
Paper napkins or coffee filter paper.
Something to put under your paper to catch the drips!

The joy of this activity is that it is easy. There is no right or wrong way to do it, and it’s all about the process. Fabulous way to help that pincer grip.

Homemade stress balls: these are great for tantrums, anxiety and transitions. You could just use playdoh from the dollar store. Open the balloon and stuff in as much as you want, squeeze to get out the air and tie. Draw on faces and squeeze away.

Walk the line: If balance is a problem, this would be an excellent activity to help focus and walking.  You can tape some fun lines on the floor in three different colors, possibly a blue zig zag line, a red curvy line and one straight line in green.  Now have your child “walk the line.” Goal is to balance and stay on the line. Make it harder by going backwards and side-ways.


BOARD GAMES

I recently read the latest issue of the Autism Parenting Magazine and it had a great article about the best board games for children with ASD.  I’ll share them with you today!

CANDYLAND – This game teaches kids to manage disappointment in front of others and how to handle it.

BATTLESHIP – This game teaches logical thinking and reasoning.  Children will also learn to strategize and plan.

CHESS – a great strategy game!

MASTERMIND – involves thinking and rational reasoning.

CHINESE CHECKERS – simple game but involves strategy.

SCRABBLE – teaches spelling and social interactions.

Board games are beneficial to children with ASD because they will improve language development, math skills, and learn to follow directions and control emotions.


OTHER ACTIVITIES AND IDEAS

Are you looking for toys and games you can use at home with your child? Autism Speaks has a list of over 100 games and toys!! Here is the link:

101 Toys and Games

 

Here is another great source!  This site provides ideas for young children, under 2.  They also have book suggestions, toys and in-home programs. Here is the link:

Early Autism Study

 

 

 

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