Essential ABA Therapy Smartphone Apps
Everyone these days is talking of too much screen time being harmful. But on the upside, digital support tools such as specialized apps can help enhance your child’s ABA therapy outcomes. Mobile app developers are outdoing each other, in designing top quality applications to help young people with developmental difficulties or on the autism spectrum, to help boost their social, communicative, and cognitive skills.
One of the challenges of ABA therapy sessions is incorporating these newly acquired techniques into everyday situations whether at home or during play time. Below we have reviewed some of the best ABA apps for smartphones, which benefit both kids and caregivers:
Designed around Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Otsimo is a much-appreciated app among therapists and parents alike. It has been specially conceived to help children reach major developmental milestones. This award-winning app uses techniques designed around ABA tools and alternative and augmentative communication (AAC), specifically targeting children presenting difficulties with speech development and motor skills. In a fun and interactive way, it aims to improve childrens’ overall practical skill- sets, behaviors and much more. With an offering of over 80 games and stories to choose from, each choice can be personalized to best suit your child’s interests and unique needs. The cherry on the cake? This app is free to download, and parents can easily access up-to-date progress reports.
2. Social Detective
This app offers fun real-life videos, each under 30 seconds long, depicting realistic social situations through which the user must try to navigate. The app found inspiration from Michelle Garcia’s award-winning book- You Are a Social Detective, prompting children to practice their social skills and interpret different perspectives, when confronted with both predictable and unpredictable behaviors. Scenario examples include walking in line, taking turns and eating in a crowded cafeteria and navigating through different classroom settings. Although the Social Detective app comes with a hefty price tag it is truly ideal to work in tandem with your ABA therapy. It will help your child understand how to react in different social situations, communicate its needs, understand others’ comfortable and not so comfortable thought processes, and teach them to practice patience with others. This app allows parents and educators to track and share progress after each session.
3. Autism Tracker Pro
Autism Tracker, which comes in two versions- Lite & Pro, is a must-have for parents, therapists and caregivers of children and young adults with autism. This cleverly designed tool offers multiple reporting features enabling you to share information with teachers, other caregivers, or health professionals regarding your child’s progress. The app offers a multitude of visuals like calendars, and multi-item graphs in addition to allowing users to share special events or entire screens with specially selected teams via iCloud, Dropbox, and emails. The Autism Tracker app is particularly interesting for ABA therapists and their patients, as parents can now easily update and exchange information regarding their child’s evolution at home, and treatment plans can be adapted accordingly.
Even if apps can never replace therapy, they can be precious tools to help with everyday tasks and learning. From collecting and sharing information to actually spurring on your child in a fun way, to learn through trial and error.