Thursday, October 14, 2010

For readers and reviewers

I just wanted to say two things:

1) if you see a review on here for an App, and would like to submit a review on the same App, go ahead.  Especially if you disagree on the first review.  I think it's important to have feedback from all the different experiences and perspectives, so that readers have a balanced understanding of the App.

2) While this project was started with Apple products in mind, other companies are coming out with pocket computers with Apps, and so this project also will accept reviews for those products.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TapToTalk App Review

This one is a bit different in that I found it through a Facebook ad.  TapToTalk is a picture based alternative communication App.  It boasts being completely customizable and affordable.  

This is partly true.  The App is available free for iPod, iPhone, iPad and Nintendo, as well as an App for the computer.  However, these only come with a basic starter album that contains a very limited set of phrases.  In order to utilize the full customizable functions and be able to use your own pictures and create personal albums to fit adult persons, you have to subscribe to the service, which is $99.95 a year, per person. 

Compared to some of the pricing of other communication Apps, and considering the possible long term use of the App, this is more expensive than some of the other Apps available. 

In my opinion, while the various platforms for this App makes it extremely portable, and the customizable options are vast, the long-term pricing makes it unaffordable for persons with limited income. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

iRewardChart lite app

The iRewardChat Lite App by iRewardChart is a reward system whereas children can earn special rewards by doing things like doing their homework, being polite, waiting their turn, helping mom, and so on. For each successful task, a child earns points and at certain point levels, is granted an award of their choice. 

This looks like a very good idea since I know that I at least have a hard time with delayed gratification, meaning that I have difficulty waiting in order to get rewards. Having a visual chart of my "points" towards a reward helps a lot.  As a child, my parents had a chart of my chores and tasks for morning and night (such as make bed and brush teeth) that was printed out each week and put on my door. As I grew older and more difficult, the tasks determined my allowance and even included bonus tasks.

This app, however, is designed for parents to keep track, set goals and reward. It is also designed to keep track of autistic children and not for the adult.  The full version is $2.99 and offers unlimited options for how many children to keep track of, the tasks per week and the rewards offered.  A more limited "lite" version is available for free.

The lite version only covers one child with four areas to reward, which is fine for single child who only have a few areas to work on. However, the rewards are editable and custom-able, so is potentially adaptable for a caregiver working with an adult or youth on specific areas, for developing routines or behavioural therapy.

As for an individual autistic, this app doesn't seem to be so useful to keep track of daily routines and self management of lifeskills, at least in lite mode. Especially if a person has more than four areas that they need to cover each week. 

So in conclusion, a very excellent App for parents and caregivers to use with their Autistic children and perhaps some Autistic adults, but I cannot recommend it for all Autistic adults.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mood Pad and Art of Glow

Doing two at once, since these two are very similar Apps; fun ways to deal with sensory issues through playing with colour. 

A Mood Pad - Heat Sensitive Surface,a free App by Octarine Flame, was recommended by the ASD iPod Touch Project.  However, I found that the App did not respond very well, and I had to press down on my iPod very hard in order to get any response from it.  Which isn't good for some of the delicate workings of the newer iPods.

I wasn't very impressed with it, and to be honest, was bored quickly with it.

On the App store, I found Art of Glow, a free App by Natenai Ariyatrakool, that I actually enjoy.  With it, I can make some lovely glowing patterns to play and stare at, which has for me a better calming effect.  The patterns continue until the canvas is cleared off, which means I can return to the last pattern I created.  It's kind of like being able to create and watch a light show.  It's main purpose is to draw and create artwork, which is also fun.

There is also a Pro version, where users are able to save their artwork, for $1.99

The controls are easy to understand and use, and can be used by Autistics of different ages, making this an excellent sensory App. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Review for Model Me Going Places App

The App is by Model Me Kids, a company that specializes in social skills training videos for Autistic children, and is free on iTunes. 

I downloaded the App, as it was a suggestion in the ASD iPod Touch Project Apps (.pdf) and since it was free, decided to take a look at an App designed for children, and see how it is as an Autistic adult.

First off, it's based on the Model Me Going Places video kit, which is designed for ages 2-8, and focuses primarily on what is considered socially appropriate, like keeping still at all times.  It covers six very common activities, such as going to the doctor, the hair dresser, the playground and grocery shopping.

The narration is from a boy's perspective, so this may make it less appealing to female children.  Also, it does not cover such things like sensory input which can affect a person's ability to tolerate various settings.  For example, for someone with long hair, often a hairdresser will wash their hair, or that scissors cutting hair can be uncomfortable and not at all pleasant.  Also, it assumes that all activities are "fun" and pleasant, when this may not be case for all Autistics.

While excellent at demonstrating what to do at various locations, I find it too general to be very efficient for specific persons and events, and definitely not appropriate for older, more mature Autistics. 

Conclusion: maybe good for select young children in order to prepare for going to places.  I recommend using with other pre-visit preparation, like going to the places ahead of time so that the location becomes familiar.
Not suitable for Autistic adults and children over 8 years old, and those with specific sensory issues regarding touch, sounds and crowds.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Looking for Submissions

Welcome to the Autistic Adult App Project!

There's been quite a bit of news lately about how Apple's iPad and iPod Touch can assist Autistic children. This is all very excellent news, except for one thing; it's focused mainly on how to assist children, when there are plenty of Autistic adults who could benefit as well.

So what this project is about is to review iPad and iPod Touch apps that have the potential to help autistic adults as well as autistic children, but from the Autistic perspective.

By providing the Autistic perspective, parents and caregivers can be more informed about which Apps they provide their children, as well as sharing with other Autistic Adults new Apps that can help with social skills, organization, communication, academics, dealing with stress, and even just having fun.

We welcome Autistic adults to share their experiences regarding Apps on their iPads or iPod Touches, as well as parents and caregivers on the behalf of their Autistic children.

If you are interested, please take a look at the About the Project for our Mission Statement and our Submission guide page.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at