Are you looking for an AAC app that can be customized and is FREE? Look no further AbleNet has developed .  The app comes preloaded with 14 boards from money to shopping list.  If there is a specific board you want to make you can use the preloaded pictures or pictures in your photo library…. just remember to turn on access to photos in your privacy settings!  Another neat feature is the ability to add your voice to the pictures. This app can be used on your iPhone, iPod or iPad.  It is a perfect for those teachers who are looking for AAC apps, but do not have the funds to pay for some of the more expensive AAC apps.


Great for Beginning AAC app

Feel Electric

Feel Electric Free by Sesame Street is jam packed with games and words about how you feel.  This app will is appropriate for grades 1-3. It has won 2013 ON for Learning Award  and the  2012 Parents’ Choice Recommended.    There are not many apps that help students under

feel electric their moods and why they may have these moods.  Every time you open the app you have two friendly characters Jessica Ruiz and Danny Rebus who invite you into the app.  The first step is the mood sphere .  Students have to pick 3 words that describe how they are feeling.  Some of the words may be new vocabulary words for younger students.  Teachers or parents may have to explain the meaning.

Next, there are minimal settings from sound to scores.  The app allows up to four player to use the app at one time.

Now you are ready to delve into the 4 different area of the app.  You can play What’s the Word.  This is a great way to develop vocabulary and match the facial expression that goes along with with the word.  First you will see a face and a word.  If you think it is correct the meaning will appear.  Mood words are words like anxious, bothered, cheerful, etc.  It is really nice to have  audio added with the definition for non-readers.  When you are ready to go to the next area you touch the house in the upper left corner. The choices are My Life, My Games, and My Stuff.

My Life has three components. First there is Moon Dude.  Mood Dude is a cartoon figure that allows you to change the facial expression of how you are feeling today.  Mood Tales are stories like Mad Libs where you add the words. The titles though are about moods like “Boy, Am Angry! Outraged, Even!  or A Delightful Picnic.  These are fun and increase reading, vocabulary and parts of speech. The last game is the Moodosphere. These relate to the words you chose in the beginning in the app.

The next part of the app is My Stuff.  It allows you to add pictures or take pictures.  It is like having a scrapbook of different events.

Finally, there are 3 games related to moods.  Pets vs Monsters students have to move a bat to match the picture they see. This is also good for fine motor movement. Prankster Madness is also a mood game where students need to tilt the iPad to match the words with the man on the skateboard. The final game is Hey you Guys Catch.  The goal is to catch the face with the right mood.

The app will introduce you to 50 emotion words and definitions, builds emotional awareness, and encourages self expression.

Talking Tom & Ben News

Talking Tom and benDo you know Out Fit & Ltd.?  If not you are missing a great company that can make anyone chuckle. Talking Tom & Ben News Free.  This app is set up like a real television studio giving students a chance to role play what it might be like on a real set.  Students speak and Tom and Ben take turns repeating what you say.

If you swipe the characters they swivel in their chairs.  Press the dog paw and  Ben will annoy Tom. If you press the cat’s paw Tom will annoy Ben.  They use water guns and plastic darts to annoy each other.  Students can record different shows and play them for the class.

This app along with many of the other Out Fit & Ltd. apps have helped foster communication with other students.   It helps students with their expressive language either using scripts written by the students or real news.  The best part is watching the students laugh when they play with the app.  As a teacher it has been the most requested app when there is a choice of an app to use because the students love hearing their voices.  We will incorporate it on Fridays during current events allowing two student to report the news using Tom and Ben.  After it is recorded we play it back and critique the kids.

It is a creative way to get the quietest student to participate while increasing expressive language and communication skills.

The Social Express

Children and young adults who are on the Autism Spectrum Disorder generally have difficulty with socialization skills.  Here is a very interesting  app that incorporates the best practices of Carol Gray‘s Social Stories (Gray 2002)), Comic Strip Conversations (Gray ,1994)

social express the Alert Program (Williams & Shellenberger, 1996), The Incredible 5 Point Scale (Buron & Curtis, 2003), The Hidden Curriculum (Myles, Trautman and Schelvan, 2004), Thinking about YOU Thinking about ME (Winner, 2007) and other professionals.  The Social Express by the Language Express, Inc for $29.99 just for the month of May has taken these different theories and created one of the most interactive, beautifully designed apps.  Upon opening it I thought I was going into the set of a sophisticated animated movie as there is an opening scene with characters who play a large part in the app.

First set up your user profile.  If this is your first time using the app Read through the Social Express Guide and use the website to keep up with new ideas. (  The guide will explain the verbiage used throughout the app making it user friendly.  Next, return to the student you are working with on Play Lesson. The app has two skill levels.  Depending upon who you are working with will determine the lesson you may want to use.  Quite honestly many of the topics are appropriate for all elementary school and middle school students.

Lessons include working on coping strategies, being with a group, how to talk to friends, how to start a conversation non-verbal cues and more.  THe app includes 16 lessons teaching the “social rules” of life with the hidden curriculum behind them. Each lesson comes with a skill level, a hidden social key, a goal, lesson summary and follow up activities to continue working on the skill.  The app monitors your progress as you answer questions during a lesson.

Throughout the lesson teaching tips pop up.  If you do not want them you can turn them off in the upper left hand corner. The lesson uses 2 characters – Emma and Zach and their dog making the students who play feel like they are part of the app.  This can be used as a classroom activity or at home.  It meets the needs of so many children who struggle with the day to day social skills and decision making.  The app makes the student feel as though they already have built in friends, which is extremely comforting.  The app is a great way to show video modeling and help with some of the difficult coping strategies of daily life.

IEP Goals:  During :number verbal exchanges, the student will control vocal intonation and body language to accurately match the intent of the message (e.g., student smiles when conveying something good).
The student will practice and use various conversational scripts to maintain a :duration conversational exchange.
The student will practice and use ritual greetings and polite conversational statements to maintain :number conversational exchanges. The student will practice and use appropriate initiation of conversations and requests for clarification to maintain a :duration conversational exchange

See.Touch.Learn Pro

Have you had it with all of your flashcards?  Tired of snapping rubber bands around groups of cards? WellBrainParade has created an app to take away your troubles and let you use the built in app flash cards. These cards are either  flash cards that are built in the app

imagesor lessons you design on your own.  The app is See.Touch. Learn Pro for $34.99.  There is also a free version  See.Touch. Learn.

First, the object of See.Touch.Learn Pro is to have all of the flashcards you need for any subject right at your finger tip.  When you open the app you have a choice of Lessons, Libraries, Community, Settings and What’s New.

As always I like to go to my settings. There are lesson play controls that include how you want your flash cards to react when touched. You can have text, audio wiggle an incorrect card and more.  Next, is sound customization.  This is very important depending upon the child you are working with. You can have everything from no sound to Bwoop for correct, incorrect and lesson finished.  Finally, if you want to import See.Touch.Learn Free you can do it in the settings.

Next, the app has a built in library, that is set up alphabetically.  You can search for a lesson in the search box. Once you find your lesson you go into Play Mode.  The app has a computerized voice that is available for non-readers or readers can follow the directions.  The flashcards take you through a series of selections depending upon the category.  Upon completion of the activity you get a score of how many you got correct. You also see how many attempts it may have taken if you are incorrect.  Lessons may be about vegetables.  The directions will say touch the apple.  Then you may have four pictures and need to touch something red.  This continues through a set of about nine cards.

The next stage are the libraries. You have many more choices of lessons in the libraries.  These can be downloaded for free in the Pro addition. You just choose what you want and download and it will appear in your lessons.

Finally, there is the community. The community is a shared network of teachers and therapists from all over the world.  You just need to set up a free account to download these lessons.

This app is endless.  You can make your own lessons, use other lessons from all of the world and use the built in lessons.  The pictures are vibrant and will keep the child’s attention.  The free app has 60 lessons built in for you to try before purchasing the pro.  You will not be disappointed with this app.

IEP Goals:
The student will follow a :number step direction
Using pictorial and contextual clues in classroom reading materials, the student will define and use :number vocabulary words



Plurality  by Zorten Software for $1.99 takes 24 plural words and creates them into a memory game for 1-4 players.  If you are workingPlurality with children on the spectrum you can create boards from 2×4 to 5×6.  In the settings you also choose how many plural words you feel would be appropriate for the individual child or the group. After a student takes a turn when he/she flips a card you see the singular and the plural of the word.  If you do not get a match you get a peek at the entire board if you put that in your settings.

Memory games are very important for children. They are more than just fun things your child/ student can play with but instead should be consider the starting point of a childs education. A childs memory is a treasure that should be protected and nurtured until they are able to take full advantage of it.  Plurality also encourages socialization which is extremely important with students on the spectrum. This game students learn to take turns and need to focus on their peers turn as it can help them when it is their turn as this is the strategy of  memory games.

Irregular plurals is part of the Common Core Standards.  In second grade under language-Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g.,feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g.,feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).

IEP Goals: When given written material, the student will identify the irregular nouns.

Memory games are always a challenge for children.  It is always a bonus when there is a meaning behind the game.  It would be nice if the game could have a timer and data collection added for future reference.


ABA- Which Go Together has been one of the forerunners in developing ABA apps for the iPhone and now for the iPad.   ABA Which goes together?


is exactly how it sounds.   This app can only be played in a vertical position.  Next, go to the blue information circle at the top left of the screen to set your settings.  First, select your reinforcement and then your Target selection, depending on the child you can do it by category or items the child likes. Next, there are quite a few settings to personalize the app  from showing the main question, blink the correct answer, shuffle pictures, show timer, chime sound, show question on the bottom to automatically flip page.

Now you are ready to go. The app presents the child with four everyday pictures and asks which go together?  You many see a recycling bin, a pine cone, a raccoon and plastic and glass bottles. When the picture is tapped the child hears the name of the picture.  If the pictures go together their is verbal reinforcement asking why do bottles and a recycle bin go together.   If you touch the green box with the letter A you get an answer.  If you get three answers correct you hear classical music and see your reinforcer.

The app helps children on the spectrum work on creative problem solving as well as discrimination and reasoning skills.  The white background is purposely created to reduce distraction.  The app has now added data tracking to the app.  It gives the total time it took for the student to work on the activity.  It also gives the total targets, correct answers, incorrect answers and unanswered.

This is an important skill for children to understand.  Now with tracking time and data it is a must have app.

IEP Goals:  Student will be able to discriminate with what items go together.