Something that’s been under-reported in 2011 is the way apps are becoming an important resource for parents of children with autism and other special needs, especially when they act as a tool to help those children develop their communication skills.
My Day With WH Words is the latest example. It’s available for iPhone and iPad (and Android too), and is described as “a social story and speech tool for autism, Down Syndrome and other special needs” on the App Store.
“My Day with WH Words includes a social story about talking about one’s day, and a simple visual support for ‘WH’ questions (Who, What, When, Where, Why, How). The story focuses on why it’s important to tell people about your day, and what each different WH questions means,” explains its App Store listing.
The idea is to teach children question comprehension in an unstressful way, aided by clear, colourful cartoons and the text (or ‘social stories’) explaining what’s going on. The app costs £1.99 and runs across iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It’s the work of Touch Autism, a two-person developer in the US, who have several other apps available.
We’d like to write more about apps for children with special needs on Apps Playground in 2012, so if you’re a developer making them – or a parent using them – please do chime in with a comment and recommendations for other apps we should look at.