I admit, I was pretty intrigued when I read about these apps this week that help parents monitor and screen potential autistic behaviors in their kiddos. Thinking back four years ago, I would have honestly loved this. I hand wrote everything down or stored it in various online notes and had a hard time finding some of them. I still sometimes hand write everything down.
WebTeam Corporation created Autism N Developmental Disorder Screening (ANDDS). It’s free and developed by a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry, and is an app that provides parents with age-related milestones, for example, at 6, 8, 12, 15, 18, 24, and 36 months. Parents answer questions at each developmental milestone to see if their child has potential autistic behaviors. A few examples of questions asked are:
- Does the child turn around to look at you when his or her name is called?
- Does your child imitate you when you clap hands or wave bye-bye?
- Does your child point at things?
- Does your child smile back at you when you smile at them?
Each answer falls under a colored category of red, yellow, or green. Meaning, green – child is on target; yellow – keep a watch on; red – consult the child’s physician with concerns. My guess is it tracks and stores the findings for parents to refer to when going to a doctor appointment.
TOBY Playpad App
Another app, TOBY (Therapy Outcomes by You) Playpad for $27.99, developed by Tamanna, a non-governmental organisation working for multiply challenged and autistic children in collaboration with Deakin University, Australia, is an early intervention app for parents of children with autism.
This app, designed by therapists, is an early intervention app. It uses activities and games the child completes both alone and with help from a parent. The iTunes description says, “Based on TOBY’s recommendations you choose what tasks you want to complete each day, and based on your child’s results, TOBY will generate suggestions for the following day’s activities.”
TOBY includes for social skills, language, sensory discrimination, and cognitive activities. Seems like a great app for newly diagnosed children looking to strengthen these particular skills.
Earlier Diagnosis App
Not yet available, this app is being developed to help parents monitor and detect early autistic behaviors by the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, a Phoenix-based autism research nonprofit. It’s a smartphone application that specialists would use to diagnose autism based on videos of children’s behavior uploaded to a website.
This might mean less time taken for an official diagnosis, thus, allowing families to move on and find therapies and services quicker. It could also mean families not near specific doctors would get a quicker diagnosis. I, myself, might still want to see a doctor, face-to-face, to discuss the diagnosis, but other people might prefer this method.
These apps could really make a difference for families seeking diagnosis. They could also help parents who are looking for ways to help their autistic child hone in on some specific developmental skills.
Photo courtesy of: chrisdejabet