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This is a guest post by Katie Hench, CEO of Infiniteach LLC, a Chicago-based startup building autism education apps rooted in evidence-based interventions. Katie’s brother was diagnosed with autism at the age of 6. It wasn’t until the age of 26 that she finally began learning what that meant to her, and more importantly, what her brother meant to her. Check out Infiniteach’s first app, SkillChamp, currently being used by over 5,000 children around the country.


Searching for ‘autism’ in the App Store no longer narrows down your app choices – there are quite literally thousands of apps to choose from. So how do you know which app will work for your child?

While we are still probably several years away from apps that are research-based to the extent of ABA or other evidence-based interventions, what we can find today are many apps that incorporate best practice autism strategies. Below are 4 of those strategies that you can look for when selecting an app for your child:


One of the best parts about the app boom is the number of ways we can customize learning for our kids. Apps that incorporate your child’s interests or include photos they know can motivate learning and make it feel like that app was built just for your child.


Adaptive learning, or dynamic game difficulty balancing (DGDB) as they call it in the tech world, allows the app to get more or less difficult, depending on how your child is doing. For our kids, this is a critical way to help them learn positive routines and decrease frustration levels.

Clear End Points:

Sometimes (always?!) the hardest part of an app can be closing it and moving on to the next thing. To help with these transitions, look for apps that have a clear ending to the game and a visual counter that shows how much more time or how many more problems are left.

Skill Generalization:

Learning new skills on the iPad is a great, but it is equally as important that your child is able to use those skills offline, as well. Look for apps that have an offline component – printable activities or at-home extensions that will help your child generalize the amazing new skills they are learning.

As an autism sister and educator turned app developer, I am constantly searching for apps that meet these criteria. To learn more about what we’re discovering, check us out here:  And let me know what you think are the best parts of apps for your children in the comments below!