Like anyone else’s day-to-day life, autistic life has its challenges. A good deal of ours relate to social communication, sensory issues, and executive function fails. And luckily, those are exactly the sorts of things with which tech can provide great support. Autistics did, after all, invent most of it, right?
Recently I took to #AutisticTwitter to crowdsource this list of apps used by real-life people in their real lives. Each one is someone’s favourite. Hopefully there’s something here for you1Recommended apps are U.S.-based. Look for similar apps for your area.
There are times when you need to get your head *out* of the game. Maybe you’re hyperfocusing when you need to rest. Maybe you’re wound up after a sensory assault in the city. Whatever the reason, turning to the app in your pocket can bring a sense of calm when you need it most.
These 100% non-productive apps could add the oasis in your day your mind craves. The trick is to choose something that’s engaging enough that your mind doesn’t wander but not so engrossing that you’re trading one hyperfocus for another.
Promises to “Turn your photos into a coloring book.” Any photo you choose is transformed into a line drawing on which you “finger paint”. Messy, colouring outside the lines is encouraged.$4.99 on the App Store
Coloring apps for adults is a collection of detailed illustration “books” ready for you to colour.$0.99 on the App Store
Whether learning to meditate for the first time or practicing our 10,000th hour, the Internet has the app for you.
Time & Task Management Apps
Hello Executive Function! How are you?! When you struggle with keeping track of time or completing tasks, apps can be enormously helpful in making the most of your day.
Level Up Life
Level Up Life allows you to gamify your personal goals. Track your daily achievements and gain motivation while progressing in an RPG-style online platform.Free on Google Play
Grocery & Meal-Delivery Apps
For days when you just can’t feed yourself well or to ensure you always have nutritious meals and snacks on hand, try these apps.
2nd Brain Apps
Because no one can keep all the plates spinning in the air at all times, make tech come to your rescue. These apps allow you to offload some of the thoughts that occupy valuable processing bandwidth and even remind you to check in. What’s not to love?
Flip Writer AAC
“Every word you type will be shown in the flipped display. Offers high-quality text-to-speech” in four different voices. Perfect for conversations IRL.$49.99 on the App Store
Apps For Getting Around
Commuting and travelling can take all our mental resources, leaving little for when we arrive. Sure there are great map apps out there but apps like these take things up a very useful notch.
We like to know what’s up ahead of time. “Always know what’s happening on the road with Waze. Even if you know the way, Waze tells you instantly about traffic, construction, police, crashes, & more. If traffic is bad on your route, Waze will change it to save you time.”Free on the App Store Free on Google Play
Health & Wellbeing Apps
Because when it comes to feeling good, strong, and balanced, who doesn’t need all the help we can get?
A mood tracker and personal diary because neuroscience has proven that getting your thoughts out of your mental churning can be incredibly beneficial for every person at a every age. Track the highs and lows of every day so you can spot patterns that affect your moods. Brilliant!Free on the App Store Free on Google Play
Special Interest Apps
Any app that’s centred on a topic that you’re interested is a good way to quickly regulate your mood or reactions. Love adorable animals? There’s an app for that: Cute Animals — Aww! on iTunes. A fan of tracking weather? Yep, there’s an app for that too: Accuweather on Google Play.
Whatever interests you, find an app that will deliver it in abundance at your fingertips. Then, when you feel the pressure rising, destress with some happy time.
There are LOADS more out there in the wild. If you have a tremendously useful app that could change a life for the better, share it here in the comments or on Twitter, using the hashtag #AutLife!