Beyond the B.A.S.I.C.S. Blog

Why Every ABA Therapists Should Have an IPAD

June 13, 2011

–        iPads are really, really cool. If you’ve got to spend the afternoon graphing behavioral data, why not do it on your super cool iPad?

–        Your clients on the ASD spectrum, who have “no control over the pace of information coming at them” (Dr. Martha Herbert, asst. prof of neurology at Harvard Medical), will appreciate the more exacting level of control they’ll have on the iPad’s interface (ie: your clients will like how easy it is to use).

–        You can bring a picture schedule, a social story, a reward chart, and an AAC (augmentative/alternative communication) device to the park (or to school, or to the grocery store) all in one slim package.  Oh, and nothing about that package will identify it as a “special needs” device.

–        Your clients, who can’t always figure out how people are going to react to something, know exactly what to expect when they touch or swipe something on the iPad, which, theoretically, means they’ll be less frustrated and more engaged in whatever cool app (like ABCheese) they’re using.

–        iPads don’t look like “work.”  That Quibble Kids app your client’s been playing with for the past few minutes?  That’s you, running your Categories program in one of those fun, interesting, new ways your supervisor is always telling you about.  That Drawing with Stars app? That’s fine motor skills.  Talking Tom? He’s teaching your client the power of language.

–        The only effective reinforcer you have for a particular client is a ten second video clip of a monkey shooting a basketball through a hoop.  You’re trying to chain a behavior that involves doing something other than sitting at a computer desk. HELLO, YouTube app.

–        The iPad is really, really cool. If your client has to use an AAC device, shouldn’t she get to use your super cool iPad?

–        Apps for your clients:

o   Proloquo2Go ($189.99): a picture communication system

o   Grace ($40):  this app has no First/Then, No, or Wait sentence starters.

o   iCommunicate for iPad ($39.99): story boards, visual schedules, etc . You can add your own pictures to this app.

o   First Then Visual Schedule ($9.99)

o   iConverse

o   Autism Express (FREE): displays basic facial expressions.

o   Stories2learn ($13.99): make your own social stories with pictures, text and audio.

o   MyTalk Mobile (this one has a backup file in case the iPad crashes)

o   TapToTalk

o   iComm

o   Look in My Eyes ($2.99): encourages eye contact by showing close-up pictures of faces, then flashing symbols in the face’s eyes.

o   Question Builder

o   Conversation Builder (elementary aged kids can design multi-exchange conversations)

o   Turn Taker

o   Speech With Milo: Verbs, Prepositions, Sequencing. These apps were developed by an SLP.

o   All About Me

–        Apps for You:

o   ITPADD ($7.99): provides individualized, password protected ABA curriculums for multiple people – didn’t say how many “multiple” was. This one looks like it has a little bit of everything: books, schedules, language skills, reinforcers, task lists, etc.

o   ABC Behavior Assessment ($0.99) : helps you figure out functional relationships.

o   Cognitive Behavior Analysis (FREE) :  keeps track of when/how you practiced your behaviors

o   ABABasic ($1.99): records discrete trial data into an automatic email file. Can run infinite trials; each trial consists of 6 turns.

o   ABA1Program ($9.99): records discrete trials, shows the results of the trials, tutor must then record results manually

o   ABC Data ($4.99): data collection for counting behaviors & recording session duration. There’s an upgrade ($27.99) that allows you to do partial intervals, full intervals, ABC/FBA.

o   Skill Tracker Pro ($29.99): Automates ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy instruction for people on the autism spectrum by tracking unlimited clients and observers, optional video capture and charting/export of all data and is very flexible in that each client and skill can be configured. The skill data collection methods include cold probe for skill, cold probe for mands, rate of manding, trial by trial data collection and prompt level tracking. There is a built in library with hundreds of skills and targets that can be assigned to the persons’ curriculum or you can add your own skills and targets. During cold probe data collection, skills and targets are automatically randomized, or the user can choose which target to probe, one at a time.

o   Behavior Tracker Pro ($29.99): track and graph behaviors

o   Behavior Journal ($9.99): record and sync behavioral data to the internet or email it to yourself.

o   Autism Track ($49.99): track interventions, bx, & sx using checkboxes and sliders. Daily log screens, graphs, trend reports.  Data can be emailed as a PDF file.

Melissa Ruiz, BCABA


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