What kinds of apps would be helpful to autistic adults?

October 20, 2012

I am working on putting a call out to iOS app developers asking them to create apps for use by autistic adults. These apps might be of use to people with similar disabilities as well. I am currently working on drafting the post to developers, but I need your help in figuring out what kinds of apps would be useful to us as a community.

Some of my thoughts were:

An app that would help identify current need. For example if I am hungry and unsure what to do because of overload, I would want an app that leads me through steps to solve the problem of being hungry. If I can’t make a decision on something because I have too many thoughts in my mind, I would want an app that would help me narrow down choices. Obviously this kind of app would have to be easily customizable for each individual. Being able to program choices and items would be important.

So, I am asking you, my readers: what apps would be most helpful to you? What should the content of those apps be? What about suggestions for cost?

Please leave suggestions in the comments section, and let your followers in the autistic community know that their suggestions are wanted as well. Thanks!

ETA: Alas, Apple does not accept unsolicited ideas. Therefore, some of us would have to register as app developers. There are different levels of enrollment. The one that would probably be the most appropriate can be found here

Perhaps someone or more than one person can look into less expensive methods of developing ipod/ipad/iphone apps? I should have looked into the Apple Unsolicited Ideas Policy first….sorry!

Actually, upon more careful review of the policy, its not forbidden to blog about suggestions for developers. You just can’t directly submit a suggestion to Apple, I guess because they don’t want to have to pay royalties if your idea is used and turned into something very profitable?




  1. Seems like a flowchart-builder would be a good start–but then it either needs a larger device or to break the system down into the individual questions.

    (So, “Build chart” and “Run chart” as separate options; probably default to “Run chart” as easier to hit in an overload.)

    • Okay, what would we want in a flowchart? What options? What kind of material?


      • Well, some of us have charts for diagnosing problems (Neurodivergent K’s “Why Am I Shaking?” chart comes to mind) and such a chart might be extended to include steps to fix the problem, such as
        IF Why_Shaking?=Didn’t_Eat THEN Eat $QuickFood AND THEN Prepare HotFood.

        • Interesting, C7

          Thanks for sharing! I may ask Neurodivergent K for permission to link to the list you mentioned.


  2. Hello Andrea,

    I’m Jonathan Izak, founder of SpecialNeedsWare. I’m not here to pitch a product but would love to connect with your community. I began developing our first product, AutisMate, in order to help my younger brother who is on the autism spectrum. Rather than talk about the product itself, which may not be appropriate here, I would like to point out our approach to creating it. We focus on listening to hundreds of speech pathologists, therapists, parents, and teachers about their needs and feedback. Similarly, we would love to connect with your community as well. Reach out and I’d be happy to shoot you a promo code so we can discuss where the app is today and where it is headed in the future.


    • Thanks for your comment! I will check out your site!


    • Mr Izak-

      Sorry I haven’t responded until now, I have been quite busy with college work. Yes I am interested in seeing your app. I will email you off the blog about details


  3. I feel like an all-in-one information manager would be a hit. It would put to-do lists, email, and voicemail in the SAME LIST, and allow the user to customize how all the information is organized. Current tools try to think for you too much (old software is often more autistic friendly than new software for that reason), and don’t allow you to conform the tool to your personal way of thinking about your tasks at hand.

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