The GPS tracker for kids by B’ZT made the Top 20 Technology Choices for helping people on the Autism Spectrum in 2021. Check out the article at the link below.
Quick Guide: 20 Top Products to Assist with the Autism Spectrum
- Tobii Dynavox range: Speech generating devices controlled with eye-gaze or hands for easy communication
- Proloquo2Go app: Best symbol-based iOS app for assistive communication
- GoTalk: Best physical buttons ACC device (iOS app also available)
4. ICE4Autism Mobile App: A first-of-its-kind app for emergency response.
5. Angelsense: Special needs GPS tracker (non-removable)
6. Jiobit: Sleek and minimalist GPS tracker (and Suresafe)
7. SmartSole: Discreet GPS tracker in your shoe
8. B’zT: Proximity-based tracker in cute clothing patches for kids
Learn, Play or Work:
9. Autism Apps: A collection of Apps reviewed by specialists
10. Gemiini: Speech, Reading & Behavioral Skills for Autism
11. Goally: Therapy device and apps to organize the day
12. Skyle: Eye-tracker for iPad Pro
13. Ablenet: Assistive technology devices for learning and communication
14. Voice Assistant devices (Google and Alexa): For play and daily organization
15. Skoog: An accessible music device for everyone
16. Blipbox: Synthesizer for all ages and abilities
Be Healthy and Calm
17. Empatica’s Embrace: Wristwatch that detects epilepsy
18. Nuheara IQbuds2 Max: Advanced Hearing Buds reducing noise and overload.
19. Touchpoint Calm: Wearable wrist bracelets helping to bring calm
20. Daily activity trackers (Fitbit, Kolibree, Wellue & Withings): For staying on track with healthy habits and sleep
Being able to express yourself is essential for socialization, confidence, and general wellbeing. For those with autism, communication is a challenge with some being totally non-verbal while others have limited speech.
There are a multitude of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices that can help support or recreate natural speech. In the past, AAC used to be basic and limited with the use of picture boards or cards.
Now, with the use of technology, AAC devices have become more sophisticated to help individuals express themselves in richer and fuller ways.
1. Tobii Dynavox range: Best eye gaze-enables speech generation device
Tobii is a company that produces a wide range of devices and apps to assist with communication for those who are non-verbal or verbally limited. They have a division dedicated to different physical and cognitive needs and an experienced team.
Their most innovative and popular products are the I-Series, EyeMobile Plus, and Indi.
The Products are designed like tablets and can be either controlled with eye-gaze, hands, head-mouse, or switch scanning depending on individual needs. The user simply selects different communication icons or symbols and the device will generate speech on their behalf.
The user has the ability to set up the device with social media, email, and calling apps for limitless communication. The design is for daily, rugged use with protective casings.
Founded in 2001, this company has a solid set of investors, partners, awards, and testimonials.
2. Proloquo2Go app: Best symbol-based iOS app for assistive communication
This powerful symbols-based app helps individuals with daily communication and language skills development. Simply download the app on your iOS device. The user selects the different symbols and the iOS device will say the message.
The intuitive interface makes it easy for new users. The design is easily customizable to a wide range of communicators, from single words to full sentences.
Core words always remain in the same place for easy access, but users can build on that by adding different vocabulary levels. Choose from 100 voices, ranging from friendly adult voices to genuine children’s voices and bilingual voices. For some languages, you even have multiple options.
Parents, therapists, teachers, and users around the world recognize Proloquo2Go as a gold standard in AAC solutions. There are thousands of 4.8/5 star ratings on the AppStore.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, inspired by personal experience and founded in 2000, they have a powerful range of reputable assistive communication products.
“Alarna, Tyrone’s mother, always considered herself an advocate for her son, however, now that he is using Proloquo2Go she has found that he can speak for himself.” — Proloquo2Go user
3. GoTalk: Physical button ACC device (and iOS app also available)
With over 25 years of experience in the ACC industry, Attainment (the company that produces GoTalk) is familiar with the needs of individuals in this area.
Their most basic device is the GoTalk 4+ which comes with 6 physical buttons, and this can go up to 32 buttons on their GoTalk Express 32 model. You can customize your buttons with your own symbols and record multiple essential messages on each device.
This range is great for users that want a simple, basic, and rugged device that can withstand daily use. They’ve also launched a mobile app version of their GoTalk devices for those that prefer digital buttons.
Adults and children use these products. For example, here’s how one mother describes the impact of GoTalk on her grown son.
“Without this device, my 36-year-old severely autistic son would experience major frustration trying to explain himself. While it took years for him to adapt to it, it finally paid off after much time. He is now able to communicate ‘toilet, hungry, go for a ride, go to Walmart’, etc. I thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts for this wonderful tool.” — Travas
4. ICE4Autism App: Autism-specific emergency app
Those with autism may require special considerations in an emergency because of specific communication, medical, or sensory needs.
The ICE4Autism can help by capturing information that provides first responders or medical personnel with actionable information specifically relating to the needs of people with Autism.
With this information clearly presented in a single app, it helps others help you better.
Simply download the app on your smartphone and it will have all your vital information and special functions like:
- Personal details: Name, DOB, blood type, and more.
- Autism-specific needs: how you prefer to communicate, unique behaviors, specific treatment information, and more.
- Your emergency contacts: Including GPS location which you can send to your contacts.
- Pre-recorded emergency messages, in case you are not able to verbalize your needs.
- Other special information you’d like emergency personnel to know, and more!
Developed in conjunction with the community and specialists this product has an average rating of 5/5 stars on the App Store.
Wandering off is a common problem — especially in the younger age groups. Studies have found that 49% of parents reported that their child with ASD had wandered off at least once after the age of 4.
There are a host of GPS tracking devices that can help ease worries when a loved one goes out of sight.
5. Angelsense: Special needs GPS tracker (non-removable)
Designed for individuals of all ages with special needs, the Angelsense GPS tracker is the way to go. Worn in different discreet ways, this product does not interfere with daily movement or sensory sensitivities.
It has the following features that keep in mind the different sensory and practical needs of those living with autism:
- Live GPS tracking, direct to your smartphone app for carers’ pace of mind.
- Multiple discrete wearing options: Secure it onto the back of your waistband, under your shirt, on a bag strap, wristband, and more!
- 2-way auto-answer speakerphone that allows you to speak to your loved one in an emergency.
- Get alerts if your loved one wanders off to unfamiliar places.
- Battery lasts up to 24 hours
- SOS button.
Carers report that they had the peace of mind to give loved ones more freedom when they knew that the Angelsense was there to help during unplanned events and emergencies.
The Jiobit GPS tracker stands out because of its sleek and subtle design. It’s small (about the size of an Oreo), and lightweight so it won’t interfere with daily activities. The dedicated security chip and government-level encryption protect the Jiobit device. Cryptographically signed software protects the OS from malware.
Key features include:
- Real-time, accurate GPS tracking to your smartphone app — multiple people can link to 1 tracker.
- The timeline feature lets you backtrack and see where your loved one has gone.
- An alert button that the user can press if they need help.
- Long-lasting battery life: Up to a week
- Multiple wearing options: Clip it on your waistband, wear it as a necklace, and more!
- Non-removable wearing options: Attach it on with security tags that are similar to those you find in clothing stores. A special key is only able to remove it.
Joibit is available in the US. For other regions such as the UK and Australia, refer to Suresafe. They are trusted by numerous aged and assistive care providers, provide flexible wearing options and offer solid functionality.
“Great for kids with Autism. This is a fantasticZmelda on App Store
7. SmartSole: Discreet GPS tracker for kids in your shoe
The SmartSole is appealing for those that need a GPS that may be removed or discarded, as it will not be visible to others. It’s integrated into a shoe sole, so all you need to do is trim it down to fit your size and insert it into your shoe.
This is great for those with sensory issues or if you’re worried about forgetting to bring your tracker with you.
- Use an online account or SmartLocator app to get location mapping and location history list.
- Receive alerts if the user leaves your specific “Geozones”.
- Battery life: 1-2 days.
- Charge by placing sole on charger pad.
- At this point, sizing is only available for adults.
As the product uses a telecoms connection (ie. it requires a relationship with a local provider), check out the product link above for features and through to providers in your region. The product is currently undergoing testing for its next 4G version, is available to waitlist, and invites interest for additional distributors across geographic regions.
8. B’zT: GPS Tracker for kids in cute clothing patches for kids
B’zT integrates their washable tracking chip into fun clothing patches so that it’s completely hidden. You can buy a patch embedded with a GPS tracker for kids, or a range of t-shirts in sizes and colors, and set the tracking up for a group or individual.
It works best for those that only need to track their child in relatively close proximity as the chip connects to your smartphone app through Bluetooth.
Here’s a look at its features:
- Syncs to your smartphone app to show your child’s location.
- When your child is more than 25-45ft (max. 260ft) away, your app will alert you.
- Machine washable.
- No charging required — can last up to 1 year.
- Multiple users can connect to the same chipset.
It can come in handy when you want to be alert at the time that someone has left a group, school, or home, excursions, or when you’re in crowded or public places. The product was nominated for a TIME invention of the year. The product works worldwide, but it does not yet ship to all countries, so you may wish to contact the provider via the link above, for exemptions or to seek local distributors.
Click here to check out their GPS tracker for kids.
Learn, Play and Work
Being productive through learning or work is crucial for personal growth and fulfillment. With various advancements in technology, what individuals with autism are able to achieve in their careers and development are constantly expanding.
Here’s a look at some top products that can help with the process:
9. Apps: Apps for Autism
There are a large number of Apps that may benefit the needs and learning styles relevant to those on the spectrum. These relate to speech, emotions, and social skills, fine motor skills, maths and numeracy, special interests and entertainment, and daily organization and independence.
We’ve considered many of the often highly rated apps available and elected to share a list of our top 3 super-sets of Autism apps. We’ve provided these because they are reputable sources, whose Apps or collections have been reviewed, collated, or developed in consultation with health specialists. Researching these providers and Autism apps shows a high level of agreement in the best apps across the providers.
Autism App Recommendations
i) ‘Autism Apps’. This website has been developed by the Autism Association of Western Australia in response to the many parents, teachers, and individuals who have asked how to effectively use technology to support a person with Autism. We like it because the Apps are internationally available, and have been reviewed by specialists, and star-rated on a range of measures. Filters can be used according to age, capability, or rating, in categories.
ii) Assistiveware. Was founded in 2000and is a leader and pioneer in the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and assistive technology software. They are the makers of the popular Proloquo, with a bundled set of apps available on the App Store, and 350,000 customers worldwide.
iii) Autism Parenting App Recommendations 2021. This publication is an award-winning Parenting Magazine aimed at improving the quality of life for families affected by autism. Their approach is hopeful, and positive, is released over years, and with links to providers across iPad, iPhone, and Android.
iv) Apple’s Top Picks for Autism. The technology giants Autism Acceptance Day List of the top-performing, meaning downloaded and rated, apps. Here you’ll find a list of 20 apps under the headings of Communications, Lifeskills, Games & Music, and a special set for the Apple Watch.
10. Gemiini – Speech, Reading & Behavioral Skills for Autism
Gemiini is a clinically validated program that provides 100% web-based, on-demand therapy. Children and adults experiencing Autism, Down Syndrome, or speech-language delay are benefiting from learning speech, reading, language, life, and social skills that are used in daily interactions.
Gemiini is one of the first tools we have seen that could legitimately be called a breakthrough… Our staff believes that Gemiini will revolutionize the way we teach language to children with language delays. – Keri Jones, CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist Pullman Regional Hospital (WA)
“We’re in Australia and our son is almost 5. He’s been almost completely non-verbal. We have tried to encourage speech the entire time but only started using Gemini last month. He just said two words in the first session. We are still in disbelief. It was hard to hold back tears.” – Mark L. (parent)
11. Goally: Therapy apps to organize the day
Goally offers a bundle of therapy apps to support special needs individuals in their daily scheduling or behavior management — ultimately helping with building routines and independence.
The apps can be used on your regular smartphone or Goally’s own distraction-free device that only has their apps on it.
- Visual schedules so your child can always anticipate what is coming next.
- Digital token boards for recognizing achievements and behavioral management.
- Visual timer for activities.
- Behavior tracking and reports for analysis.
- Allow multiple carers to access data for easy team coordination.
Here’s a look at what one person using had to say about Goally:
“Works well for us. I can edit routines on the fly, award extra points for doing something special and start those unscheduled routines when I need them.” — Melissa
12. Skyle: Eye-tracker for iPad Pro
Simply attach Skyle to your iPad Pro, and you will be able to use it through eye control, touch and switch, or pointer device access.
It can be used in conjunction with other AAC (like Proloquo2Go/GoTalk), emailing, or social media apps. Opening up a world of communicative, creative, learning, and productive possibilities whether at school or work.
A mounting kit is also available.
13. Ablenet: Wide variety of assistive technology devices for learning and communication
Ablenet is an assistive technology company that produces a whole range of devices to widen the possibilities of those with special needs.
Their products include:
- AAC devices
- Special needs curriculum
- Accessible toys
- Support devices for computer and table access
Ablenet is a great one-stop-shop for those that want comprehensive support in combining various assistive technologies to complement one another.
14. Voice Assistants (Google Nest Hub, Google Mini and Alexa Echo Show and Alexa Echo Dot) For play and daily organization
People often associate smartphone devices with home security or controlling electrical appliances. But there are a host of things that these devices can do to help individuals on the spectrum manage their day, engage their interests, and even have a little fun along the way.
- Ask and learn about anything you like — whether it’s a science fact, statistics eg. NRL, or an interest area of focus
- Set reminders and timers and alarms to transition through activities more easily throughout the day.
- Add to your calendar, ask what’s happening today, set up routines (a collection of instructions)
- Listen to music, news, watch videos, reach an audiobook, or get help meditating or falling asleep
- Build independence by creating to-do or grocery lists, or making a call should help be needed
- Have a good chat! Many smart home devices can tell jokes and ask trivia questions. This will allow you to practice conversational skills in a non-judgmental environment.
- There are Alexa specific Autism skills, many free to enable, such as ‘Autism Help’ for language and social skills, Speech Therapy skills designed by health professionals
- Play games.
15. Skoog: An accessible music device for everyone
Music is one of the most powerful forms of self-expression and universal enjoyment. It can be particularly useful in expressing emotions, something which can be a challenge for those on the autism spectrum.
The Skoog is a musical device that hopes to make music accessible to everyone of all musical abilities. It can be picked up and used to play songs within the first hour of use, with room for progression as skills develop.
The Skoog has been used by music therapists who work with children with autism to build rapport and emotional connections. It’s a great tool for users to experience trial and error, taking turns, repeating patterns, and creating something they can be proud of.
The Skoog is accessible and can be picked up by anyone, no matter what their musical ability. See their approach and benefits specifically for Autism.
16. Blipblox: Synthesizer for all ages and abilities
The Blipblox is a fully functional synthesizer that’s specifically designed for children from as young as 3 — making it easily accessible to a wide range of individuals.
The Blipblox is more than a toy, it is a completely new way for kids (and adults) to explore electronic music. Colorful buttons, knobs and levers encourage creative play, while spacey sounds and flashing lights keep kids engaged in STEM learning. There’s no need to connect a phone and no software to download.
Simply switch it on, start playing with the colorful knobs and buttons, and you’ll be on your way to creating electronic music.
Overall, it’s a great tool for introducing music without the need for learning complex musical theory or motor skills.
Don’t be fooled by its cute and colorful design. It’s actually a fully functional synthesizer that can be used by more advanced users as they progress.
Be Healthy and Calm
There are also many devices to help those with ASD manage their general health needs and even medical issues often associated with the condition (like seizures).
Here’s a summary of our top Autism-support products for staying healthy and calm:
17. Empatica’s Embrace: Wristwatch that detects epilepsy
Those with ASD are at increased risk of having seizures (around 30% for those with ASD, vs. 2% in the normal population).
Embrace is a special wristwatch designed by Empatica that helps to detect when the wearer has a seizure. It will alert caregivers on the connected smartphone app when an epileptic episode is detected so the affected individual can get help as soon as possible.
It is also suitable for adults or children, is FDA-cleared, and fast charging (30 min charge powers it for a full day) so you or your loved one can be protected for most of the day.
Here is what one thankful mother has to say about the Embrace:
“I walked away to make lunch and the Embrace texted and called both my husband and me to let us know our daughter was having a seizure. Now I won’t have to worry about missing a seizure.” — Brittney from empatica.com
18. Nuheara -IQbuds2 Max: Advanced Hearing Buds reducing background noise and overload.
Qbuds² MAX was selected for the prestigious TIME Best Inventions of 2020. selecting 100 products and innovations for the list.
The buds Active Noise Cancellation and Ear IDTM hearable technology gives people of all ages the power to personalize, control, and alter their soundscape and relieve auditory overload. Similarly, this can have a significant benefit for people with conditions that include Autism, Tinnitus, ASD, and APD.
This can assist with calm, focus, and improved communication and learning.
MEET KAI “After his first day at school with the earbuds, I asked Kai how it went and he said it was great, and it was also bad. He said it was great because he could finally hear the teacher, but bad because now that he could hear the teacher, he had to do what she said.” ~ Mel (Kai’s mom). See more stories here.
19. Touchpoint Calm: Bracelet that detects and dis-engages stress.
Touchpoints are wearable bracelets that may assist with stress and anxiety, sleep and focus. They are available for children and adults and in various colours.
TouchPoints utilize BLAST technology to shift you or your child from sensory overload to sensory tolerance and have been reported to help cope with Autism.
Developed over the course of a decade by a team of neuropsychologists, these devices work by altering the body’s stress response caused by stress. The wearables emit vibrations that disengage your standard stress response which can impact your performance and health.
Touchpoints have mixed reviews, but we’ve included them as research suggests good reviews relating to the Autism spectrum, and agreed among those who believe in the science of BLAST technology interrupting the stress mechanisms, You can read the research here, and a study with the specific impacts of those with Autism, here.
20. Daily activity trackers (Fitness, Sleep & Teeth): For staying on track with healthy habits
Once in a while, everyone needs a little help keeping up with their healthy daily habits. In sum, this can be especially true for those with attentional or rigidity issues.