What’s an autistic child’s new secret weapon? It’s the iPad! 

Autism causes a lot of kids to have a really hard time communicating. In fact, they often get so frustrated about being unable to express themselves that they cry and throw tantrums. But the iPad is completely changing their lives, and allowing them to effortlessly communicate with everyone they come into contact with.

Here’s why. There are now over 700 apps on the market to help autistic children communicate. Most of them are modeled after the wildly popular “Speak All” app, which displays pictures and symbols of thousands of things, everything from an apple to an angry face. And you can drag and drop them into a storyboarding strip to create sentences. Then, with one click, it’ll say the sentence out loud. For example, “I want a sandwich.” Or “Can we play basketball after dinner?” 

Before the iPad, most autistic children could only communicate via flash cards that contained pictures and the word underneath that they wanted to use. And older children were often embarrassed using flash cards in public. Not to mention, the flash cards often couldn’t entirely sum up what they wanted to say, since they only contained a few words. 

If you have an autistic child, or know one, you can check out the top autism communication apps at AutismSpeaks.org. Most are free or cost a buck.