Smart Tech and Online Resources for Autistic Children

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We talked to parents of autistic children about the technology and online resources that have helped them care for their kids. From a kids GPS tracker to an AAC app all the way to dimmable smart lights, here are the top five products both parents and kids will love. 

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1. AngelSense: Best GPS Tracker

Best GPS tracker for autistic kids
AngelSense_Product_Image
AngelSense
pro Frequent location updates
pro Sensory-friendly attachments
pro Runner mode
pro Auto answer

The AngelSense GPS tracking system was designed by a father of an autistic child. He created this smart gadget specifically for autistic children who may have trouble communicating or who have a tendency to elope. 

For example, AngelSense not only tracks the wearer's location, but also learns typical routines and even monitors vehicle speed. If your child's bus is late—or they missed the bus—AngelSense helps parents understand what's going on. Plus, its two-way talk, auto-answer, and SOS features make it easy to connect with a child who may need reassurance.

And you don't have to worry about this GPS tracker getting lost. It attaches to your child's clothing with multiple sensory-friendly options. 

Read our full AngelSense review to learn more.

“AngelSense has been a lifesaver for my family. It came in handy when my son who is autistic left school without anyone noticing. I was alerted as soon as he left the building and was able to pinpoint his location to his teacher. Within 15 minutes he was safely back at school. Thank you so much for giving my family peace of mind!”—L.W.

2. Proloquo2Go: Best AAC app

Best AAC app
Proloquo2Go
pro Unlimited vocab
pro Huge symbol library
pro Custom voice and skin tone
pro Bilingual options

Proloquo2Go is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app that helps people of all ages communicate non-verbally. 

We love that Proloquo2Go has a vast library of words and symbols while also supporting custom entries. Users can choose from over 100 voices with regional accents, select a default skin tone for human symbols, and even switch languages in the same sentence. 

AssistiveWare, the company behind Proloquo2Go, makes other apps for non-verbal communicators. They're all worth a look, but we especially like the assistive keyboard Keeble and the custom story-telling app Pictello.

3. Model Me: Best social education series

Best social education series
Model Me
pro DVDs and digital downloads
pro Parent manuals
pro Workbooks
pro Ages 2 to 21

The Model Me video series is perfect for kids who learn best by modeling actions. There are videos for ages 2 to 21 that focus on a variety of topics:

  • Emotions
  • Confidence
  • Friendship
  • Conversation
  • Playdates
  • School routines
  • Travel
  • Organization
  • Job skills

And that's not even a complete list. The videos are available as DVDs or digital downloads. Companion manuals and workbooks are also available to help you guide your child through additional activities. 

4. Secura: Best visual timer

Best visual timer

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Secura 60-Minute Visual Timer is a low-tech but effective solution for helping kids understand time.

For some, it means very little to hear, "You've got five minutes to finish up." The visual timer turns that abstract concept into something tangible. 

We like the Secura visual timer because it comes in several different colors and doesn't make any ticking noises. If you'd prefer to use a phone app, there are tons of visual timer options available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

5. Philips Hue: Best for light sensitivity

Best for light sensitivity

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

With Philips Hue smart bulbs, you can make all of your lights dimmable without calling in an electrician. The catch, though, is that your child will have to give a voice command or use a phone app for this method. Non-verbal kids may benefit from a traditional dimmer switch instead.

That said, Philips Hue lights offer a ton of customization options for kids with light sensitivity. If the light is too bright, the bulbs can be dimmed or changed to a warmer color. You can set up routines too, such as automatically making the lights warm and dim during your child's bedtime routine. 

Check out other options: Best Smart Bulbs

Online resources

If you’re a caregiver, parent, teacher, or clinician, these resources can provide information, insights, strategies, and support.

  • Shut Up about Your Perfect Kid: The moms we talked to love the blog and social media accounts of this “movement of imperfection.” The site is a celebration of “special kids” and the challenges and triumphs of their “ordinary parents.”
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network: This nonprofit organization started as a grassroots movement that advocated for disability rights for the autistic community. It is run by autistic individuals  and focuses on working toward a world where autistic people will have “equal access, rights, and opportunities.”
  • National Autism Association: Besides having a lot of great resources to learn more about autism, this org also offers the Big Red Safety Box—a package with resources and safety tools.
“There are a lot of really great resources out there, but I think which ones are best depends on where on the spectrum your child is and what needs you have as a family. Personally, the best guidance I have received has come from adults on the spectrum. They offer an insight into my child's world that I don’t have.”
—Jessica, mom of an autistic child

Related articles on SafeWise

Disclaimer

 *Product prices and availability are accurate as of post date and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Caveat: SafeWise strives to use inclusive language in all of our publications. Although we usually opt for person-first language, we found that in the case of autism, there are many opinions about person-first versus identity-first language. For this article, we followed the lead of the parents we interviewed and used identity-first language. Although the semantic approaches may vary, we remain committed to respectful and inclusive language, and we want to hear your thoughts and questions. Please send feedback to info@safewise.com.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over eight years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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