Around 1 in 20 children in the United States are diagnosed with sensory processing disorders, which impact how the brain processes sensory information like taste, touch, light, and sound. Fortunately, apps are continually being developed to help manage symptoms (like sensitivity to sensory input, or lack thereof) and improve quality of life. For example, the new ANRC Autism Treatment Rater App (developed by the Autism Nutrition Research Center) displays diet, medication, supplement, diet, and therapy ratings based on national survey data. There’s also a symptom search feature that shows the most popular treatments for any symptom.
Apraxia Therapy ($24.99, available for iOS)
Apraxia is a neurological disorder that commonly affects people with sensory processing disorder; it makes it difficult to speak and sound words correctly. Fortunately, Apraxia Therapy (by Tactus Therapy) is a new speech therapy app designed to help people improve their communication skills, along with their confidence and independence. It uses a multi-sensory approach consisting of audio, visual, and tactile learning; users watch a video of a model speaking, before replicating the mouth movements and sounds themselves. The app also encourages users to speak while also tapping along with the video at the same time, which ultimately creates a multi-sensory experience. It’s also customizable – users can select three varying speeds to work at, as well as choose unique phrases to practice.
Heat Pad (free, available for iOS)
Heat Pad is a simple yet effective app developed to help children with autism or sensory disorders relax by exploring sensory stimuli. All users need to do is touch or draw on the screen, and the screen instantly reacts to the heat of their fingertips. There’s a host of different heat-sensitive surfaces to choose from (although only a select number are free). The flame setting, for example, is described as fire at your fingertips, while the rainbow setting generates pretty psychedelic colors. Pairing the use of relaxation apps and technology with other calming sensory methods such as scented candles are another effective way to de-stress and calm the senses. For example, the scent of vanilla has been found to boost feelings of well-being, relaxation, and happiness.
Miracle Modus (free, available for iOS)
Miracle Modus has been developed by a person with autism with the ultimate goal of helping users alleviate anxiety and minimize any sensory overloads. The app couldn’t be easier to use: simply sit back and watch the hypnotic, mathematically-patterned rainbow lights, while listening to the accompanying peaceful soft bell music. The app also features different modes; simply tap any corner of the screen followed by the arrows to find a mode you prefer. Most modes are interactive with the ability to enable or disable as desired, so only your favorites are displayed.
The Bottom Line
Sensory disorders are increasingly common among children in the U.S.. Apraxia Therapy, Heat Pad, and Miracle Modus are just a small selection of some of the best iOS apps available to help children with sensory disorders minimize their symptoms and improve quality of life.
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Working as a motoring writer gave Jacqueline Cowell the chance to put her past experience as a mechanic to good use, once she became a mother and decided to stay at home with her two young children. She now puts together pieces for a range of different motoring websites, but in her free time restores classic vehicles with her husband. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, who is solely responsible for its content.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, who is solely responsible for its content.
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