Basic Information About The iPad and Apps For Kids With Autism

In response to some reader questions I’ve been receiving via email, I realized that I made a mistake.  I have wrongly assumed that all of you are as tech savvy as API’s geeky tech writers and that you know all there is to know about apps and the internet.

Never fear!  This post is meant to be a reference for those who have general questions about apps, the iPad, or the iPhone.

Get Your iPad Questions Answered Here

I am encouraging readers to post questions in the comments.  If your question is not already answered here, leave a comment and I will add it to the post.  I plan to regularly update this article.



The iPad

Question #1 – How much storage (GB) is needed to run the best apps out there at the lowest cost?

The storage options available on the new iPad HD, the iPad 3, are as follows.

16GB – $499

About 140 apps

32GB –  $599

About 280 apps

64 GB – $699

About 560 apps

*The iPad 2 has the same storage options, just cheaper.

So, here’s the bottom line – it all depends on how you plan on using the iPad and what you’re willing to pay.  Yeah, the price per GB goes way down as you get to 64GB, but who really needs that much storage?

Also, if you’re okay with deleting apps from your iPad that you don’t use anymore (don’t worry, they can easily be re-downloaded for free), then you could probably get by with the 16GB and save yourself $100.  If you can afford it, and you don’t want to have to worry about storage issues, just go for the 32GB.

Also, I would recommend just getting the Wi-Fi version; no need to shell out extra money for a 3G data plan.

The Apps

Question #2 – Do most of the apps you review on Autism Plugged In run offline?

If I’m not mistaken, all of the apps that we have reviewed on this site run offline.  You won’t be able to download full versions of apps from inside the game or get any patches, but all of the functions of the app should work.  You probably won’t run into any problems on this point.

The Accessories

Question #3 – I’m looking for a protective case: the Survivor is expensive, but looks very protective … I am concerned about whether or not the audio is loud enough when played through the case?

Here’s a link to where we talked about the Griffin Survivor iPad Case, if you don’t know what it is.



Yes, this case is extremely sturdy, and yes, it is rather expensive.  (Not as expensive as buying a new iPad if your kid breaks it, however.)  In regard to the question about audio, here’s a video provided to us by the makers of Griffin Surviror that demonstrates the sound playing through the case:

YouTube video of Griffin Survivor

The makers of Survivor have provided a grill-like opening over the speaker … and it seems to work pretty well.  Hope this helps!




Remember – submit your questions in the comments and I will answer them as best I can!


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10 Responses to Basic Information About The iPad and Apps For Kids With Autism

  1. Amanda Stokes on August 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    My son is 11 and has recently been diagnosed with autism, dyspraxia and add. He has a lack of vocabulary although you can have a conversation with him easily. His handwriting is bad and his literacy skills are not good, bad spelling and grammer. Can you recommend an app for him, as all the ones I’m finding are for young children.
    Thank you

  2. Stephanie on May 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    My son is a little over three and a half and has been recently diagnosed as autistic following an initial diagnosis of developmental delays and PDD-NOS. He is non-verbal and uses very few if any gestures in attempts to communicate. His previous developmental daycare mentioned an augmentative communication device as a possible tool in helping his communication and language skills, but that idea died before it ever really started since he was ineligible being under three at the time. My question is which iPad would be most beneficial for him, allowing for user-friendly features, durability, and cost. I have also been looking for some sort of screen cover that forces a choice to be made between ‘buttons’ or options rather than him just swiping his hand across the screen and seeing what happens. I was shown one when discussing the augmentative communication device which was simply a hard plastic attachment with small circular cutouts in it that corresponded to the options on the screen and wondered if there was anything like that for the iPad.

    • Jack Kieffer on May 5, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      Stephanie, The best (IMO) AAC app out there is Proloquo2Go. If you’re looking for a less expensive AAC app (to try out first) … you might want to check out our list of AAC apps under $30. Here’s the link: I have never seen a screen cover for the iPad like you’re describing. I don’t think it exists, because EVERY app is different – therefore, the “holes” would never be in the right places. I recommend getting an Apple iPad if you can afford it. If you’re on a tight budget, you can consider getting a used one of an earlier version from eBay. Hope this helps! –Jack

    • Gina on March 24, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      The “screen cover” you are looking for is called a keyguard, and you can find them either at LaseredPics or Beyond Adaptive (both online). The thing is that they are made for specific apps, so if you are using a specific app for communication, it would be worth the extra money, but if you are using multiple apps, it would be a bit cost prohibitive to buy keyguards for each kind of configuration.

  3. meg on August 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I am wondering about the Gab n Go Harness. I am trying to find out how ruggedness and ease of wearing. I think my son will use his ipad mini more if it is attached to him. He also has physical disabilities and is very destructive.

Proloquo2Go iPad Demo – Click Below to Watch!

Proloquo2Go iPad Demo – Watch It Now!

Who’s Behind Autism Plugged In?

Who’s Behind Autism Plugged In?

My name is Jack Kieffer and I'm a blogger sharing my love of technology at blogs like Cool Gizmo Toys, Greenamajigger, and here at Autism Plugged In where I'm trying to make a difference in the lives of children with autism.

Several years ago, I began volunteering with special needs kids, who gave me much joy and an appreciation for life. This blog is my way of giving back. Any proceeds from this effort are used to support my friends with autism. Read more about Jack or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.