Picture AAC App: Helps Children Communicate By Using Pictures

App: Picture AAC

Developer: Hearty SPIN

Platform: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch (English)

Price: $29.99 Picture AAC – Hearty SPIN

Category: AAC (Augmentative & Alternative Communication)


Picture AAC: Assistive Communication App

Hearty SPIN has created an effective augmentative alternative communication (AAC) app designed to aid individuals with autism and other special needs become more linguistically functional in society.  Picture AAC is one of the latest assistive communication apps available for individuals with speech and language delays and/or impairments.  This app has a kid friendly interface, yet it can help people of all ages with communication deficits.



Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Picture AAC’s design is based on the picture communication system so those who are familiar with the widely used Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) will be delighted by the convenience and portability of this app.  It brings PECS into the iCommunication era and much like the PECS system, Picture AAC supports language development rather than suppressing it.



Clip Art and Audio

Picture AAC uses playful, kid friendly clip art to represent words and phrases from a range of categories including needs, food, and emotions that children on the spectrum generally have the most trouble communicating.  The graphics and audio captions for each picture can be edited or deleted.  New pictures and audio captions can also be added from digital album collections, internet images, etc.



Customizable: Use Your Pictures and Audio

These customizable features are especially useful to ASD individuals who have problems coping with changes in routine.  Standard pictures from the app can be replaced with photos of family members and familiar items to help the child become better acclimated to the app.  The sound of a familiar voice announcing words and phrases is also helpful if the child has attachment issues.  Additionally, the kid-centric pictures can be replaced with more age-appropriate photos for teenage and adult users.



Choose Your Child’s Learning Level

With the availability of two different learner levels, the user can build full sentences from the pictures available in the various categories.  Alternatively, the user can learn to differentiate between words and phrases.  This feature is useful for teaching complex yes/no mands that are often quite difficult for ASD children to master.  The audio feature can also be turned on or off, which allows the parent or teacher to assess the child’s language development.



Competitively Priced AAC App

The $29.99 price tag may seem a bit pricey in a world of $1 to $3 apps; however, Picture AAC actually comes at a modest price in comparison to similar apps in its category.  I have seen equally priced AAC apps come with a limited number of standard pictures while Picture AAC is equipped with more than 200 images.  Users also have the capability of adding their own images and audio so this devise can grow with the child, which makes the app a worthy investment.  Another valuable feature is that it is available on multiple platforms so you only have to pay for it once.


Download from iTunes: Picture AAC – Hearty SPIN


Thanks to Teri T., an Autism Plugged In guest author, homeschool mom of two kids on the spectrum, and daily iPad user for this terrific review!

If you’re interested in AAC apps, you might also like this review:  10 Top AAC Apps Under $30!

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11 Responses to Picture AAC App: Helps Children Communicate By Using Pictures

  1. […] Picture AAC on the App StorePicture AAC Reviews:App Store – Rated 4 out of 5 by 1 users.Autism Plugged In’s Review of Picture AACPicture AAC Video:Related Posts:ClaroSpeakAutisMateSono Flexi-Lexis […]

  2. Calcolatrice on May 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Good find. My son uses Look2Learn but this might be worth a try. I just wish these apps were a bit cheaper!

    • Teri on May 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Cost is definitely a factor, especially after shelling out the cash for the iPad itself. However, I always consider the ‘shelf-life’ of the apps that I purchase. If I feel that an app won’t be useful for more than a year I will only spend a few bucks on it. However, if the app has the potential to have a ‘shelf life’ of a few years I don’t mind the investment if it is reasonable.

  3. Special Needs Apps Reviews | Hearty SPIN on May 9, 2012 at 8:27 am

    […] check out review sites that helped to sort and categorize the apps into various groups such as Communication, Social Skills, Maths Skills etc. Here are some useful website: iAutism.info, Autism Speaks, Apps for Autism Wikispaces , and Autism Plugged In […]

  4. […] Hearty SPIN draws on the talents of various professionals to create solutions that bring the benefits of these technologies also to people with special needs like autism spectrum disorder (ASD), cerebral palsy, apraxia, speech and language impairment/delay, down syndrome, intellectual disability , and developmental delay. Hearty SPIN created Picture AAC app which helps speech impaired/delayed individuals communicate effectively their needs and thoughts through the use of pictures. Picture AAC app is already in-use by parents, carers, speech language therapists/pathologists, teachers with speech impaired/delayed individuals in many countries in Europe, Asia and in Australia, Canada and US. Picture AAC app was recently featured on CNN and reviewed in Autism Plugged In blog. […]

  5. […] A number of people who are passionate about helping the community have spent considerable efforts to put together wiki pages and blogs that help to organize apps into categories, organize reviews and provide recommendations, including iAutism.info, Autism Speaks, Apps for Autism Wikispaces , and Autism Plugged In.  […]

  6. […] help to the people affected by ASD in your own home!  This application gives you a basic AAC platform to build off of, but that’s not even the main attraction here.  The main reason that […]

  7. […] Read our full review of Picture AAC App for iPad/iPhone here. […]

  8. […] Picture AAC […]

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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.