So after a fairly long extended (maternity related) break, it’s time for another blog on using apps to support communication. One I’ve had in mind for a while is to share some ideas of using the iPad to promote peer-peer interaction among students with Autism.
Asking a peer or adult to join them in an activity is a great functional and social target for a student with Autism.
In the ASD school where I work, students regularly have ‘choosing’ time and often choose the iPad or tablet. Without taking away the chance to make independent choices, it’s also an opportunity to encourage interaction with others. If two player games are motivating enough, the student will need to ask someone else to play the game with them.
It might involve AAC to help the student make the request – for example using a communication book to request “Monica play Air Hockey” or simply exchanging a PECS symbol for Air Hockey. It might involve a choice board with options of who they could ask. It also involves getting the peer or adult’s attention, for example through tapping them on the shoulder or calling their name.
I’ve listed a range of simple and free two player games below. Admittedly, many of these have single player functions but try not to mention this to the students… Please do comment with any other two player games that you’ve tried.
Air Hockey. I’ve mentioned this one before but it’s a good one.
Touch hockey – similar to Air Hockey.
Ping pong touch – as it says on the tin.
Hit tennis 2 – make sure you download the right version (version 2) which gives you the two
player split screen option.
Most of these are iPad versions of classic board games. Nothing wrong with using the actual board game but these are suggested for situations where use of the iPad might be more motivating for a student!
Tick tack toe. Basically noughts and crosses for the iPad!
FourInARow – the classic Connect 4 game.
Yatzy. An iPad take on the classic Yahtzee dice game.
Hangman free HD.