Stage3.jpgStage Three - Emerging Language

In Stage Three, the learner demonstrates an understanding of language through object identification and categorization. For example, she can show that she knows what a dog is (identification) and that an apple is a type of food (categorization). This is the first Stage in which the learner is asked to make a selection or respond to a question based on a prompt. Choice-making skills develop now, as well as the ability to wait as choices are presented.

A Stage Three Learner ...

  • uses or understand simple sentences
  • understands object names, pictures, and actions as demonstrated by intentional gestures
  • identifies objects by their attributes (such as by sound or shape)
  • discriminates among objects and places them into categories
  • understands the function of an object
  • waits for options as choices are offered

Features to Consider

  • provide different levels representation or abstraction (photographs, drawings or symbols)
  • match an object or action to its spoken name
  • categorize or identify objects that belong to the same group
  • match an object with its purpose or function
  • discriminate among several objects of same name but used differently (toothbrush, paintbrush or hairbrush)
  • settings, options or adjustments to the way the content is presented (animation speed or access)
  • customize content

Tip – flexibility in design is a cost-efficient strategy for using the same app as a learner progresses within a Stage as well as from Stage to Stage


ABA Receptive ID
The user is given a direction to choose a picture out of an array of 3. This activity teaches target words.
Alien Buddies
Artgig Studio
Match the picture on the alien to the picture at the bottom of the screen. This app keeps data.
Animal Pants
Alchemist Interactive LLC
Free 3 animals
$1.99 12 animals
$2.99 for 12 animals and three languages
The app gives a few sentences to establish the reason for the activity. It then moves to a new screen where it tells you the animal, his name and what his pants look like. The child then needs to match the correct bottom half of the animal to the top. They are given three choices for the bottom. Settings allow you to turn off music and sound separately. Data could be collected through observation.
[[../|AniMatch: Animal Pairs and Sound Matching Game]]
Lima Sky
This app allows the user to develop matching and pairing skills with pictures and sounds. There are large buttons, the app is easy to navigate and the sounds and pictures keep the user engaged in the activity.
Aunty Maggie’s Recipe
Inclusive Technology
Students are required to make choices. First, they choose a character. Then, they chose the ingredients to add to a cauldron. Once they have completed the brew, their character takes a sip. See what happens next! This app is designed for students who need practice using the touch interface, however, it is also one and two switch accessible.
Baby Piano
Baby Cortex
Fun and colorful cause-and-effect featured 8-key piano. Each piano key plays a different musical note. Can record up to 5 consecutive notes and replay.
Bath time Bubbles
This APP helps teach sign language through a bath time story. In the book there are words that are highlighted and when you press them they pull up a video of someone signing the word. You can collect data in the app. Once the child does the sign the parent/teacher can then go into progress and click the word that they have signed and put the date that it happened on. Only one child can be saved at a time for their progress. The only settings on this app is sorting the progress list, turn on or off sound, and to hide the close button.
Categories from I Can Do Apps
I Can Do Apps, LLC
Student identifies words that fit into different categories, associates words, and identifies words that do not belong. Provides accuracy feedback to user and collects data. App is not switch accessible. You can change the settings to turn words and/or reinforcements on or off, and data is collected at the end of the activity based on the results of the student’s performance. There is not an option for a student profile, but a screen shot can be taken and results can be emailed to assist with tracking data.
Categories Learning Center
Smarty Ears
This apps helps users to identify and categorize an object by associating common features. This app gathers data on student performance and measures student progress over time. The app has several levels that can be customized for the user based on skill level from receptive to sorting similar and dissimilar objects. The app also has the ability to have the user name the category, select the category, and can be customized for the number of category choices. A report is presented at the end of each session summarizing data, which may be emailed, printed, or stored for later use.
version 4.2
Helps users with daily routine, feelings, waiting skills, and turn-taking. Targets sequencing & collects data.
Choose it Maker 3
Inclusive Technology
Data collection. Switch access. Has a variety of fun learning activities using symbols, pictures and sounds. One activity has child distinguish between objects. Subscription-based website to author activities that can be put on iPad or Android devices.
Clean Up Category Sorting
Different Roads to Learning
Users sort items into toys, clothes and food. When the user puts the item in the right place (picnic basket, toy chest, closet) a star comes up on the screen as positive feedback.
Conversation Social Stories and Simple PECS
Touch Autism
This app contains three social stories and a section on conversation tips. It includes a story for what to talk about, asking someone to play, and greetings. It can be read to the user or the users can read it to themselves. It uses vibrant graphics and concise text that is easy to understand. Data could be taken through video or observation following the use of the social story.
Smarty Ears
Designed to allow students to communicate by expressing needs and wants through the use of pictures and symbols. Includes over 10,000 preloaded images and the ability to upload your own images. Allows you to lock the screen so the user can not modify content. Easily customizable to allow for color changing of backgrounds and folders, and font sizes. Also provides different text to speech voices, speed and viewing modes. The search button enables user to find images quickly.
Families 1 & Families 2
FREE or in-app purchase of $0.99 for 3 additional families
An app to develop categorization skills. The user is presented with a “family” board with 3 images, and the user must select the other family member from 7 other pictures to complete the family.
Giraffe’s Matching Zoo
TomatoInteractive, LLC
Animal Matching; object representation & categorization. Also, memory/focus & visual perception. Animation & entertaining sound.
Grid Player
Sensory Software Intl.
AAC/Communication app that can be used with a switch, using their “switch driver” software.
Hurdle champion
Inclusive Technology
Fun game format. Choose a character and take part in a hurdle race against the computer. Works with a single switch or by touching the screen, or spacebar. This game provides a motivating way to develop switch and timing skills.

Choose from three levels of difficulty to give you a chance to improve your performance. Works will all currently available switch interfaces. No data collection available on app.
Jungle Adventure
Inclusive Technology Ltd
Cause and effect; adventurer runs through adventure, screen must be touched or switch activated at the appropriate time to complete the level and collect coins. Teaches waiting and timing.
Kids Can Match
Kid’s Place
Data collection. Match pictures of animals and improve memory in an interactive and fun manner. Different modes for levels of learners from simple to challenging.
Knee Bouncers Vol.1
Knee Bouncers, LLC
Five purposeful games embedded in this app encourage language development.

FirstWords II
Laureate Learning System Inc.


This app takes data on noun recognition. The pretest, training, time of session length, and pretest are all geared towards identification. It has reward and visual prompting character, the prompt level increases as needed by the student (if student is not making correct selections the app provides more prompts and lengthens the answer time automatically.) It shows different representation of the same nouns throughout the activity. Data can be saved under student name and can add notes for observations. The user is able to select activity settings such as visuals, prompting, duration, animation, rewards, time response, picture selections and vocabulary selection. The reports are shown by percentages and the charts are broken down by words that were accessed. It also has its own data and research to support the vocabulary choices and connects it to the curriculum. Help is provided within the app about switch pairing, contact for support, helpful hints and how to back up and recovery.
Let’s Name Things
Super Duper Publications
“Super Duper Fun Deck” in which you name categories as you are shown a visual “card”; has audio prompting, tracks data, tracks various users
Little Matchups
Grasshopper Apps
Errorless matching of items with customizable categories and number of matches per game.
iTouchilearn Words for Preschool Kids: Letters, Spelling & Reading
This is an interactively fun early language development app that is ad-free and tracks data. This app provides three different learning activities, including matching word-to-picture, matching picture-to-word, and cartoon videos about first words. The object identification matching activities in this app track accuracy percentage out of 10 matching questions and frequency of incorrect guesses.
Magic Piano
Chose a song and students can play the tune by pressing each the bubbles as they appear. No sound is produced unless the bubbles are pressed.
Match-a-roo zoo
Brett Darnell Apps Jr.
Asks user to match animal head to animal body. Labels animal with text and audio once correct answer is provided. Fun app but no settings option.
Memory King
Free Can add more category sets for .99 each
Memory game for vocabulary learning. Can be used with any age. Can create your own cards with photos. Fully customizable. For up to 4 players. Keeps track of data
Monster Match
Kids Place
Free/ $0.99
Game that promotes memory and matching.
Provides options to set grid size, adaptive level system, shake to shuffle, and monster spelling
Photo Touch
GrasshopperApps (seller is Innovative Investments Limited @Grasshoppers)
Teaches words and objects by sight, sounds, and touch. Ability to customize items and voice (record your own). Ability to customize which toys presented, language, minimum and maximum number of items to display. Dynamically adjusts difficultly. Non-threatening auditory sound indicates incorrect selection and allow learner unlimited number of tries. Auditory and visual reinforcement for correct object selection.
Picture Pusher
Cool Tool Apps
Picture Pusher targets little kids who want to use an IPAD. Child selects picture and slides them into a box. You can load pictures from your photo library. Press and Hold - Press and Release
Pocket Pond HD
John Moffett
Create soothing ripples with calming sound. Interact with fish (feed them, catch them), and change the weather. touching the screen, add lilly pads, dragonflies and more fish.
Preschool Games Farm Animals (Photo Touch)
Grasshopper Apps
Real photos of farm animals, asked to touch the animal asked for. Voice output.
Receptive Vegetables by Class
My Program Book
Presents picture stimuli in fields of 2, 4, or 6 with auditory prompts to find the vegetable. Learner must select the correct picture to advance to next trial. At end of 10 trials, a summary report with data is generated. Long term graphing feature to show progress over time.
Scan and Match
This app teaches students to look at a picture and scan a field of 2 to 4 choices. Students can match flowers, puppies, candy, kittens, bugs, cars and trucks, signs, or random images. Settings include having the image choices be in full color, grayscale, or an outline of the image. These are several options for switches including customizing the scan rate, number of switches used, the ability to have the app randomly scan. These are settings for on-cue scanning like a verbal cue before the app begins to scan or a cue after a wrong answer. There are choices for appearance and sound within the scanning options. You can choose to have the scan cursor be solid or flashing, have “smooth scanning”, and which type of scan sound would work best for the student. Colors and backgrounds are also customizable. Lastly, there are sound options. The data collected by the app is in a fun baseball scoreboard format. It will tell you number of items presented (runs), number of clicks (hits), number incorrect (errors).
The app does not present the next task until the student selects the correct answer. The encouragement (if chosen) is a little different. It will cheer, say phrases, or sing Halleluiah. The negative reinforcement (if chosen) states “Uh Oh”, “oh”, sighs, and others.
See Touch Learn
Brain Parade
Initial app and 1 library is free. Additional libraries/lessons require a purchase ranging from $1.99 to $3.99
"See. Touch. Learn." prompts he user to select an item that belongs to a certain category. It uses pictures, verbal and written prompts. Pre-loaded lessons and the option to create your own lessons. Lesson set up is a text directive at the top of the screen which is read using synthesized speech and an adjustable amount of pictures below it. Pictures do not have text labels. An example directive is “Point to the cat” a response is activated by a single tap on a picture. Feedback for an incorrect answer is a sound with a picture shake. Feedback for a coorect answer is provided by a sound and zoom in on the correct selection. Single tap on the next button advances to the next picture set. Preloaded lessons have levels of Basic, Medium and Advanced. The Beginner level Gives the directive to “Touch the _” and only provides one picture (errorless). The next slide repeats the same directive but now presents a field of 3 pictures including the picture from the first slide. The Medium and Advanced levels repeat this format but increase demands by adding choices that are more similar in nature and adding various vocabulary to the directives such as “point, touch, press” for the same action. Feedback response sounds can be customized through a menu. Audio and visual prompts can be turned on/off.
Slide to Unlock Version 1.1
RJ Cooper
Slide 2 Unlock is an app for target practice skills and learning to “unlock” an iOS device. There are 6 lesson levels, which incrementally narrow the area necessary to touch for the left to right unlocking motion.

*Combined with the iPad’s AssistiveTouch accessibility feature, this app can be accessed with a simple touch rather than a left to right slide, by turning AssistiveTouch on and recording a left to right swipe in Custom Gestures.
Sort it Out 1
MyFirstApp Ltd.
Sorting game. Differentiate between objects and drag them to the appropriate areas of a picture. Objects will not stick if they are in the wrong space. Directions only listed in the information tab, instructions must be given to the user. Second step in series of games.
Sorting Activities
Judy Lynn Software, Version 1.0.0
Skills / Content: This app targets the skills of identifying objects by their attributes, discriminating among objects and places them into categories, and understanding the function of an object by having students sort objects into categories. In this app, users sort a variety of objects into categories. The activity list includes the following categories recycling, hardware, fruit, shapes, silverware, sports, clothes, colors, and rooms.
Curriculum Connection: Identifying and sorting objects by category from the math standards.
Evidence: The app collects evidence as the user plays and then you have to clear for a new user. The evidence is called statistics and it includes date, time, number of incorrect placements, and what objects the user was sorting.
Switch Accessible Matching – Bundle #1
July Lynn Software, Inc.
Develops matching skills in arcade style game. 10 different categories of matching activities included in each bundle. Accessible with two switch step-scanning, 1 switch with autoscan, and touching screen.Data is saved to monitor progress. Requires iOS 5.0 or later
Works with the following switch interfaces: AbleNet’s Blue2 bluetooth switch, Pretorian Technologies interfaces, and R.J. Cooper’s Bluetooth switch interface. This app also works with a Bluetooth wireless keyboard.
Switch Accessible Puzzle__
Judy Lynn Software
3D puzzle matching / adjustable options for types of puzzles and order of puzzle presentation(in app purchases for more puzzles), number of pieces, animation speed, hide close button, access via direct select or switches, variety of selection options, data collection for user from previous and current session( puzzles played, #pieces, %correct placement) - save data via screen shot

Things That Go Together

Match real pictures by association. This app allows for customizing settings such as the number of items presented on screen, audio reinforcement, and the option to record your own voice. Can take screen shots of correct student responses to record student’s progress or keep a simple data chart recording attempts and accuracy.
Toddler Games Toys
Photo Touch
Learn words and objects by associating a word with a real photograph of the object. You can add your own voices or pictures.
Verbs with Milo
Doonan Speech Therapy
App for giving meaning to verbs. Children touch Milo, and he does an action. The word for the action pops up on the screen and is said aloud, combining multi-sensory input. There is also a button to hear the verb in a phrase.
What’s That Sound
Different Roads to Leaning Inc
Real pictures category ID. Asked to choose the object that makes the sound. (i.e. alarm clock that rings)
Which Go Together
By Kindergarten
.99 cents
Categorizing of items. The child problem solves and figures out which item goes together using bright and colorful images
Wh Questions
Autism iHelp – WH Questions
by John Talavera
Free – with in app purchases
This app focuses on expressive vocabulary using every day pictures to aid in student understanding.
After asking a “wh” question auditory feedback informs the user if they are correct.
Various modifications can be made using the options screen. Some of these options include the number of choices and the voice selection. Results will be tracked and documented in a progress report. This data can then be viewed and shared as needed.
The Wheels on the Bus
Duck Duck Moose LLC
Cause and effect app that asks users to slide finger on screen to make show action
Word SlapPs Lite
Lite version is Free. Full version is $2.99
Teach vocabulary, object identification and categorization with choice making skills. The lite version of this app provides the categories of animals and colors. Select a category and there are 3 levels. Level 1asks you to find the object given 1 choice. Level 2 asks you to find the object given 2 choices and level 3 asks you to find the object given 3 choices. Correct answers are followed by audio and visual rewards.