Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders comprise a larger portion of the population than many people realize. In fact, one in every 88 children in the U.S. has an autistic spectrum disorder– a number that’s steadily increased in recent years. As it does, more and more families and educators are caring for children with autism. It’s a job that requires special knowledge and consideration, and many adults are turning to mobile apps for support. If you’re looking for an app to help the autistic child in you’re life, we’re here to help. Explore these 4 autism apps to help the children in your life learn and grow.

1. The Grace App. Designed by the mother of an autistic child, this app focuses on communication. In many ways, it’s a high-tech version of the speech boards traditionally used to aid children who have trouble speaking or expressing themselves. This app is a lot easier to carry than a clunky board or binder and doesn’t require caretakers to consistently update vocabulary. With the help of the Grace App, kids can learn new words, create full sentences and increase the quality and quantity of their interactions with others.

children with autism2. Behavior Status. To an outsider, an autistic child’s behavior can sometimes seem unpredictable, but emotional outbursts, anxiety attacks and other issues often arise when children are exposed to triggers. The Behavior Status app can help parents and teachers discover and address these triggers by tracking the emotions and actions of autistic children. This app can be especially helpful for teachers or parents of multiple children, as it allows you to follow the behavior of several kids at once.

3. Time Timer. One of the things researchers have learned about autism is that most autistic children benefit from the use of visual aids. In many cases, images and symbols can transform confusing concepts into ideas that are much easier to understand. That’s what makes Time Timer such a great app for autism caregivers. It displays three separate types of visual timers, each easy to use and manipulate. Parents and teachers love this app because it can help keep children on task and prevent them from becoming anxious or frustrated while waiting.

4. Popchilla’s World. This app is still in the developmental stages, but we’re including it because we have great confidence in the team that is working to bring it to market. A comprehensive app, Popchilla’s World is designed to focus on some of the core issues that affect autistic children, like trouble understanding and expressing emotions, difficulty navigating social situations, and trouble managing emotions, mimicking behaviors and performing daily tasks. Not only will the app help children practice these skills through fun interactive games, it will also track their progress so that parents and teachers can stay informed. And the coolest part? The app will interact with Popchilla — a robot designed especially for autistic children.

Autism rates continue to climb, much to the concern of health experts and families everywhere. But these growing numbers can tell us something positive as well — that we’re getting better at diagnosing and understanding autism. That increased understanding doesn’t just stay inside hospital walls, either. It’s making its way into curriculums and therapies and even to mobile apps like these. Do you have experience using these or other apps designed for children with autism? Share your concerns and successes with us by tweeting @Sparkpgh.