A portion of those on the autism spectrum are non-verbal. Even within verbal children or adults, some still struggle finding ways to communicate.
The usage and development of AAC, Augmented Assistive Communication, is not new. It has helped many with other disabilities to communicate. However, some children with autism might have very low motivation in communicating that even there are so many good tools, they might not want to use them.
Therefore, it is important to get a qualified speech therapist involved, to assess the level of abilities and to find the appropriate tool or app. It is also important to understand that some kids might not be motivated enough to communicate, so the first step might be to increase the desire to use the tool. Then it is to learn how to model speech for the children so they learn the language.
In Ontario, AAC devices is (partially) funded through the Assistive Devices Program under Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. For those who located in GTA, you can find ACWA in Surrey Place to help you through the process. However the waitlist is growing longer.
Some of the apps are listed here:
LAMP Words For Life
Tobii Dynavox Compass
Gateway with Compass
PODD with Compass
Speak for Yourself
Photo via VisualHunt