From award-winning geography apps to alphabet apps for early learners, Spinlight Studio's education apps have found a loyal audience around the world - including one they never expected. During National Autism Acceptance Month, the company's intuitive app design and engaging gameplay have made them a popular choice among advocate moms like Shannon Des Roches Rosa, senior editor of the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism.
For most of us, Autism Acceptance Day is an annual event. For Shannon Des Roches Rosa, it's just her life. Her wonderful 12-year old autistic son Leo and the instant connection he made with his iPad have made her a tireless autism parenting and iPad advocate - and a vocal fan of the apps that help kids like Leo learn and play.
Earlier this week, the popular blogger and senior editor of Thinking Person's Guide to Autism marked the start of National Autism Acceptance Month by posting her thoughts on the best apps for autism. And while there are a lot of great apps that she likes, Rosa reserved special praise for app developers like Spinlight Studio, for making apps that are "not just fun but beautifully and intuitively designed," adding "my kids can jump right into all their apps and start playing (from their perspective) and learning (from mine)."
It's not the first time Spinlight has earned top marks from the autistic community. The UltimateAutismGuide online lists AlphaTots and TallyTots - two of the company's earliest titles - on their short list of 13 recommended apps, while Gary James, another popular voice for autistic children, has reviewed several of the company's titles on his website, a4cwsn online. But according to Spinlight's CEO and Co-Founder, Matt Hutton, it's the heartfelt emails they receive from everyday parents that inspire his company to continue making great apps for kids.
A few weeks ago, the entire Spinlight team received one of those emails, with a subject line that simply read "Thank you from the parent of an autistic child." In it, the father of a six-year-old boy named Bodie described how Geography Drive USA had helped a son "struggling but surviving his way through first grade" learn all of the state flags and how they're leveraging the game to expand his world. "There are a lot of games, apps, how-tos, etc. out there for all kids," he wrote. "I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for developing one that has allowed an autistic child to connect with learning and age-appropriate activities that will help him in school, and in life."
While naturally delighted, Hutton says he was initially surprised by Spinlight's success in special education. "We didn't set out to make apps for autistic children. We just made apps for kids that were fun, educational and intuitive to play, and they connected."
Ultimately, parents like Shannon Des Roches Rosa and Gary James would love to see the day when their kids are all treated not as different or special - just appreciated for who they are.
"It's important for you to accept and then help other people understand that autistic people like my son are your fellow human beings," Rosa wrote in a recent BlogHer post. "Put compassion and understanding first. Stop thinking about autistic people with pity, or fear - and they may stop thinking about you that way, as well. And the world will be a better place."
To learn more about AlphaTots, TallyTots, Geography Drive USA or other great apps for Autism Acceptance Month visit Spinlight.com. Or, to see Rosa's complete list of recommended apps for autism, visit Squidalicious online.
Spinlight Studio is an award-winning educational app developer and publisher that passionately believes learning should be fun. Since 2011, the company has released 10 top-selling titles for the iOS, Android and Mac OS platforms, creating apps that children love and parents appreciate their strong educational value. Spinlight has earned numerous Parents' Choice Awards, Best App Ever titles and a Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice Award for a long list of titles that includes AlphaTots, TallyTots, TableTots, Swapsies, Operation Math, Operation Math Code Squad, Pixel and Parker, Yodel-Oh!, Geography Drive USA and Gappy's First Words. From USA Today to Fox News and the NBC Today Show, Spinlight apps are frequently seen in the national press, while five of the company's titles have been featured in Apple's special app collections. Copyright (C) 2013 Spinlight Studio. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.