Celebrating Autism Awareness with Apps

Autism Awareness MonthApril 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, kicking off a month of Autism awareness. We changed our blog header for the month to show our support for the Autism community with a Yapp-colored puzzle piece, and are planning a month-long series of featured apps that help those with Autism spectrum disorders overcome some of the challenges they face.

Today, we’re checking out Toca Band, which has gone free for World Autism Awareness Day.


Toca Band from the app creators Toca Boca is all about music. With a bunch of quirky characters (see the selection to the left) in a multitude of colors, anyone can mix musical loops to make orchestrations that could challenge Mozart.

Each character plays a different instrument and has its own skills and styles. They can be mixed by moving them up and down stage to the fore- or background. For solos and improvisations, just move the character of your choice to a star on stage, and they’ll rock out.

Toca Band is a fun musical app for anyone, but has a great benefit for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In the app (and in the other toys created by Toca Boca), there aren’t scores, rules, or other stresses that can trigger negative reactions for people with Autism. The creators call it an exploratory toy rather than a game — it lets anyone experience music without limits they aren’t used to or can’t understand.

“Over the years many parents, teachers and specialists have reached out to Toca Boca to share how impactful the company’s apps have been in helping autistic children engage, socialize and above all … have fun. In turn, Toca Boca wanted to give something back.” — Toca Boca


The app is available for free today from the app store (normally $2.99), and is designed for both iPhone and iPad. They have a number of other exploratory toys as well, which you can find on their site. Toca Band isn’t available on Android yet, but plenty of their other games are.


Tell us what you think about Toca Band, or what you’d like to see featured here every Wednesday through April, Autism Awareness Month, in the comments below.