February 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Free New Game Apps Support Children with Autism

camp discovery pictureA new app released by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) aims to help children on the autism spectrum feel more comfortable around strangers and empower them to reach out to first responders and other community members when they need help.

The app, titled “Community Helpers,” was released by the parent app Camp Discovery, a group  of evidence-based games supporting autistic kids. “Community Helpers” launched on April 2, kicking off Autism Awareness Month.

“While we often teach children to avoid strangers, it is important to teach children about the people available to assist them in the community,” said Dennis Dixon, Ph.D., chief strategy officer at CARD, in a press release.  The game helps kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) learn about different types of helpful people in their communities—teachers, doctors, police officers, and firefighters, among others.

The goal is to teach kids to identity these people by their job titles, as well as educate them about what these professionals do, and where to find them.  “In cases of emergency, children with ASD have been known to retreat from first responders, putting themselves at risk when they are most vulnerable,” according to the press release.

With more than 50 autism-specific games in development, Camp Discovery will release a new learning app each week, including productions focusing on letters, numbers, locations, body parts, and emotions.

Community Helpers is findable under the app name “Camp Discovery. ” It is available for free download on iOS and Android devices from iTunes and will be coming soon to Google Play.

Facts Matter: Information Literacy for the Real World
Libraries and news organizations are joining forces in a variety of ways to promote news literacy, create innovative community programming, and help patrons/students identify misinformation. This online course will teach you how to partner with local news organizations to promote news literacy through a range of programs—including a citizen journalism hub at your library.


  1. I cannot find Community Helpers in the App Store and Camp Discovery only appears to have one conceptual area live so far. The app was actually very frustrating and required multiple, firm keystrokes (tried it out on two devices) to work.