Today’s blog is the last in a 4-part series of Visual Schedule and Task Manager Apps for people with Autism and other disabilities.  Today we will discuss the First Then Schedule and the Time Timer Apps and software.  All of the apps discussed are excellent tools for people who need visual and audio cues to help them understand what is happening in their day, help transition from activity to activity, increase independence, and many other needs.

First Then Schedule HD (FTVS HD)

FTVS HD, built for iOS, allows the user to create visual schedules, task analysis, social stories, video modeling, and more. It provides the user five different picture/photo schedule layouts with audio cues (see the varying views below) for varying needs.  A person can view just 1-2 tasks at a time or view an entire list.  This app also provides the ability to add video or reward choices after a task is complete, which helps with transitions.  In addition, one can add visual timers for each step of the task. You can also pull pics from an included 10,000 picture library, your device camera or the internet.

This video by Spectronics, produced a couple years ago, explains how the FTVS-HD app works.


What I like

  • The ability to change the views from 1 task to many.
  • The ability to add video as a reward or a choice board
  • The ability to add pictures from the device camera, library, and web
  • The ability to add a timer at various tasks or one timer for the whole schedule.
  • Nice video tutorial and instructions.
  • 10,000 built-in picture library

What I wish for in the future

  • An Android version
  • Keep the updates coming as the iOS operating system changes.


Time Timer App

The Time Timer company now has apps and computer software that feature the same visual time concept as their physical timers and watches.  These timers answer the basic question, “How much longer?” As the color disappears on these timers, the time diminishes.  When all of the color is gone, the time is up. These are great for individuals who have a hard time understanding the concept of time in traditional formats.  The choice to not have an audible alarm is also a welcome feature for many people.

The apps and software, for Android, iPad, iPhone, Windows and Macintosh, work in a similar fashion, but offer more features such as operating several timers at once, color choices, varying alarm sounds (explosion, dog bark, applause, beeping, and more), etc..  See this video for more information.

What I like

  • The ability to change colors and sounds
  • The ability to have several timers at once going
  • The ability for the app to keep working while working in other apps

What I wish for the future

  • While working in other apps, it would be nice to pull down the notifications bar and see all active timers and have a visual of how much time is left.


About Author

Jeannie Krull is the Program Manager for ND Assistive (formerly IPAT). She is an ASHA certified speech/language pathologist and a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional, who has worked with people with disabilities of all ages since 1991.