Who funded TOBY Autism Therapy’s development?

  • TOBY Autism Therapy was initially funded by a 3-Year Australian Research Council Linkage grant.
  • The team was led by Professor Svetha Venkatesh, with Curtin University’s Institute for Multi-Sensor Processing and Content Analysis (IMPCA) and Deakin University’s Pattern Recognition and Data Analysis (PRaDA) team.
  • Autism West, a not-for-profit organization in Australia, fundraised as part of the ARC’s grant requirements. Autism West receive no government funding – please visit www.autismwest.org.au to find out more about Autism West.
  • Together these initial sources of funding paid for computer scientists and therapists to develop and test the software that is now TOBY Autism Therapy.

Why does TOBY Autism Therapy cost $AU99.95?

Based on current market research, $AU99.95 is less than the cost of 3 hours of therapy.  TOBY Autism Therapy’s program is designed to be used daily over many, many hours and over a period of months.  It is based on evidence-based interventions and has been more than 5 years in development.  Every effort has been made to keep costs to a minimum.

We are currently running a promotion to make the price more accessible to families at a reduced cost of $AU39.95.

What happens to the money once I pay $AU99.95?

  • About 30% goes to Apple
  • The remaining funds are used as follows:
    1. Half of the funds raised pays for:
      • Computer technician support – equivalent of one person full time
      • Server and licensing costs
      • Costs associated with marketing TOBY Autism Therapy.  We currently use informal methods to keep costs to a minimum.
    2. And of the remainder:
      • 80% is paid to Autism West – as a not-for-profit organization, Autism West uses any moneys raised to pay for intervention and support programs for children and adults with an autism spectrum disorder
      • 20% is paid to fund future improvements and developments of TOBY, including TOBY Phase 2 which will be suitable for children aged 6 – 12yrs
  • The developers do not receive any personal financial gain from the sales of TOBY
  • No profit is made from the sale of TOBY.  Any funds raised are directed back to:
    • The ongoing costs involved with TOBY
    • The community via Autism West to help children, adolescents and adults, and their families.

How do I get TOBY?

TOBY app (aka “TOBY Autism Therapy”) is available worldwide and can be purchased via iTunes App Store

What are the recommended specifications for TOBY Autism Therapy?

TOBY will run on an iPad 1, but we recommend using an iPad 2 or better with iOS version 4.3 or later. Wireless access is not required for day-to-day use, but is highly recommended for uploading your data, which will be necessary if you fill your iPad’s memory, and also provides you with a backup of your hard work in case your iPad is damaged.

Does TOBY need WiFi to work?

WiFi is only required during registration, login, logout and data upload and NOT for the rest of the operation. Hence, if the user does not logout after using TOBY then no WiFi will be needed.

Will there be an Android version of TOBY Autism Therapy?

Unfortunately we are not in a position to promise a port of TOBY to Android, as all of our resources are currently committed to developing TOBY for iOS.

My TOBY app may crash sometimes. What could be the problem?

This normally occurs when your iPad is running low on memory.  You can free up some memory by closing unused apps running in the background.  To do this, follow these steps:

a)       From the Home screen, click the Home button twice.

b)       Tap and hold on the app to close.

c)       When it starts to jiggle, tap the red button on the app icon to close it.

d)       Repeat tapping on red button on other apps to close them.

What games does TOBY provide?

TOBY is an intervention program that teaches 52 skills altogether.

Parents and teachers form a very important component of the TOBY program.  Adults will need to become familiar with the teaching and learning principles of TOBY before the child begins the program.  There is an easy to follow “Guide” for adults.  You can either read information or watch You Tube videos where some TOBY team members talk through the information.

TOBY teaches skills in two contexts – on the iPad (On-iPad) and off the iPad during daily activities and play activities (Off-iPad).

TOBY has around 30 On-iPad activities for your child to do.

TOBY has around 300 Off-iPad activities for your child to do.

You will need to be there with your child when they are completing different activities.  A small number of On-iPad activities can be completed by the child on their own, but we suggest this to occur only when they are familiar with the activity and they don’t need any adult prompting or help.

Will TOBY help my child?

TOBY has been designed to help any child having difficulty with the early skills needed for learning.  TOBY teaches:

  • Imitation, e.g., how to copy actions from others. 
  • Sensory Discrimination, e.g., being able to see differences between objects, or being able to hear differences in sounds.
  • Language, e.g., that words are used to label objects and actions.
  • Social Skills, e.g., that we can engage and share with others by using eye gaze, gestures, facial expressions and words.

– Your child does NOT need to have a diagnosis of Autism to benefit from TOBY.

– To help you decide if TOBY might have some activities to help your child, go to our Suitability Questionnaire.

  • Each time you answer “Yes, sometimes” or “No” then TOBY will have activities to help your child in this area.
  • If you feel there are enough activities that your child needs to learn, then you may like to buy TOBY.

– There are a number of You Tube videos which show the scope or range of skills taught in TOBY.  Have a look through these videos to see whether you feel there are enough activities for your child to justify the cost.

– If you’re still not sure, please ask a local therapist – show them your answers to the Suitability Questionnaire and also the list of activities included in the App.  You can always contact the TOBY team.

What age is TOBY suited to?

–          TOBY’s activities have been designed for children around the age of 2 – 6yrs.

–          However, TOBY may suit older children who are not yet speaking or who have a developmental delay.

My child doesn’t like some of the activities!

–          You can adjust TOBY’s Off-iPad activities to suit your child.

–          Download our NET Template from our website (Free).

–          To use the Template, e.g., “Visual Sensory Matching, Identical Objects: Matching Household Items” will now be your new activity “Visual Sensory Matching, Identical Objects: Trains”.

  • Copy the NET “Goal” from the TOBY screen to the NET Template Sheet.
  • Change the “Materials” to suit your child, e.g., change household items to trains.
  • Using the “Activity” description, “Prompts” and “Reinforcement” plan what you will say and do – simply substituting the materials accordingly.
  • Complete the activity with your child.
  • Record your child’s results – put the results into TOBY for the ORIGINAL TOBY activity, e.g., input results for the “Visual Sensory Matching, Identical Objects: Matching Household Items”.

How long do I stay on tasks if my child doesn’t get it?

Generally speaking, if your child is not learning from the prompting provided (by either you and / or TOBY), then we need to work out why your child is not learning.  We want your child to succeed rather than experience difficulties.


  • TOBY will move your child through the activity, using prompting as needed.
  • If TOBY is telling you to do “Hand Over Hand” prompting and your child still has difficulty, STOP the activity and move to another TOBY activity.
  • If you feel your child has needed TOBY’s prompting for too long, please speak with your therapist to problem solve why this might be happening.  You may like to contact the TOBY team if you don’t have a therapist to speak to.
  • Your child may need to focus on other skills before they will be able to achieve the one you’re trying to work on.  Take a break, focus on some of the other tasks and revisit when you’ve seen progress in the other areas.


  • TOBY will put a NET task on “Hold” if they are having difficulty and not learning from your prompts.
  • Focus on other skills and revisit this target skill when you have seen progress in the other areas.
  • Again, please speak with your therapist / s to problem solve what might be happening for your child.  You may like to contact the TOBY team if you don’t have a therapist to speak to.

I’m a teacher, can TOBY be used within the classroom?

Yes! TOBY can be used within the classroom, at home, out in the community or all of these!

We suggest that you sit down as a team and plan who will be doing what activities and how you are going to share results / record results.  You can contact the TOBY team if you would like more advice on how you might do this.

Several schools are successfully using TOBY in a number of their classrooms.  It’s been reported as a fantastic school for helping teachers meet the needs of students – TOBY links in well with Individual Education Plans, and helps all adults working with the child to deliver activities consistently.

You can easily adapt TOBY’s activities to suit your classroom based activities (see “My child doesn’t like some of the activities!”)

I really like the TOBY program, but the current app is too easy for my child!

The TOBY team are currently working on “TOBY 2” – our next iPad app.

We are hoping to release part or all of TOBY 2 by the latter half of 2013!

“TOBY 2” will be a separate app from “TOBY Autism Therapy”.

TOBY 2 will target:

  • Pre-academic skills, such as completing puzzles of increasing complexity.
  • Language Comprehension – understanding a range of increasingly complex language concepts.
  • Expressive Communication – learning how to communicate a range of needs with others.
  • Joint Attention – learning more sophisticated ways of initiating joint attention to items.

How will I know how my child is going?

TOBY has “Reports” where parents and therapists can view the child’s progress.

To share the reports, simply take a screenshot and email / print from your “Photos”, or use the option “invite a therapist” on your app.

I’m still hungry for more information!!

Our website is our main communication link.  We regularly updated the information.  Be sure to check out our “Resources” page and our “Research” page.

We have a Facebook page which is regularly monitored and updated.  Any information regarding competitions, releases or exciting other news are posted here!  It’s also a great place to link in with other TOBY users. (www.facebook.com/TobyPlaypad ).

Follow us on Twitter for updates: @TobyPlaypad

Follow us on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/tobyplaypad/).  We use this regularly to pin activities that we’ve developed or been inspired by.  We will also be using this to provide picture resources as they relate to our TOBY activities.

We have a range of videos on our You Tube Channel.

My answer isn’t here and I would like to contact the TOBY team!

You can contact a representative of the TOBY team as follows:

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