These apps for special needs were made by the developers at Moms With Apps to assist children and families. If you have feedback on the apps, please contact the developers as they are very open to collaboration.
ArtikPix by Rinn Apps (See Demo Video) ArtikPix is an engaging articulation app with flashcard and matching activities for children with speech sound delays. Since the app includes child friendly language, you don’t have to be a speech-language pathologist to facilitate practice. Children use ArtikPix to practice sounds independently, with a speech-language pathologist or their parents.
Dexteria by BinaryLabs. Designed in consultation with OTs, the app features 3 activities to help improve fine motor skills and get kids ready for handwriting. It is very popular in the occupational therapy and special needs communities due to the engaging interactivity, ease of use, and reporting features. Dexteria is a universal app that you buy once and run on all your iOS devices: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch.
Felt Board by Software Smoothie is designed for both open ended imaginative play and to be used as a teaching tool and resource by parents, teachers. It has been used effectively by parents, therapists and educators to encourage speech, imaginative play, story retelling, and to discuss feelings / facial expressions. Fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills are developed while dragging, dropping, pinching and scaling objects to create scenes.
First Then Visual Schedule by Good Karma Apps First-Then Visual Schedule application is designed for caregivers to provide
positive behavior support for those with communication needs. This application provides an affordable and convenient audio-visual prompting tool for use on the iPhone or iTouch. The portability of the iPhone and iTouch and ease of use of the application make it perfect for use at school, home or in the community.
Grace App by Steven-Troughton Smith (See news clip Demo Video) A simple picture exchange system developed By and For non-verbal people allowing the user to communicate their needs by building sentences from relevant images. It can be customised by the individual using their picture and photo vocabulary with the user taking and saving pictures independently to the app.
iBaby Buttons by Software Smoothie iBaby Buttons is an educational cause and effect app that can be customized. While it is designed for babies and toddlers, it can be used for anyone who would benefit from object-word association, cause and effect, speech and visual discrimination practice.
iCommunicate by Grembe (See Demo Video) Create pictures, flashcards, storyboards, routines, and visual schedules. Record custom audio in any language. We include 100+ pictures(first 5 have audio) to get you started. Add pictures with your camera, or from your camera roll, or use Google image search. Utilize as audio visual prompting tool or AAC device.
iComm by Mias Apps (See Demo Video) The iComm (short for I Communicate) is an app providing an affordable, custom built and easy to use communication system using pictures and words – both written and spoken. It is ideal for children under three until they are able to express their needs through well formed speech. The iComm is also very useful for children with a broad range of disabilities who have trouble communicating such as cerebral palsy or autism.
iEarnedThat by a Pediatrician & Parent Designed by a Pediatrician and parent, iEarnedThat is an amazingly simple motivational tool to help children develop desirable behaviors by working towards tangible goals. Turn any picture of a desired reward into a 3D interactive jigsaw puzzle of up to 60 pieces! Set the goal and have your child EARN their reward one puzzle piece at a time!
In My Dreams by DevelopEase (See Demo Video) Have fun with reading, matching, and sign language. “In My Dreams” uses animation and repetition to promote literacy. Each page has the same sentence structure and reinforces understanding of nouns, verbs and prepositions. “In My Dreams” is an instructional app designed with illustrations that provide language cues. Personalize the app for your child, student or client by adding their photo!
iReward by Grembe iReward is a fun and useful app. Use it with your spouse, kids, yourself, or anyone for whom you want to provide some positive reinforcement. iReward is a motivation chart for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad!
iTouchiLearn Musical Story (see demo) features an interactive, animated story that teaches toddler, preschool and special needs kids about morning routines. Kids can sing along and interact with the catchy iTouchiLearn Ready for School song sung to the tune of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. Designed to build early learning and life skills through virtual rewards, the app features 3 modes of early learning: Game, Music and Activity.
My Talk Tools (LITE version) MyTalkTools Mobile Lite is a fully-functional version of MyTalk Mobile with 12 cell capacity, using one or two boards. Using the 12 cells offered by MyTalk Mobile Lite, users can gain comfort with the mobile use and our online authoring (building communication boards or pages) via MyTalk Workspace. Using MyTalk Mobile Lite, experience the ultimate in customizable communications. If you find that MyTalk Mobile Lite provides the right solutions, but you would like the increased capacity of 32,000 cells, consider MyTalk Mobile.
Off We Go! Going on a Plane and Going to the Dentist books are available as iPhone and iPad apps in English and Spanish. If you are going on a plane or visiting the dentist, you can use your iPhone or iPad to help prepare your child and make the experience easier for everyone. These books are a visual step by step guide to everyday experiences, particularly for children with special needs.
Open-Ended apps that have received positive feedback from parents and therapists who work with special needs kids. These apps don’t have a “right” or “wrong”, but rather an open platform for children to experiment and explore: Draw With Stars, Snow Wonder, Faces iMake.
See. Touch. Learn. by Brain Parade See.Touch.Learn.™ is a picture learning system designed by professionals specifically for those with autism and other special needs. See.Touch.Learn.™ makes traditional picture cards obsolete. Parents and professionals use See.Touch.Learn.™ to build custom picture card lessons and automatically track their child’s responses. Includes a starter set of stunning, high-quality images and 60 exercises created by a certified behavior analyst! Additional libraries of images and lessons are available for purchase from within the app.
Sentence Builder by Mobile Education Store Sentence Builder is designed to help elementary aged children learn how to build grammatically correct sentences. Explicit attention is paid to the connector words that make up over 80% of the English language. Sentence Builder offers a rich and fun environment for improving the grammar of all children.
Sign Me A Story by GraceSigns is designed to help children learn sign language and reading through story and video. The first two animated stories teach 26 signs in this highly interactive adventure series. Enhanced with music and sound effects, the pop-up videos feature children with special needs as the signing demonstrators. Children use Sign Me A Story to practice reading and comprehension all while improving their communication skills. Free parent/teacher curriculum downloadable @ http://signmeastory.com/
Speech With Milo: Verbs by Doonan Speech Therapy (See Demo Video) Created by a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, this app offers a versatile and entertaining speech therapy tool for children. The app is for speech therapists working with children, or parents who want to teach language skills to their children. The animation that comes with Milo will keep any child focused and attentive. And most important- it is fun!
Story Builder by Mobile Education Store Story Builder is designed to help children accomplish the following educational goals: 1) Improve paragraph formation; 2) Improve integration of ideas; and 3) Improve higher level abstractions by inference. Extensive use of audio clips promotes improved auditory processing for special needs children with autism spectrum disorders or sensory processing disorders.
Zanny – Born to Run “Zanny, Born to Run” is part of the very first book series ever written expressly FOR children with special needs. We know that not all kids are the same, so each book address a different symptom, not a disorder. This way, stories can benefit “typical” children who might have difficulties in one area while also helping kids diagnosed with learning disabilities.
Additional Resources for Special Needs:
- For more information about apps and special needs, please visit: App Resources for Special Needs by Eric Sailers of Speech-Language Pathology Sharing
- Technology in Education
A4CWSN – Apps for Children With Special Needs
- For a freeware application that offers visual supports to help children, visit Picto Selector by Martijn van der Kooij.
- Guest Post by Shannon Rosa: Characteristics of Great Apps for Kids With Autism
- Our interview with Craig from Autism Hangout
- Autism Apps Reviewed by Autism Epicenter
- Cindy Meester’s Blog (SLP Resources)
Loud Mommy’s Blog – Support for mothers of children with autism
List of 40 apps for the Learning Disabled from Match-a-College
EdCeptional – Podcast highlighting access to learning for exceptional students of all abilities
The Ultimate Guide to Assistive Technology in Special Education, by Joan L. Green, M.A. CCC-SLP
- Mashable article on iPads and disabilities