So you have bought your special needs student an iPad, or are planning on making the purchase, but now what? There are so many iPad apps currently on the market designed with special needs children and adults in mind, deciding on the best app for your child’s needs is no easy task. With the added stress of the cost of many of the most popular apps, it’s important to do your research before paying for a download, and we will help get you started by explaining some of the more popular apps available.
Experts suggest that you begin your search for apps by considering the apps currently used in your child’s classroom. If your child does not have access to an iPad at school, or you home school, we suggest taking a look at the list below to take advantage of free trials that many of these companies offer.
Dragon Dictation is a very popular speech to dictation app most commonly used by business people and writers. The app “learns” your voice and dictates words spoken to text, email, or programs such as Word. This app has proven to be very useful for students who lack fine motor skills to type or write.
ArtikPix-Full is a fun articulation app designed for children with speech delays. Using 918 flashcards and fun games, it helps children practice the sounds: th, f, v, ch, sh, k, g, s, z, l, r, s-blends, r-blends, l-blends, p, b, m, n, t, d, and j. This app also allows for group scoring, which lets up to four children play!
Articulation Station Pro was created by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, and uses six games and activities to help practice and perfect all of the sounds in the English Language. The app not only focuses on words, but sentences and stories.
VAST Autism 1-Core uses videos of mouth movements to help students with autism of speech programming disorders, such as aprxia, learn to form sound and words. The feedback provided from trials and teachers report excellent results, including improvement with nonverbal students.
First Phrases HD is an illustrated and animated app designed for toddlers and speech delayed children. It teaches two and three word phrases and allows children to hear, see, say and record the phrases.
Bob Books #1-Reading Magic HD is an app based on the popular early reader books. In this interactive and hand illustrated app children can learn to read with phonics-based interactive games.
Rainbow Sentences is designed to assist students with grammar and sentence structure by using color coded visual cues, drag and drop, and record options.
Rhyming Words goes beyond the common rhyming groups and offers over 200 beautiful photos that students use to match rhyming words. The app allows students to see, hear, and say a variety of words and sounds.
Writing and Spelling Apps
Cimo Spelling is an interactive app that teaches a combination of high-frequency and site words to assist with reading development. It features over 200 words that are most commonly seen in early reading.
FirstWords Deluxe uses phonics and touch to assist with letter recognition, word recognition, and letter sounds. It features 174 words and can be adjusted to match the students learning level.
iWrite Words uses high quality graphics and eye catching colors to keep a student’s interest while they play games that require them to write letters and spell words.
Organization and Note-Taking Apps
Abilipad is more than just a notepad app. It allows for customization of the keyboard and has a voice to text function!
Audionote Notepad and Voice Recorder synchronizes audio recordings and notes to assist with studying and organization. These features make it an excellent choice for students that struggle with the fine motor skills required to take notes in class.
Notability-Take Notes and Annotate PDFs with Dropbox allows notes to be taken by hand, typing, or with voice recordings.
Custom Boards is an award winning app that uses over 11,000 symbols to allow for communication, scheduling, and activities. Users can upload their own photos to add to the library!
My First AAC is specifically designed for toddlers and preschoolers with severe speech disorders or speech delays. It uses sound and images to assist with communication.
Proloquo2go is a full-featured augmentative and alternative communication solution for a variety of speech delays and disorders. This app provides text-to-speech, symbols, images and advanced word prediction.
Touch Chat is designed for people with Autism, Down Syndrome, ALS, apraxia, stroke, or other conditions that cause difficulties in using the natural voice. Words, phrases, and messages are spoken with a built-in voice synthesizer.
Listening Skill Apps
See. Touch. Learn Pro is designed for educators and care-givers to create custom picture-based lessons and exercises.
LanguageBuilderDeluxe assists students with developing ideas and then forming sentences. This app provides audio clips and plays back the child’s own voice for language development.
StoryBuilder assists with teaching students to build paragraphs. This app utilizes audio clips to help improve listening comprehension.