Technology is a big helper for all of us, but it is even more important for those with disabilities. Kids with all sorts of learning problems, including speech and sound delays, as well as children dealing with communication issues need more than just a typical app in order to have access to learning.
For these kids, as well as their parents and teachers, many developers came with amazing tools that you could choose from. Such applications help them acquire social and communication skills, learn about the world around them, express themselves efficiently and learn how to adapt to all sorts of situations.
Because the needs of all children depend on the disability they suffer from, we decided to split our today’s list into three. We will first focus on speech and sound impaired kids, and then talk about apps for autistic ones and finally discuss about the options for the more general palette of learning disabilities.
Children with Speech/Sound Delays
Coming from Expressive Solutions, the ArtikPix application is free to download from the iTunes store and suits most iOS devices that use version 5.0 or a newer one. It uses flashcards and engaging activities to help your child practice sounds in a word or sentence.
It uses a modern design and user-friendly interface while it offers deck that teach you how to correctly pronounces the “th”, “y”, “w” and “h” sounds. It is especially focused on various sound blends and groups and can be used in teams of 4 students.
This app can be used by care-givers whenever they want to monitor the improvements on a child. It allows them to collect data and record the voice of the kid in order to compare it with the way a word should sound. In addition to that, everything can be saved into an organized plan including each student’s name and information.
Although some see it as an autism app, the Grace application is basically a picture exchange system. It works on iOS and Android devices, and it is dedicated to children having speech problems. It is perfectly suitable for kids with Down syndrome, stroke patients, non-verbal students and autistic ones.
This way, the tool lets kids communicate their needs and problems by using images instead of words. It encourages them to independently communicate and create sentences without having to use words. They make sure to get understood by everyone and learn new words by using the flashcards. There are 90 images available at the moment, but students can add their own pictures of their own to make it even easier to communicate.
At the same time, users can rename the images in case they’re familiar with a different name. The words are also available in varied languages that include German, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Danish and Arabic. Learn more about the amazing features of the Grace app from the iTunes store or the Google Play website.
Speech with Milo
Launched by Doonan Speech Therapy, Speech with Milo helps children acquire language skills. It works as a speech therapy tool and is perfect for therapists and parents who work with speech-impaired kids. Milo is a funny animated mouse that keeps them entertained and allows them to stay focused on the app.
There are various versions of the tool itself – one is focused on articulation, another one on verbs, there is another app for adjectives, one for nouns, as well as apps for sequencing, prepositions and many others. They’re all available for Android and iOS phones and require version 2.3.3 in the case of the first one while 3.0 is enough in the case of the latter.
Prices for the app vary between $2.99 for the verbs version and $24.99 for the articulation board game. However, there is also a free tool named Feelings with Milo that teaches your children about emotions. Another cost-less one is the speech therapy tool kit for parents, teachers and therapists – this one includes 9 amazing tools they could use.
Children with Autism/Communication Problems
A little different from other communication tools we noticed before, iComm is specifically designed for kids suffering from autism or cerebral palsy. As its name suggests it, this app is only suitable for devices running on iOS while the required version is 4.3 or later.
It only comes in English, and it allows for both picture and voice communication for your children. You can add your own pictures for better results while you get to choose between 20 different categories with the full version. The free option only comes with 9 categories, but you can easily upgrade to the advanced one for a low price.
Apart from being able to add pictures, you can also add recordings of your own voice. This way, autistic children are encouraged to use their speaking skills. It facilitates communication with care-givers while it makes sure that your child will still want to speak, even if it won’t always be perfectly understood.
See. Touch. Learn.
Coming from Brain Parade, See.Touch.Learn makes learning easier for autistic kids by replacing the usual physical flash cards with a simple-to-use application. It was ranked as one of the best 5 apps for children suffering from communication problems, and it’s available in the iTunes app store for free.
It is available in English and comes with 2,200 exercises that were developed with specialists, as well as 4,400 different images to use. It can help teachers create an unlimited numbers of scenarios and lessons that they can edit at a later time.
Requiring iOS v7.0, the app also works on iPads, and it gives users full access to the community created by Brain Parade. This is where you can easily download new lessons and share your own with other users. Apart from that, it’s very simple to track the data and evolution of each student in your class.
Social Skill Builder
The Social Skill Builder is a book that comes with a special software helping kids with autism to build social skills. However, they also recently created an application that is only available in the iTunes Store for the moment. It is also promised to be available on Google Play sometime soon.
Being designed for both iPhones and iPads, this tool needs iOS v5.1.1 in order to function properly, and it costs $2.99. It offers interactive videos and 12 modules out of which 2 are for preschoolers, 6 for those in elementary school, 2 for middle school or high school and the other 2 are suitable for all kids.
Some of the main things kids will learn are life skills while they will understand how friendship works and learn to understand emotions. Apart from that, critical thinking is encouraged and everyday social situations are being used as examples. In addition to being great for autistic kids, it also suits those with Down syndrome, ADD, Asperger Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Children with Learning Disabilities
Being the first book to ever be written for children with learning disabilities, Zanny – Born to Run also comes with an application. Zanny is a little boy who was basically born to keep on running all the time. Being simply unable to stop moving, this kid is going to accompany your child on a wide number of adventures.
It comes with hand-drawn pictures and great music in the background, and each book addresses a new symptom of those who were diagnosed with such disabilities. Its impressive design lets you swing Zanny’s shows and move other objects by simple inclining the display of your device.
The basic version of the app costs $2.99 and was created for iOS, requiring version 5.0 or a newer one of the same operating system. The same tool also comes with a large number of games for “extra special kids”, as they call them. These include games that teach them about feelings that get your child used to facial expression.
MyTalkTools is an app that was created by the parent of a child with special needs. Knowing exactly what to look for, the developer came with a rather expensive but great tool for parents and care-givers. It is available for $99.99 in the iTunes Store, as well as on Google Play and suits most devices using these operating systems.
Being available in Dutch, Danish, English, French, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, Polish and Chinese, this tool allows you to use video, as well as photos, sound and text to communicate. It teaches kids about manners, ways of expressing their needs, as well as school behaviors.
In addition to that, it is now a lot easier for your child to express himself and make it easy for everyone to understand him. While it was initially developed for a child suffering from Nager syndrome, the same application can be used for any type or learning disability.
This app encourages your child to write about himself and his own feelings. Rather than just using images or simple phrases to communicate, this way children can also acquire writing skills. Such abilities are essential for a developing child that needs to do well in school.
Having been featured by Apple in the “special learning” category, this tool only costs $2.99 and requires minimum iOS v4.3. Coming with an Italian and a French version, iWriteWords lets your child play and learn at the same time. All there needs to be done is help Mr. Crab collect as many points as possible by dragging him to draw the letter you’ve been asked to.
Handwriting doesn’t have to be a difficult thing to do anymore. Not even for those kids suffering from learning disabilities. Thanks to the way this game is structured, it can also help your toddler get familiar with spelling. Learn more about this tool from the official product page on iTunes.