Special-needs learning apps

The Washington Post

We asked Joan L. Green, a speech- language pathologist in Potomac, Md., and the author of "The Ultimate Guide to Assistive Technology in Special Education," to share some of her favorite iPad apps for kids with special needs.

These are the most expensive versions of the apps because they have the most options for individualizing them to a child's particular needs. In some cases, there are less expensive versions. These apps cost far more than most, but they are cheaper than traditional communication systems and equipment that parents of kids with special needs may have bought in the past.




Dragon Dictation converts speech to text or e-mails. Nuance Communications, free.

ArtikPix-Full combines flashcards and other activities to help children with speech delays practice making sounds correctly. Expressive Solutions, $29.99.




VAST Autism 1-Core helps students with autism or other disorders, such as apraxia, learn to speak. SpeakinMotion, $4.99.

First Phrases HD helps toddlers or children with speech delays learn to put words together into phrases. Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language and Auditory Development, $9.99.




Bob Books1-Reading Magic HD is a phonics-based game to help young children learn how to read. Learning Touch, $3.99.

Rainbow Sentences helps students learn good grammar by color-coding the parts of sentences. Mobile Education Tools, $7.99.


Writing and spelling


Cimo Spelling is a game that uses a list of 255 high-frequency and sight words to help children in kindergarten through third grade develop basic spelling and reading skills. PlaySmart-Kids, $2.99.

FirstWords Deluxe helps teach toddlers letter and word recognition. Learning Touch, $4.99.

iWrite Words reinforces correct letter formation and spelling. Gdiplus, $2.99.




Abilipad is a notepad app that allows users to customize the keyboard. It also has a text-to-speech function. Cheryl Bregman, $19.99.

Audionote Notepad and Voice Recorder can synchronize typed notes with recorded audio for students who struggle with fine motor skills or organization. Luminant Software, $4.99.




Custom Boards allows users of all ages to create custom communication boards, schedules and activities from a library of more than 11,000 symbols. Smarty Ears, $39.99.

My First AAC is a communication app for toddlers and preschoolers with delayed speech and language. Injini, $24.99.

Proloquo2go includes symbols and a text-to-speech function for students of all ages with speech and language difficulties. AssistiveWare, $189.


Listening skills


See. Touch. Learn Pro is a picture-learning system designed for children with autism and other special needs. Brain Parade, $24.99.

LanguageBuilderDeluxe helps children practice coming up with ideas and forming sentences with audio clips, and can play back the child's voice. Mobile Education Tools, $14.99.

StoryBuilder is designed to teach children to build coherent paragraphs, using audio clips to improve listening skills. Mobile Education Tools, $7.99.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/the-best-apps-for-special-needs-kids/2012/04/18/gIQA1FwiQT_story.html

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