iPads are becoming a permanent resource in classrooms today. Teachers of all grade levels are using them to help teach all different educational concepts. And that includes teachers of children with special needs. With all of the apps available, the ease of using the swipe design, the portability and accessibility, it has become a very useful tool for many people with disabilities or learning difficulties.
Here are six great iPad apps for special needs children.
This app consists of learning games for young children with cognitive, language and fine motor delays. There are 10 games with 90 puzzles and over 100 illustrations. There are also 8 farm-themed mini-games and more. The games are designed for – and tested by – children with autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and other developmental delays. The app promotes independent play through games such as balloons (where children will learn colors and shapes), letters, matching, tracing, and more. There are tutorials for each game and a help button to give hints. $29.99, but they also have a Lite version.
Use this app to help improve fine motor skills through hand exercises. It will help any child or adult prepare for handwriting lessons. The app features unique hand and finger activities that help improve strength, control and dexterity. The exercises are short and designed to be repeated daily. Dexteria features automatic tracking and reports, which can be emailed. Occupational therapists were consulted on the design of this app. $9.99.
Abilipad “combines the functionality of a notepad with word prediction, text-to-speech and a customizable keyboard”. The app allows you to take notes, create lesson plans, import photos and design keyboards. You can file your lesson plans, which can also be shared through the app’s community to help others. You can also browse through the library for other’s lesson plans. The app is a very effective communication device. $19.99.
Flashcards and matching activities make up this app for children with speech sound delays. The free version of the app comes with decks for the “th, w, y, and h” sounds. The full version features 24 total decks with 40 color-coded cards in each. You can combine decks to customize your lesson plan. The app also features recorded audio, voice recording, and data collection. You are able to score data for up to 4 children and save the data by children’s name. Email or save the information to the clipboard or Google spreadsheet. $29.99.
Teach children – with and without special needs – easy morning routines, while also building literacy and life skills. The app uses music, including a “ready for school” song, and hand interaction to assist in the teaching. There are virtual rewards for completing tasks, which are given to motivate children. For fun, there is a puzzle to give children a little break. This app is recommended for toddler and preschool children. $1.99.
This app is a picture learning system for children with autism and other special needs. You have the ability to build custom flashcards with images to help teach children new words. You can also track the child’s response. The app comes with a starter set of 60 exercises. Purchase additional sets, which range from $1-$2, through in-app purchases. Save and reuse your lessons over and over. Teachers love that their lessons are portable and there is no need to carry around flashcards. Free.