Special needs children face many challenges in their daily lives. The world can be a harsh place for these kids, and therapists and caregivers can only do so much to protect and educate them. But technology can be a powerful tool in helping these special children learn, communicate, and succeed in this difficult world.
The low cost and increasing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers have made powerful technology available to almost anyone. These devices provide voice-, touch-, and movement-based input and have sound, tactile, and visual feedback, as well. All of these features in the palm of the hand make them great tools for education and communication for those who need a little help doing so. This article covers a few of the best apps currently out there for children with special needs.
This app is a brilliant reward system that was designed by a pediatrician who is also a parent. This app works by taking a picture of your choosing and dividing it into puzzle pieces. You can then reward the child for their accomplishments during the day, by giving them a piece of the puzzle. Once they have earned all the pieces, they are able to solve the puzzle. This is a great way to get a child to behave and work towards goals they have set, while having fun.
This wonderful app allows the user to communicate in a couple of different ways. You can choose to communicate through pictures and by playing back recorded messages. The app allows you to use included pictures and/or your own pictures to form sentences, sequences, and schedules. These can be helpful for communicating ideas to others, instructions on how to perform a task, or reminders of daily events. This creates a powerful tool for those who have trouble communicating verbally.
In My Dreams is an app that teaches children how to read, by presenting them with simple sentences and parts of speech, accompanied by engaging animations. There are matching games included, as well. This app also includes sign language instruction. This is an all around great reading instruction app.
This app is a speech training program. It uses games to help the child practice individual sounds by themselves or with a parent or therapist. This offers a fun and engaging way for the child to practice learning proper speech, no matter where they are.
This is a free app that allows children with autism to communicate through pictures. It has a simple touch interface with words and pictures to go with them, making it easy to use. This app has many of the features of paid apps out there, so it is a great alternative for a great price (free).
See. Touch. Learn. is a free flashcard app for the iPad. The flashcards can be used to give instructions, teach words and objects to kids, and much more. The app also has spoken instructions and feedback to aid in learning, as well. This is a highly flexible learning tool for children with special needs.
So, if you are a parent of a child with special needs, give one or a few of these helpful apps a try—you might be surprised at the result.