The iPad/iPod technology is continuing to grow and become a part of our kid’s daily life. Many families have purchased an iPad and many classrooms have at least one iPad, if not more, for their students. The app market also continues to grow. To date, there are over 425,000 apps!
As a speech therapist, I have continued my search for the best apps to use in my work with children with special needs. Below is my current favorite list of apps for my students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. These apps have been chosen because they address the hallmark weakness of kids on the spectrum, are engaging, well attended to, and include realistic images and sounds. Many are also low priced or Free — I love Free.
Speech Therapist’s Favorite iPad Apps
- Emotions Apps: ABA Flash Cards & Games – Emotions (FREE), Touch and Learn – Emotions (FREE), Moody Monster Manor HD (FREE), and I Was So Mad – Little Critter
- Sound Discrimination: Biggest Sounds HD , Noise Room for iPad, Things You Can Hear Lite, Sounds: The Pronunciation App (FREE), and What Was That Noise??
- Receptive Vocabulary: Farm Animals by Photo Touch (FREE) and My First 1,000 Words, Word Slapps, and SeeTouchLearn (FREE)
- Early Literacy, Site Words, and Spelling Skills: I Like Books and Little Speller – Three Letter Words LITE (FREE), Word Wizard – Talking Movable Alphabet & Spelling Tests for Kids, iWriteWords, FirstWords: Deluxe, Word Wagon HD, Winnie the Pooh Puzzle Book – Disney, and The Monster at the End of This Book…starring Grover! – Sesame Street
- Creativity: Drawing Pad, Learning to Draw is Fun – Lite version, Cookie Doodle, Toca Tea Party, ClickySticky, My PlayHome, and createAmonster
In addition, here are a few fun apps that help kids talk about and experience very difficult activities — getting a haircut, going to the doctor, and visiting the dentist.
- Toca Hair Salon
- Toca Doctor HD Lite (FREE)
- The Little Bunny Visiting Dentist – DigibunnyTech
- Brush it Up – WonderApps
The actions kids can perform and sound effects make the apps truly multi-sensory. Using these apps are a great way to rehearse and prepare for these potentially challenging tasks.
Want a kid-safe way to search for images in your iPad? Check out FotoFarm. This app completely screens images and has a very simple interface. This app allows me to search with confidence and not have to worry about anything inappropriate popping up. (Warning- it is not 100% foolproof.)
Written by a Guest Author who works as a speech therapist with children on the autism spectrum.
Further Reading: 10 Free iPad Apps for Children With Special Needs