Forget Flashcards For Vocabulary: Get First Sight Words Pro

App: First Sight Words Professional

Developer: Learning Touch

Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad (English)

Price: $9.99   FirstWords: Professional - Learning Touch

Category: Reading and Writing

Touchscreen Vocabulary App Sends Flashcards Packing

First Sight Words Professional is a brightly illustrated app that will make teaching vocabulary a fun, animated experience.  We know that it can be difficult to hold the attention of your special needs child using boring old flashcards for vocabulary.

Learning Touch provides a fun solution with the new First Sight Words Pro App.  This colorful app uses the Dolch Reading Vocabulary, a list of 220 words which often cannot be sounded out and must be read by “sight.”  Once your child is able to recognize these words, his reading fluency will rapidly increase.




When you first open the app, you will find the screen shown above.  You may select “All words, Pre-Primer, Primer, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, or Nouns.” Once you make your selection, the game starts.


Playing the Game


First Sight Word Pro App


As the screen opens, the word will be heard.  At the top of the screen, the correct spelling is presented.  The letters to form the word are displayed below in a scattered fashion.  In the bottom left corner, a pictorial representation of the word is shown.

At this point, your child should begin by dragging the scattered letters to the top of the screen and matching them with the identical letters.  When a letter is touched, the name of the letter is announced.  Let her begin with any letter she wishes, as long as she matches the letter with the correct letter.   Once all the letters are matched, the letters are stated from left to right, and then the whole word is pronounced.  A visual and auditory reward is then presented.



The game continues by going through the selected list.  If your child wishes to skip a word, he may touch the arrow in the top right corner.  When your child wants to stop or select a different list, she may press the house icon in the top left corner and return to the home or starting screen.  Note: you will have to touch the arrow icon or the house icon twice to make your selection.


First Sight Words Pro – Options


Game Options


There are several options you may set before beginning the exercises. To reach the options menu, select the Options icon in the bottom right hand corner of the home screen.

The first options menu will allow you to choose between hearing letter names or phonics, take you to the game options (as pictured above), customize the words (manage words), access more games from Learning Touch, provide feedback to Learning Touch, or interact with Learning Touch through social media.


Choose The Words In Each List



The Game Options menu allows you to select word order (alphabetical, random, or shortest to longest), select the number of letters in the longest word, specify whether the word may be spelled in any order or only left to right, turn letter hints on or off, select lower or uppercase letters, turn speech on or off, turn Say Word on Entry on or off, select the spelling speed (fast, medium, or slow), turn Serif Font on or off, and turn Auto Advance on or off.


What I Like About First Sight Words Pro


  • Visual, auditory, and kinisthetic modes of learning are used
  • MINSPEAK icons are used, which are the same icons generally used in augmentative communication
  • There are many options you may select to make the game easier or more challenging
  • Words from a variety of grade levels are available


My Wish List


  • It would be great if the words could be presented in the context of a sentence. This would help differentiate words like “to” and “too,” which are difficult to define on the basis of sound and pictures alone.


Further Reading:  If you’re looking for other educational apps which teach kids basic vocabulary and reading skills, check out other reading apps we have showcased on Autism Plugged In, such as Word SLaPs for iPad

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Several years ago, I began volunteering with special needs kids, who gave me much joy and an appreciation for life. This blog is my way of giving back. Any proceeds from this effort are used to support my friends with autism. Read more about Jack or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.