Thursday, October 15, 2015

Apps for kids with learning disabilities - a mindwrap

Technology is a wonderful asset for children with learning disabilities.  It is like a shiny new toy that you can place in their hands and they can actually learn through playing with it.  It is an exciting, interactive, fun learning tool that they can get excited about. 

Kids with learning disabilities can enhance and develop their communication skills, learn how to adapt and grasp situations, and even develop social skills.  There are many apps to choose that are being created at rapid fire speed.  

First you need to identify your child's needs and capabilities and then try to match them to a suited app. Many apps offer a sample or lite version to see if it is compatible with your child's needs.  If your child is interested and is showing progress using it,  then you can move on to the paid version which is a much more in-depth version.  Paid-based versions allow customization as well as more options in terms of colours and font, and number of games and exercises.  

Unwrapping some apps for you to 'app'ly...

Here is a sampling of apps for your iPad that can make a difference in the life of a learning disabled child. Remember there are thousands more so check them out and find some that are custom-made for your child's personal use.

1   Crazy Face Lite: Crazy Face Lite encourages shy students to speak more often, and is great with students who have trouble speaking.

2 Autism Timer: This app offers a digital timer for students with autism.

3 Behaviour Assessment Pro: BAP identifies factors related to problem behaviors for autistic kids.

4 Awareness!: Awareness allows students to listen to their surroundings while also playing games, watching a video, and more.

5 Everyday Skills: Use this app to find self-directed learning for students with autism and learning disabilities.

6 Proloquo2Go: Proloquo2Go offers picture-based communication for children with communication disorders.

7 ArtikPix: Children with speech issues can use ArtikPix to practice sounds and words at home.

8 Aurify: Aurify is a challenging and rewarding audio game for students, especially those with learning disabilities.

9 iEarnedThat: This tool can help parents track and reward good behaviour.

10 Model Me Going Places: This visual teaching tool can help your child navigate challenging locations with appropriate behaviour.

11 iWriteWords: Encourage fine motor skills using IWriteWords for practicing writing letters, numbers, and words.

12 MyTalkTools Mobile: MyTalkTools Mobile offers augmentative and alternative communication for learning disabled students.

13 First Then Visual Schedule: Provide positive behavior support using the First Then Visual Schedule app for the iPad.

14 Idea Sketch: Draw mind maps, flow charts, and more with Idea Sketch.

15 Off We Go!: Off We Go! can help children with special needs become more comfortable in new situations.

16 AutismXpress: Autism Xpress makes it easy for people with autism to recognize and express their emotions.

17 StoryBuilder: StoryBuilder can improve auditory processing for children with autism or sensory processing disorders.

18 iMindMap Mobile Pro: Let creative thoughts flow using iMindMap Mobile Pro.

19 Grace: Grace can help autistic and special needs children build sentences to communicate effectively.

20 Which Does Not Belong: This app will help your learner discriminate which items don’t belong in a group and encourage vocal imitation.

21 My Choice Board: Kids with autism, communication delays, or learning differences can express their needs and wants through this choice board.

22 iThoughts: iThoughts will enable students to see the big picture and concentrate on multiple thoughts at once.

23 LivingSafely: LivingSafely can help students with autism and developmental disabilities practice self-directed learning.

24 iCommunicate: Children with autism and visual challenges can use this app with pictures, storyboards, routines, and more.

25 Toy Story 3 Read Along: Toy Story’s app is a great early literacy tool for early language learners.

26 ACT Spell: ACT Spell offers games for training motor/visual/executive functions.

27 Stories2LEarn: Promote social skills and literacy by creating personalized stories on Stories2Learn.

28 iConverse: iConverse works as a picture exchange communication system for autistic individuals and those with communicative disabilities.

29 MyTalk Mobile: Those with communication difficulties can express themselves through MyTalk.

30 MindNode: MindNode makes creating mind maps easy.

31 Storyrobe: Storyrobe offers a simple and easy way to produce digital stories.

32 Flashcards for iPad: This app can be used effectively for special needs learners.

33 Glow Draw!: Glow Draw! is a fun drawing app for students with visual development problems.

34 What Rhymes?: Encourage reading comprehension with this reading comprehension tool for visual and auditory learners.

35 MyHomework: MyHomework can help students with trouble concentrating keep track of their next task.

36 Bigger Words: Bigger Words can help kids read easier.

37 iSpectrum: iSpectrum offers an assistant for color blindness.

38 Dragon Dictation: Dragon Dictation is great for students who have reading disabilities or are unable to write.

39 Talkulator: Talkulator can help students with visual problems count and do arithmetic.

40 Read2Me: Read2Me will import a text file and read it aloud to weaker readers.

I hope this brought some awareness to the wonderful tools that are available for your child.  If you go to the App store you can find them there for you to try out.  You can also Google, "Apps for kids with special needs" and a huge avalanche of sites will appear.  Any method that works for your child is a good thing.  Have a wonderful day everyone!

Read on and read always!

It's a wrap.

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