Best iPad Apps for Kids with Special Needs

Children with special needs require special apps! Whether you help care for a child with Autism, Down Syndrome, or other special needs, there are a few elite iPad apps that can help facilitate communication, learning and understanding. Parents of special needs children strive to find the most effective ways to give their kids an advantage, and the best iPad apps for special needs offer a unique tool for parents and educators to use. While love, patience and understanding are the foundation to success in caring for individuals with special needs, unique technologies, like iPad apps can also help play a part in enriching the lives of those with special needs.

Price: $29.99
Designed to help children with speech delay, this app comes with a set of 21 flashcards that focus on difficult sounds and letter combinations. With over 900 flashcards in all, each card is combined with a graphic that helps kids link the sound to a word, and object. To enhance learning, parents can choose to record their own voice, or that of the child, to coincide with each sound, or use the pre-recorded sounds. Different settings within this app allow cards to be shuffled and presented in groups of varying difficulty for children to practice, with data being stored for review by parents, or even professionals like speech pathologists later on. With tools to help children master sound combinations, and track progress, parents and specialists alike seem to be fond of this app and its capabilities.

Price: $49.99
At first glance, the price tag of this app can be intimidating, however, for parents of a child with communication difficulties, this app can be priceless. Designed to enhance communication with special needs children, iCommunicate allows for the design of storyboards to help communicate routine, schedules and processes for daily activities. For example, as seen in the screenshots, a series of photos helps a little girl understand the process for going to and from the park to play with customized photos of her own car and home. Flashcards that can be customized with personal photos also help communicate different activities or items, and choice boards provide a visual communication aid to help children make decisions that may otherwise seem overwhelming. iCommunicate is a full scale communication aid that is made even more useful through its customization ability with personal pictures and voice.

Grace App
Price: $24.99
Grace App is a photo assistive speech app for non-verbal individuals, particularly those with Autism. Sets of flashcards feature picture drawings, accompanied by words, that users touch and place together to create a thought that can be shared with others to assist in communication. For example, in the screen shot, the individual has chosen an “I want” card that can be paired with an item to express need. Over time, the app is designed to help children with special needs attempt to vocalize their needs, using the app’s photos as a backup system to aid in communication. Different categories make this app well organized and simple to use for both children with special needs and their caretakers.