High-quality, effective teachers know how to use technology to engage students and elevate their learning—and they also know students of all abilities can use technology to assist with learning.
A variety of tools and resources, including apps for tablets and mobile devices, can meet the varying needs of students with disabilities and other special needs.
The apps in this list can be used by students with autism, students with communication challenges, those who need social assistance, and more.
[Editor’s note: While these apps may meet certain instructional needs, eSchool News has not used or reviewed the apps in this list.]
1. Rufus Robot: This collection of apps features many apps that are well-suited for students with autism or emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disabilities. Apps include those that focus on groups and categories, feelings and emotions, numbers and counting, and fun and games.
2. Todo Math: This math app is suited for students with special needs and also for those without. It lets educators differentiate for students working on different levels and can help reinforce math concepts in an interactive way.
3. Social Stories: For successful use, teachers will often play a key role in the social stories kids choose to interpret and create. Kids can improve their ability to learn from the stories by becoming more familiar and comfortable with the app.
4. Articulation Station Pro: Created by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, this app is designed to help children learn to speak and pronounce their sounds more clearly. Beautiful high quality images represent target words to be practiced in fun-filled activities with the assistance of a Speech-Language Pathologist, teacher, or parent.
5. Autism Core Skills School Edition: This innovative educational platform built by autism experts is designed to help every child with autism reaches their fullest potential. Lessons teach both academic and social skills, from preschool through first grade Common Core standards. Academic lessons cover reading and math skills such as colors, shapes, rhyming, spelling, and addition.
6. Pictello: Everyone loves to tell fun, engaging, and imaginative stories. Go ahead and make a social story or visual schedule for a child with autism or a slide show of holiday pictures for your friends–Pictello makes it a breeze to create and share.
7. Touch and Learn – Emotions: Touch and Learn is a gaming platform that allows you to introduce new concepts in a fun and exciting new way. This app focuses on helping kids read body language and understand emotions by looking at pictures and figuring out which person is expressing a given emotion.
8. Proloquo2Go: While pricey, this symbol-based communication app is targeted to students with difficulty speaking and increasing communication skills and language development. Its innovative features let users, parents, teachers, and therapists quickly personalize the app.
9. Choiceworks: The Choiceworks app is an essential learning tool for helping children complete daily routines (morning, day, and night), understand and control their feelings and improve their waiting skills (taking turns and not interrupting). Created with the support of leading hospitals and child development specialists, this app is designed for caregivers to provide clear and consistent support to foster a child’s independence, positive behavior, and emotional regulation at home and in the community. It can be customized for teachers in a school setting.
10. Zone of Regulation: This app offers a framework for thinking, as well as a curriculum geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their behaviors, including the management of their emotions and level of alertness. This, in turn, leads to increased self-control and problem solving abilities.