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These apps fit a variety of student and teacher needs

specialneeds-appsTechnology is nearly ubiquitous in today’s classrooms, and special education teachers have found that mobile devices and apps can help special needs students develop and strengthen a number of skills.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of apps that target students with special needs.

The apps in our list are suitable for students with dyslexia, students with autism, those who need social assistance, and more.

Do you have a favorite app that you use with students who have special needs? Let us know in the comments section below.

(Next page: 9 special needs apps)

[Editor’s note: Prices are current as of press time, but are subject to change.]

1. Learning Ally Audio, iPad/iPhone, Android, Free (Learning Ally membership required)

Learning Ally, formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, is committed to making reading accessible for all who learn differently. We provide over 75,000 audiobooks, audio textbooks, and other recorded books to help anyone who experiences difficulty in reading print material succeed. Learning Ally Membership is required to use this app.

2. Sosh, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, $39.99

Sōsh™ is a mobile app designed to help ‘tweens, teens and young adults improve social skills. It is especially designed to be used by individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome. Sōsh™ focuses on five essential abilities for social skills development: Relate, Relax, Reason, Regulate, and Recognize. These “5R’s” serve as a road map for individuals who want to be social, but may have faced obstacles in the past, and also serve as a guide for parents, teachers, and therapists hoping to encourage and assist individuals with their social goals. 

3. My Choice Board, iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, $9.99

The primary purpose of MY CHOICE BOARD is to present a visual display of “choices” to those with limited communication skills. This gives individuals with Autism, communication delays or learning differences the opportunity to be independent and express their own specific needs and wants.

4. The Social Express, iPad, Free (The Social Express membership required)

The Social Express™ is engaging, educational curriculum for children and young adults with social learning challenges. The curriculum is designed to teach users how to think about and manage social situations, helping them to develop meaningful social relationships and succeed in life.

5. Social Quest, iPad, $21.99

Social Quest is an application developed by author and Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) Rosie Simms to improve pragmatic language comprehension and expression in a variety of social situations for older elementary, middle school, and high school-aged populations. Social Quest uses real life situations and contextual images to present the professional, parent and student with ‘’jumping off’ points for discussing the “why” and “how” of social language usage. The app utilizes a problem-solving quest theme in which students navigate various locations and earn “rewards” linked to social competencies.

6. Verbally, iPad, Free (premium app is $99.99)

Verbally is an easy-to-use, comprehensive Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app for the iPad. Verbally brings speech to those without and enables real conversation with its simple, intuitive design. Just tap in what you want to say and Verbally speaks for you. Premium Features available with an in-app purchase.

7. See.Touch.Learn., iPad, $39.99

A Picture Card Learning System replaces all your physical flash cards. Award winning, easy to use and chosen by over 400,000 people in 104 countries! Create custom lessons using your own images or choose from over 4,400 pictures and 2,200 exercises developed by professionals. The Brain Parade Community gives you access to thousands more shared by your peers.

8. First Then Visual Schedule, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Android, $9.99

First-Then visual schedule application is designed for caregivers to provide positive behavior support. For individuals with communication needs, developmental delays, Autism or those who benefit from a structured environment; visual schedules serve to increase independence and lower anxiety during transitions through different activities.

9. Speech with Milo: Verbs, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Android, $2.99

“Speech with Milo” apps were created by a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, and have been downloaded over 100,000 times. “Speech with Milo: Verbs” was created as a versatile and entertaining speech therapy tool for children. Milo is for speech therapists working with children, or parents who want to teach language skills to their children. The app offers an enjoyable tool used in therapy at a cheap price.

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