iPhone and iPad apps for disabled children

iPhone and iPad apps for disabled children

Summary: This is a selection of apps designed to assist children with learning disabilities.

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  • Category: Emotional development and understanding

    Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 2.2.1 or later. 

    Maker: Kindergarten.com

    Price: Free

    Focusing on learning difficulties such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Asperger’s, this app aims to help children to understand emotions and be able to recognise and respond to them.
     
    The ABA flash card collection includes 50 visual prompts for 10 basic emotions. Additional features include audio and text to increase the interactivity of these flash cards, in order to reinforce learning. Flashcards can be played in the same order or shuffled.
     
    The developer’s intent is to :“ provide children with quality educational applications that are not only enjoyable but also enhance cognitive development, phonemic awareness, and reading readiness.”

     

    (Source: Apple)

     

  • Category: Social skills, literacy

    Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. 

    Maker: MDR

    Price: $13.99

    Stories2Learn is an affordable app to help develop social awareness in children with Autism and other developmental disabilities.
     
    S2L offers parents the ability to create personalized stories using photos, text, and audio messages. These stories can be used to promote a child’s literacy levels, social skills, as well as a way to spend quality time with your child.
     
    A parent can quickly create a story that shows various social cues. For example, if a child is learning a new concept such as eye contact, this can be quickly depicted in a story form to reinforce learning.
     

    Click here to view the app in action.

    (Source: Apple)

     

  • Category: Rewards

    Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later. 

    Maker: Grembe Inc.

    Price: $4.99

    Selected by Apple for Apps for a spot on its special education list, iReward is a motivational tool to reward your child for completing certain tasks.
     
    You can use visual rewards to reinforce positive behaviours – such as star charts, or token boards. The app supports multiple users and can be organised by family, classroom or patient. It includes customisable features including background and ‘reward’ tokens, sound facilities and password protection.
     
    While scanning reviews online, it seems the application option is popular for giving children something tangible but removing the risks associated with a physical reward chart (such as small parts becoming a choking hazard).

    Click here to view more information.

    (Source: Apple)

     

Topics: iPad, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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5 comments
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  • too fast

    I watched the demo and thought that the speed of the screen was much too fast. My daughter would never be able to handle that speed and I imagine that many other disabled children would be the same. Is there a speed control ?
    paula
    • RE: iPhone and iPad apps for disabled children

      @paula ABC Wildlife? Yes, when i tested the app the speed wasn't something i considered a problem for small children to use -- the demo makes it appear a lot quicker than it actually is. Hope that helps!
      charlieosborne
  • Are there any communications aids that use Makaton

    or even PECS that could run on an iPhone?

    I rebuilt a PDA for my daughter about 5 years ago, and programmed it to display tiles on its touchscreen and then speak the phrase built with them as she cannot speak herself. PECS threatened me with legal action if I didnt cease development, or turn over my work to them, so I trashed it rather than give my work to those thieving swine... However, seeing Proloquo must mean they were bluffing about copyrights, because thats like my device too. More comprehensive, but visually very similar.

    My daughter really needs a way of communicating that others can understand, because most people (here in the UK at least) dont understand BSL, let alone one of the many symbolic languages that have spread here from the US. I've never heard of Proloquo, and I know more symbolic languages than most people.
    I personally dont like them, and cant program for one, but an iPod Touch has the form and the software to do the job and would save me a lot of work too - so long as it contains a language she already knows.

    It would be nice if I wasnt charged a fortune for it too. From experience, manufacturers charge more if it has a 'for special needs' sticker on it.
    SiO2
    • RE: iPhone and iPad apps for disabled children

      @SiO2

      You might like to check out "taptotalk.com" as they have an app which you can add your own library to. I don't remember paying much for it.
      skossr
      • Thanks, I'll do that.

        @skossr I still have the databank on a CD somewhere, I spent ages drawing stick-figures and recording the speech synthesiser from an Amiga, besides all the programming. Bounce-proofing a Moto A925 and hacking the microwave parts out without crashing the OS. It was a smart talking brick, and I'm still a bit annoyed they took that from me, as well as her.

        Still, thanks. I suppose I should be grateful I can just 'get an app' for her now, because I honestly didnt see that coming.
        SiO2