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: Word retention and learning

    Compatibility: iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later. 

    Maker: PeaPod Labs

    Price: £1.49

    ABC Wildlife uses visual prompts to help children learn different letters and words through an animal theme.  The app currently includes over 80 individual words and hundreds of photos and videos. The aim of the application is to teach letter and word recognition, and is suitable for younger children.
    When I tested the app I found it very easy to navigate and believe the images the developers have used would be very engaging for a younger audience.


    Click here to view the demo.

    (Source: Apple)


  • Category: Social skills

    Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later. 

    Maker: FizzBrain

    Price: $2.99

    The Eye contact Zoo game, designed for children affected by Autism and Asperger's Syndrome, rewards children for quickly focusing in on a person's eyes. Through repeated practice it can help children learn to make eye contact by habit, and cope more readily with real-life situations. 


    (Source: Apple)


  • Category: Communication

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

    Maker: Ted Conley

    Price: £20.99

    TapSpeak is a tool to help disabled children learn to communicate. It is an application that allows users to create an unlimited number of sequences so children with language or speaking difficulties are able to gain a 'voice'.

    Children with cerebral palsy, autism, cortical vision impairment (CVI), paediatric stroke, or any disability that impairs their ability to communicate can make use of this app.

    When setting up sequences users can choose the length, symbols, colours, upload photographs and alter phrase recordings.


    Click here for a YouTube 'Mommy review' and walkthrough.

    (Source: Apple)

Topics: iPad, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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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 ?
    • 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!
  • 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.
    • RE: iPhone and iPad apps for disabled children


      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.
      • 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.