It’s a digital world, and mobile devices have become almost universal
for people of all ages. Many kids have them too although most of the conversation
revolves around the countless apps related to social media and gaming.
The truth is, however, that the compact power of mobile computing has
led to the creation to apps in fields as diverse as science, medicine,
the arts and more. Perhaps best of all are the apps created to help kids
with special needs. Here are five!
1. Nonverbal or Verbally-Impaired:
CoughDrop AAC (iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows, Web)
For some children, verbal communication can be extremely difficult. In
response, experts developed special software for Augmentative and Alternative
Communication (AAC). These apps allow kids to communicate by touching
the screen. In effect, the app gives words to those who can’t speak.
AAC technology has proven to be especially useful for children with autism
-- indeed, intensive use of AAC apps has been known to dramatically improve
the speech abilities of autistic kids.
2. Socialization and Scheduling:
Many children with special needs have a hard time sitting still and expressing
their feelings. ChoiceWorks provide visual cues to help them do both of
these things. It’s also a scheduling app, designed to keep your
kid’s day organized and structured so they can stick to their all-important routine.
SimpleMind (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android)
Mind Mapping is a very big deal these days, especially in the creative
fields. These apps use a graphical interface to visualize thoughts and
ideas, and have been used for developing software, writing screenplays
and just plain getting organized. Mind Mapping has also shown great promise
in helping people with ADHD bring order to their thoughts and feelings
and just generally get stuff done.
Ghotit Writer (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac)
Reading and writing can be difficult for anyone, but when dyslexia is part
of the equation, it can be a painful struggle. That’s where Ghotit
comes in. It helps you read with sophisticated text-to-speech technology,
and helps you write by employing a very advanced contextualized spelling
and grammar check that predicts the word you’re looking for and
catches contextual mistakes that standard spell check software easily
misses. Ghotit is an expensive app, unfortunately, but it has received
very high marks from parents and educators.