Apps for Students with Learning Disabilities

4 Apps for Students with Learning Disabilities

Between Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store, there are thousands of apps available today that range from a waste of space to a waste of time. Thankfully, there are educational apps designed to do what a good app should: make our lives easier. Ed-tech apps are enriching the in-school experience for students of all ages, providing opportunities and accessibility for special needs students that didn’t exist even five years ago. There are a number of apps for special needs that target unique needs and learning styles – you’ll just need to find the app that matches your child’s condition and method of learning. Here are 4 apps for special needs and learning disabilities that empower education and builds self-confidence:

MyTalkTools Mobile.

Created with the help of speech and language pathologists, MyTalkTools assists students who have trouble communicating and expressing themselves. For children with hearing or speech disorders, this app for special needs is an alternative to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) tools that your child can carry in his or her pocket. Eliminating the stigma of AAC devices in school, students can communicate with their peers and connect with the outside world using sequences of words, sounds, and images on the app. MyTalk features customizable options for students to easily pick out their favourite and most used terms and images or play certain sounds, creating familiarity and a consistent learning experience.

You can learn more about MyTalk products on their site, or download a free trial version on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Dyslexia Toolbox.

Coined as a dyslexia app ‘by dyslexic people, for dyslexic people’, Dyslexia Toolbox is an assistive technology hub for children in Grade 4 and above. Two of the dyslexia app’s most inimitable features include a type pad with prediction software, enabling students to craft text for their assignments, emails, and social media, and a digital overlay for reading text through a colour screen, which has proven helpful for people with dyslexia. And for a small fee, the app integrates a digital document reader that snaps a photo of text and translates it to speech to listen aloud.

The Dyslexia Toolbox app is free to download and use, though the digital document reader will cost a few bucks.

Voice Dream Reader.

Read with Your Ears is the slogan for the Voice Dream Reader app, a tool for people that prefer to listen rather than read. This is the ideal ed-tech app for students with reading disabilities and/or ADD and ADHD, blindness, low vision, and other learning disabilities. The ed-tech app has a plethora of features on both the reading and writing side. The reading app is particularly helpful, turning text into speech in 186 voices and 30 languages. Its main feature is synchronized highlighting, aiding in comprehension and knowledge retention. The auto-scrolling, full-screen, distraction-free view keeps readers focused and immersed.

‘One of the best educational finds of my entire career’ according to Forbes, the Voice Dream Reader is available for download from the iTunes store for $20.99.

Learn with Rufus.

We touched on educational apps for special needs children, but there’s more to school than reading books and getting A’s. Learn with Rufus aids special needs children in a crucial but overlooked aspect of school: social life. The Learn with Rufus series of tablet apps helps autism spectrum disorder (ASD) children recognize emotions and facial expressions, providing a better understanding of social cues from their peers. Building confidence to communicate and share with peers is an important life lesson for any growing child, and this is even more imperative for kids with ASD.

Learn with Rufus can help ASD students build the self-esteem needed to integrate with their communities and form relationships for the rest of their lives. Learn with Rufus is a series of tablet apps, so you can choose the one that best aligns with your child’s needs. We discussed the Emotions app, but there are also Numbers, Categories, and even Fun & Games!

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