The Best iPad Apps for Kids With Special Needs
is an Education Consultant for Special Needs, Art and Technology
Yes, I have an iPad. Somehow, I can’t get my hands on it because my kid with special needs is in love with it. Yes, in love. Meaning, he sorts through his Kindle books each day and even reads them! He downloads free apps all the time or lite versions to try out new things. He only wants iTunes gift cards and will do practically anything to get one. He checks his email on it and watches YouTube with it. Recently, he asked me if he could sleep with it. And, yes, many of us adults sleep with our BlackBerrys or iPhones nearby, but I had to put my foot down about sleeping with the iPad.
You may be asking yourself, ‘What’s so special about the iPad for special needs kids?’ Firstly, it is compact, sleek, small and light - actually, there are four reasons right there. Mostly, however, it really gives the user a different experience - it envelops you with its screen, which is beautiful and bright. The touch screen is fun, finger-print resistant and has scratch-resistant glass. The new iPad II coming out this spring will even have a camera in it and video chat capabilities - imagine your niece or nephew with special needs’ enjoyment as he or she learns to discover the world around them with these features!
There is something about the iPad that just makes it a natural learning tool for kids. You can’t describe one until you see a kid’s hands on it. Many kids with special needs are naturals with technology. There are tons of apps out there which can often be confusing and overwhelming. People have been sending me lists of apps to try out with kids with special needs and I wanted to share them with you in the hopes that you, Auntie, will bring or buy an iPad for your niece or nephew with special needs. I promise, it will be a great experience for both of you.
What follows are some Ipad app sources (there are many more; I just picked out a few to whet your appetite.)
1. One Place for Special Needs has created a guide to educational and special needs apps where apps are grouped by skill set so you can easily find and buy the apps that most benefit your child: Auditory processing, cognitive skills, executive functioning, sensory processing, social skills, visual motor skills and more.
2. Cognitech Café recommends the following sites with apps:
from a mom of a kid with autism whose kid with special needs has embraced the iPad as a tool for education, self-regulation and leisure.
4. And finally, Aunties, check out: http://momswithapps.com/
Published: February 16, 2011