10 Best Special Needs Apps for Kids

10 Best Special Needs Apps for Kids

Today, a wide range of assistive technology tools and apps address foundational skills, boost social and emotional skills, and help kids with autism follow a schedule, writing, organising and reading. Equipping your child or student with the right iPad and iPhone apps can enhance his or her learning process. Whether you’re supporting children with autism, dyslexia, down syndrome, ADHD or another learning difficulty, there are apps for every child’s needs.

All students should be able to reach their full potential in school. We’ve put together some of the best special needs for children that support SEN students' learning and help them keep up with other students in the classroom.

Children with special needs face many challenges, and special needs apps can help improve their self-esteem and make them more mindful and confident in their skills and abilities. These ten inspiring children’s special education apps are a great place to start.

Here is the list of apps that can help with personalising learning for special needs students.

Speech Blubs

1. Speech Blubs

Speech Blubs - 5 star rating

(Android, iPhone, iPad)

Speech Blubs: Language Therapy is an education app for kids that uses video modeling as a tool to encourage kids to speak new words and ultimately build their vocabulary for language and communication. While the app can be helpful for any child who could benefit from learning to speak, Speech Blubs is a great tool to assist children who are struggling with learning to talk by using short, engaging videos, fun photo filters and animated content.

Features

  • Over 1500 exercises, activities, videos, and mini-games
  • Weekly new content and voice-activated learning
  • Collectible stickers for motivation
  • Self-assessment report feature
  • 25 categories with imitation-based learning

Pros

  • Intuitive design and effective video modeling
  • Fun photo filters and a rewarding system
  • Developmental coverage across different ages
  • Improves language articulation in children
  • Useful for both individual and classroom settings

Cons

  • Some features may cause app crashes

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: Android, iPhone and iPad


If we missed any of the 10 Best Special Needs Apps for Kids, tell us about them!


Otsimo | Special Education

2. Otsimo | Special Education

Otsimo | Special Education - 5 star rating

(Android, iPhone, iPad)

Otsimo is a wonderful and inspiring app developed for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or learning difficulties. Otismo Special Education contains 13 areas with over 80 activities or stories, all motivating and engaging.

Features

  • Developed with child psychologists and educators
  • Customizable content for children with ASD and learning difficulties
  • Includes over 80 activities in 13 areas
  • Utilizes ABA approach and offers AAC features
  • Includes a reporting section for tracking progress

Pros

  • Highly engaging and motivating content
  • Facilitates generalisation of skills outside the app
  • Quick and responsive interface, reducing frustration
  • Includes valuable resources for families and educators
  • Great value for money with comprehensive content

Cons

  • Some images/words can be region specific

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: Android, iPhone and iPad



Splingo

3. Splingo

Splingo - 5 star rating

(Android, iPhone, iPad)

SPLINGO is an app aimed at younger children helping them to not only learn more about the world around them through increasing their speech and language skills through targeting specific areas of language development.

Features

  • Developed by speech and language therapists
  • Covers areas like pronouns, past tense, and adjectives
  • Customizable games for personalized learning
  • In-app assessment tool for tracking progress
  • Specifically designed for young children's language development

Pros

  • Effective balance between educational content and engaging gameplay
  • Targeted games for specific speech and language skills
  • User-friendly interface suitable for young children
  • Useful for both educators and parents in tracking and supporting learning
  • High-quality design and sound tailored to young learners

Cons

  • Some users have reported confusion over what is included in the free trial

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: Android, iPhone and iPad



Clicker Docs

4. Clicker Docs

Clicker Docs - 5 star rating

(iPhone, iPad)

Clicker Docs app for iPad is one of the highly recommended apps for special education students and one of the best special education resources. It is also a great resource to use with any child who is developing their writing skills and is particularly useful for learners with dyslexia and struggling spellers. You can watch your students’ skills and confidence grow as they use the range of writing support tools available to create accurate, flowing documents.

Features

  • Speech feedback and word prediction
  • Voice Notes and picture support integration
  • Mind-mapping tools and Sentence Sets
  • Connect Sets and Word Banks for various topics
  • Customizable for different learning styles and needs

Pros

  • Supports diverse learning styles and needs
  • Wide range of tools and features for writing development
  • User-friendly interface suitable for children
  • Useful for children with dyslexia or as reluctant writers
  • Access to extensive word banks for various topics

Cons

  • Relatively high cost for subscription
  • No availability of a shorter, 1-year license option

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: iPhone and iPad


Proloquo2Go

5. Proloquo2Go

Proloquo2Go - 5 star rating

(iPhone, iPad)

Proloquo2Go is a full-featured augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app for people who have difficulty speaking. 

Children, teens and adults who can’t speak can use this Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app for iOS as a daily communication tool and to build language skills. The app is completely customizable and designed for a range of fine-motor and visual skills. The app’s versatility makes it useful for non-verbal people with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and a range of other diagnoses or speech impediments like apraxia and dysarthria.

Features

  • Vocal output for tapped words and text-to-speech
  • Realistic accents in various languages
  • Three customizable vocabulary levels
  • Consistent core word location for motor planning
  • Social media integration and backup options

Pros

  • Comprehensive AAC tool for diverse communication needs
  • Grid layout and SymbolStix system for ease of use
  • Minimizes need for expert advice by making AAC mainstream
  • Extensive after-support and an AAC community for users
  • Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Cons

  • High cost compared to other AAC applications

Price: $249.99

Devices: iPhone and iPad


Montessori Numbers is for young learners who have difficulties in understanding numbers, place values, quantities and other important math concepts.

This special education resource lets them actually touch buttons and move things on the screen to count numbers, move blocks and do other simple tasks. The idea is that the repetitive use of the app and the interactive element will help them retain that knowledge. As children work through the five activities they will continually hear the number names associated with the numbers or quantities they are using. Three voice choices are available in the Settings menu: American, British or Australian English.

Features

  • Activities for quantities, numerals, counting, and basic math
  • Verbal feedback with American, British, and Australian accents
  • Customizable appearance for engagement and variety
  • Assessment feature with progress tracking
  • Visual and audio supports for number formation and recognition

Pros

  • Engaging and visually appealing for children
  • Covers a broad range of early mathematical skills
  • Supports different learning levels and abilities
  • Interactive and explorative learning through the "building game"
  • Useful for a wide age range, especially for children with autism

Cons

  • Limited information on any potential downsides of the app

Price: $3.99

Devices: iPhone and iPad


Easy Dyslexia aid is a wonderful application and a welcome addition to the assistive technology market for dyslexia. Easy Dyslexia Aid helps with spelling and literacy with the aid of the ‘OpenDyslexic’ font and colour overlays.

Features

  • OpenDyslexic font for improved readability
  • Speech-to-text functionality
  • Customizable background colors for dyslexia support
  • Options for turning off speech output and changing languages
  • User-friendly interface with clear instructions

Pros

  • Immediate and easy-to-use for targeted support
  • High-quality voice recognition and synthesis
  • Increases independence for children with dyslexia or dysgraphia
  • Supports both spelling and literacy development
  • Useful in classroom settings to aid uninterrupted learning

Cons

  • Feature set can feel limited

Price: $2.99

Devices: Android, iPhone and iPad


Visual Reading Special Education app is a targeted program to support learners with special educational needs and associated learning difficulties. Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) principles are used to engage children in reading.

Features

  • Uses Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) principles
  • Incorporates Global Method, Analytic & Synthetic phonics
  • Errorless learning approach
  • Comprehensive analytical capabilities and customization
  • User-friendly interface with over 900 nouns, verbs, and numbers

Pros

  • Extensive and thorough reading program
  • Supportive for learners with autism and various learning difficulties
  • Detailed guidance and progress monitoring
  • Ability to tailor sessions to individual learner needs
  • Distraction-free design ideal for the target audience

Cons

  • Requires time and effort to fully understand and utilize effectively

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: Android


Special Words

9. Special Words

Special Words - 5 star rating

(Android, iPhone, iPad)

Special Words is an app that seeks to address deficiencies in expressive and receptive language in addition to attention, fine motor and hand-eye co-ordination skills.

Special Words is an app that seeks to teach word recognition, spoken language, attention and listening skills, in addition to hand-eye co-ordination. The app contains 96 words and pictures commonly used during early language development. Special Words can be used by parents, teachers, teaching assistants, speech & language therapists to enhance expressive and receptive language development. 

Features

  • 96 common early development words and pictures
  • 6 interactive activities with customizable difficulty
  • Compatibility with switch and scanning technology
  • Customization options for adding words and images
  • Supports 22 languages with option for recording own voice

Pros

  • Enhances word recognition and spoken language skills
  • Clear, distraction-free interface suitable for learning difficulties
  • Proven effectiveness in improving communication, language, and literacy
  • Useful for a wide range of learners, including those with Autism or Down Syndrome
  • Ability to grow with the child by adding new words and images

Cons

  • Limited information on potential downsides or limitations of the app

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Devices: Android, iPhone and iPad


Talk Tales, Simple Sounds

10. Talk Tales, Simple Sounds

Talk Tales, Simple Sounds - 4 star rating

(Android, iPhone, iPad)

Talk Tales, Simple Sounds is specifically designed by a speech therapist to support non-verbal or low-verbal children with childhood apraxia or autism spectrum disorder. It allows for continuous repetition through an interactive storybook as well as movie to watch including all the taught sounds.

Features

  • Designed for non-verbal or low-verbal children with apraxia or autism
  • Three levels of difficulty with targeted speech sounds
  • Interactive videos and graphics for engagement
  • Free downloadable coloring sheets for offline learning
  • Customizable for various developmental levels

Pros

  • Effective for teaching specific speech sounds
  • Clear, child-friendly instructional videos
  • Easy to navigate and use independently
  • Supports continuous repetition and practice
  • Useful for both home and classroom settings

Cons

  • Limited long-term use once levels are completed
  • Lacks additional games or activities for extended engagement

Price: $11.99

Devices: Android, iPhone and iPad



Frequently Asked Questions

What types of apps are best for children with SEN?

The best apps for children with SEN are those tailored to their specific needs and learning styles. For instance, children with dyslexia may benefit from apps that focus on phonics and reading skills, while children with autism might find apps with social story narrations and emotion recognition exercises helpful. It's important to look for apps that are engaging, interactive, and provide a level of customization to suit the individual child's requirements.

 How can I ensure the apps are effective and safe for my child?

To ensure apps are effective and safe, look for ones developed based on evidence-based practices and have good reviews from other parents or educators. It's also important to check the app's privacy settings and data handling policies to ensure your child's information is secure. Additionally, involvement in your child’s app-based activities can provide safety oversight and enhance the learning experience.

How much screen time is appropriate when using educational apps?

Appropriate screen time depends on the child’s age, developmental level, and individual needs. While educational apps can be beneficial, you should balance kids' screen time with other activities. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one hour of high-quality screen time per day for children aged 2 to 5 and consistent limits for children aged six and older. It's also crucial to ensure that screen time doesn't interfere with adequate sleep, physical activity, and other behaviours essential to health.


Cosmo Training is a creative training and therapy system for people with additional needs. It consists of a set of interactive and multisensory controllers and games that motivate learners to develop motor, cognitive and communication skills through play and music. Cosmo's multi-sensory games work towards achieving skill based, functional and national curriculum compatible goals to help the child in tasks of everyday living.

Video Scheduler is one of the best apps for special education teachers who work with a smaller number of kids and those who work with children in private homes. The app allows each child to follow his or her schedule every day. It provides them with short videos and visual cues that alert them when they near the end of a lesson or when it’s time to take a break for lunch.

Related Posts:

Autism Apps

Dyslexia Apps

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