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Best Communication Apps for iPad

Communicating effectively is hard for all of us, but children with special educational needs can find it particularly challenging. Apps are especially effective in communicating with special needs children. Help them practise their skills and boost their confidence with these best communication apps.

iOS is an incredibly accessible mobile operating system. Innovative features like VoiceOver, AssistiveTouch and Guided Access help students with special needs enjoy more of what iPhone, iPad and iPod touch have to offer. iPad provides great learning apps for all learning abilities.

Here is our curated list of communication apps for the iPad that you may find useful:

Best Communication Apps for iPad

    As a teacher of children on the Autism Spectrum with complex communication needs, I am constantly looking for the most appropriate form of Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) to use with the children at our school.

    Devices: iOS


    Boo Articulation Helper is an app that helps children to practice speech sounds that they need to improve. The app encourages children to imitate articulated sounds and raise phonological awareness.

    Devices: iOS


    Let's Expand Vocabulary introduces new words to children and reinforces their existing vocabulary. Four, simple to play mini games are accompanied by clearly spoken words that, through repetition, help children to remember and categorize them.

    Devices: iOS


    Dromnibus-Inclusive Education is a learning solution based on Applied Behaviour Analysis, one of the world’s most effective learning methods, which draws from the extensive experience of scientists and clinicians. DrOmnibus Inclusive Education is a motivating, task-based learning app that aims to develop behaviour and cognitive skills through a graduated approach.   

    Devices: Android,iOS


    CommunicoTool 2 is an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) visual support application. The app is suitable for children who are non-verbal, have language delay or autism.

    Devices: iOS


    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 can be used by Teachers, therapists and parents to improve these skills.

    Devices: Android,iOS


    Special Stories is an app that allows you to create stories and visual schedules. It is particularly useful for creating Social Stories for children with additional needs.  

    Devices: Android,iOS


    Animals Level 1 is an application that aims to improve receptive language development through complex sound patterns that are matched to specific animal visuals.

    Devices: iOS


    This app aims to teach children specific relaxation techniques.

    Devices: iOS


    VisuaLearn promotes vocabulary development, sight word acquisition and sentence building. VisuaLearn offers a simple interface with activities designed for typically developing children, children with Down syndrome or children with visual learning strengths who might benefit from guidance through smaller learning steps.

    Devices: iOS


    An app aimed at young people with speech and language difficulties that effectively engages and helps improve the verbal communication whilst also improving their vocabulary.

    Devices:


    An engaging app for young people with speech and language difficulties. The app provide engaging opportunities for students to communicate using pictures for sequencing, predicting and describing.

    Devices:


    The store rooms of those teachers who help to develop speech and language skills have always been discernible by the arrays of objects and flash cards to act as a starting point for discussion.  This app compresses these talking prompts into the slim size of an iPad. 

    Devices: iOS


    A visually and audibly stimulating app aimed at students with speech and language difficulties (SALT). The app uses sixteen 3-step sequences of cards of differing everyday activities such as wrapping a present, making a bed. The student has to re-arrange the cards on the correct order. The teacher, speech therapist, teaching assistant or parent can give as much help as needed in order for the correct sequence to be made. The student’s verbal response can also be recorded. The app can be used one-to-one or in small groups and can be personalised by the teacher creating their own cards. There are 3 games to choose from Ordering, Predicting and Describing. There is a full reporting facility which can be emailed or shared. A separate account can be set up for each student needing only the basic of information. All of this functionality can be accessed via a single page settings page. There is a very comprehensively written in-app user guide.

    Devices: iOS


    Talk For Me is specifically for those with speech communication difficulties, Influenced by Speech Pathologists & Speech Therapists, Talk For Me is a multipurpose communication tool that allows people communicate their needs using images that they take with their iPod, iPhone or iPad.

    Devices: iOS


    Kid in Story Book Maker is a story book creator application that allows you to create and Share Personalised Photo Storybooks. Particularly useful in the creation of Social Stories for young people on the autistic spectrum but also as a literacy resource to use for all young learners.

    Devices: iOS


    SpeechCompanion helps to improve mouth and tongue motor skills with speech therapy exercises.The SpeechCompanion contains short videos where a speech therapist demonstrates mouth or tongue motor exercises. 

    Devices: Android


    Clicker Docs provides children with a talking word processor on the iPad. The app includes a range of writing support tools to help pupils create accurate, flowing documents. Clicker Docs is an excellent app that can be used with children of a variety of ages and abilities to develop their writing skills. The app receives EAS Recommended status.

    Devices: iOS


    My First AAC is an affordable augmentative and alternative communication application for the iPad that is specifically designed for toddlers and preschoolers with delayed speech or severe speech disorders.

    Devices: iOS


    ConversationBuilderTeen is a teen version of the popular and award winning ConversationBuilder virtual conversation simulator. It is designed to help teenaged children learn how to have multi-exchange conversations with their peers in a variety of social settings. The auditory pattern of conversation is presented in a visual format to help students recognize and master the flow of conversation.

    Devices: iOS


    Using My Words to Ask For What I Want Social Story comprises of a 13 page social story about using words to ask for what you want.  The app includes a section that can be used as a visual prompt or mini communication device for asking for 9 common requests.    The story focuses on why it is important to use words to ask for things that you need or want.  Illustrations and visual prompts support understanding for verbal and less-verbal children alike.

    Devices: iOS


    Articulation Station is a comprehensive articulation application to help children speak and pronounce their sounds more clearly. The app enables practice at letter, word and sentence level to improve pronunciation and phonological awareness. Each word has 60 target words and all together Articulation Station Pro has over 1,000 target words. The lite version contains the 'P' sound program for you to try for free with additional sound programs costing between £2.99 & £5.99. Articulation Station pro costs £44.99.

    Devices: iOS


    LetterSchool is a beautifully designed handwriting app that will teach your children how to write letters (both upper and lower case) and numbers (from 1 to 10) in an animated and fun way. Using a set of four activities, LetterSchool can really enchant your children  to play with the app for a long time. This is a literacy based app that is aimed at helping young children who are taking their first steps in learning how to read and write. Based on a large amount of research the app has been developed to provide children with the best approach in learning how to first formulate letters and shapes and then how to create letters as part of words. The research behind the app has also created the best approach for children as they learn how to create letters. This app could be used as both a school and home learning app as the learning that is undertaking through it could be applied to either usage.

    Devices: Android,iOS


    Splingo is a high-quality, interactive game designed by Speech and Language Therapists/Pathologists to help children learn listening and language skills. The game is instructional based whereby the user needs to follow instructions to complete a variety of tasks.

    Devices: Android,iOS