Complete guide to educational and special needs apps

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The most detailed app guide for special needs families, speech therapists, occupational therapists, social workers and teachers! Our guide breaks down apps by skill set so you can easily find and buy apps that most benefit your child. Great for kids with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, apraxia, learning disability, sensory issues and more. Included are apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and some Android apps. Get started right now by clicking on a category. Contact me if you'd like to add your app to our list. Read on to learn How to pick great apps and What's on my iPad?

by Dawn Villarreal, One Place for Special Needs


Special needs apps
These apps are specific to the special needs population.

Special needs apps (alls) - Activity schedule apps - American sign language apps - Assistive technology apps - Augmentative and alternative communication apps - Braille apps - Choice boards apps - Communication boards apps - Communication devices apps - Following routine apps - Text to speech apps - Visual schedule apps - Visual systems apps

Disability specific apps
These apps have been identified for a specific disability by the app developer.

ADHD apps - Aphasia apps (brain injury, stroke) - Apraxia apps - Autism apps - Down syndrome apps - Learning disability apps - Sensory processing disorder apps - Stuttering apps

Skills acquisition apps
These apps work on a variety of skill sets.

Auditory processing apps (all) - Auditory attention apps - Auditory discrimination apps - Auditory memory apps

istock boy thinkingBehavioral apps (all) - ABA resources apps - Behavior charts - Data collection apps - Timer apps

Cognitive thinking (all) - Attention and focus apps - Creative thinking apps - Critical thinking apps - Executive functioning apps - Fact of opinion apps - Following directions apps - Inferential thinking apps - Pattern recognition apps - Problem solving apps - Sequential processing apps - Spatial recall apps - Working memory apps

Fine motor apps (all) - Finger dexterity apps - Finger tapping apps - Hand eye coordination apps - Handwriting apps - Letter tracing apps - Motor planning apps

Language skills app (all) - Expressive language apps - Pragmatic language apps - Receptive language apps - Record your voice apps - Qualitative concepts apps - Spatial concepts apps - WH questions apps

Life skills (all) - Brushing teeth apps - Cooking skills apps - Crossing street apps - Driving skills apps - Hygiene skills apps

Sensory auditory stimulation apps - Sensory visual stimulation apps

Social skills apps (all) - Body language apps - Conversation skills apps - Eye contact apps - Facial expressions apps - Pragmatic language apps - Pretend play apps - Social modeling apps - Social story apps - Understanding emotions apps

Speech skills apps (all) - Articulation apps - Oral motor apps - Phonological processes apps - Record your voice apps - Speech assessment apps - Speech intelligibility apps - Speech sounds apps - Tongue positioning apps

Visual processing apps (all) - Convergence apps - Line tracking apps - Pursuits apps - Saccades apps - Visual closure apps - Visual discrimination apps - Visual memory apps - Visual motor apps - Visual scanning apps - Visual spatial apps - Visual tracking apps

Early learning apps
Apps for toddlers and those working on early learning concepts.

Early learning apps (all) - Alphabet aps - Animals apps - Colors apps - Drawing apps - Identifying people apps - Interactive books apps - Music apps - Numbers apps - Patterns apps - Same and different apps - Shapes apps - Sorting and matching apps - Spatial concepts apps - Telling time apps - Word categories apps

Educational apps
Apps broken out by curriculum and learning concepts.

Educational apps (all)

Art apps

Astronomy apps (all) - Constellations apps - NASA apps - Solar system apps

Grammar apps (all) - Adjectives apps - Adverbs apps - Antonyms and synonyms apps - Conjunctions apps - Homophones apps - Interjections apps - Nouns apps - Prepositions apps - Pronouns apps - Verbs apps

Math apps (all) - Algebra apps - Calculus apps - Consumer math - Counting money apps - Decimals apps - Fractions apps - Geoometry apps - Math facts apps - Measurement apps - Percents apps - Probability apps - Telling time aps

istock boy scienceMusic apps (all) - Musical instruments apps - Percussion apps - Tonic Sol-fa apps

Physical education apps

Reading apps (all) - Beginner readers apps - Chunking apps - Comprehension apps - Fluency apps - Inferences apps - Phonemic awareness apps - Phonics apps - Speech sounds apps - Vocabulary apps - Word categories apps - Word families apps

Reference apps

Science apps (all) - Biology apps - Body systems apps - Periodic table apps - Physics apps

Social studies apps (all) - Archaeology apps - Geograpy apps - History apps - U.S. States apps

Spelling apps (all) - Sight words apps

Writing apps (all) - Figure of speech apps - Written expression apps

Health apps
Variety of apps on medical, wellness and fitness issues.

Health apps (all) - Asthma apps - Calorie counter apps - Decibel levels apps - Diabetes apps - First aid apps - Fitness apps - Gluten free apps - Hygiene apps - Medical communication boards apps - Medical reference apps - Medication management apps - Relieve stress apps - Sleep apps

Parenting apps
Apps to assist parents in raising their children.

Parenting apps (all) - Back to school apps - Chore charts apps - IEP apps - Internet safety apps - Parenting teens apps - Potty training apps - Setting time limits apps

istock boy readingProductivity apps
Apps to make life a little more organized.

Productivity apps (all) - Calculator apps - Grocery shopping apps - Locator apps - Note taking apps - Study skills apps - Task management apps - Timer apps - Voice recorder apps

Therapist tools apps
Apps for therapists and educators to aid in working with their clients.

Therapist tools (alls) - Age calculators apps - Case load tracker apps - Data collection apps - Voice recorder apps

Apps by category
These are the above skills and educational apps but listed by topic of interest.

Animals apps - Community helpers apps - Dinosaurs apps - Disney apps - Fireworks apps - Food apps - Glow apps - Holiday apps - Household objects apps - Kaleidoscope apps - Maps apps - Musical instrument apps - Pirate apps - Robot apps - Roller coaster apps - Space apps - Star Wars apps - Traffic and parking apps - Train and railroad apps - Vehicles apps

Games apps
These are the above skills and educational apps but listed by the type of activity.

Balance apps - Battleship apps  Blowing apps - Checker apps - Chess apps - Choose your own adventure apps - Connect 4 apps - Connect the dots apps - Conveyor belt apps - Curling apps - Dice games apps - Drawing boards apps - Hangman apps - Hidden picture apps - Hide and go seek apps - Interactive books apps - Magic tricks apps - Match 3 apps - Memory match apps - Origami apps - Peg Solitaire apps - Quick reaction apps - Racing apps - Reversi apps - Scrabble apps - Shooting gallery apps - Sound boards apps - Spirograph apps - Spot the differences apps - Sticker apps - Storytelling apps - Strategy apps - Tetris apps - Time management games apps - Vocabulary games apps - Word games apps - Yahtzee apps

istock girl magnifying glassPuzzles apps
These are the above skills and educational apps but listed by puzzle type.

Anagrams apps - Code breaking apps - Jigsaw puzzles apps - Logic puzzles apps - Mazes - Mystery apps - Optical illusions apps - Pentomino puzzles apps - Physics puzzles apps - Slide puzzles apps - Tangrams apps

Additional resources

App blogs - Apps and technology articles - iPad financial assistance - Complete Android app list - Complete iPad app list - Complete iPhone app  list

More resources

7 Things the iPhone has that the iPad doesn’t

9 Things the iPad has that the iPhone doesn’t

Accessing the iPad: Mouthsticks, Head Pointers and Styluses

Apple iPad, iPod Touch might help people with autism take steps toward independence

Apple's iPad Brings Easy Reading to the Blind

ATMac - Empowering Disabled Apple Users

iPad Assistive Technology/Disability Round-Up

iHelp for Special Needs

Stories: iPad Users with Disabilities

Using the iPad when you can't pick it up

Dawn VillarrealAbout the writer

Dawn Villarreal ( runs One Place for Special Needs, a national disability resource that lets you find local and online resources, events and even other families in your neighborhood plus thousands of online disability resources! Stay awhile and check out the site. Reprint permission granted by including: Reprinted with permission from One Place for Special Needs