Monday, May 23, 2011

Apps for your iThings - Special Needs Edition

I write a fair bit about Apps for our various iThings (Pod, Pad, Phone).  While we don't have a dedicated iPad for Snail yet (we're working on it!), I do have a collection of Apps that Snail loves to play with on my iPad.

A couple of notes - Snail is limited to very simple Apps, single touch or two choices only, really.  We'll be working more on choices between two options once we get the iPad and work it into her school and therapy curriculum.  So, if you're reading this and have a special needs child, the Apps here are fitting into a pretty limited range.  Snail is very intellectually affected, and is worse since seizures and meds over the past few years.  She gets (few) days where choosing is possible, and many where we can scarcely interest her at all in anything (or she is asleep the whole day). With that in mind, here are some Apps she's enjoyed.

Toddler Counting.  This is a fun, simple as anything app where, as you might suspect from it's title, things get counted.  Lolly has got a lot out of this one, and Snail loves it, too.  A simple touch, and the things on the screen are counted aloud.  It moves on automatically to the next screen when finished.  You can set it to stick to numbers under 10.  This app cracks Snail up, every time.  She finds it hilarious, and it consistently gets her to touch the screen and keep engaged [with pauses for bouts of laughter].  She is not great at aiming at the numbers, but the app seems fairly forgiving with where you touch.

Sparkabilities 1 and 2.  These are just fabulous.  See the Sparkabilities site for their principles and DVDs, too.  They respond to single touch to move the simple "story" forward.  They are bright and interesting, and use simple words, most of which Snail can say.  Lolly still likes them!  Awesome.  There is a "find it" section Snail can't do, the prompt (shown below) is a tad small, and these days her focus is not that great :(.

Verbal Victor is a great App for augmentative communication.  You basically make photo options for your child and recording your voice underneath them.  There's a range of options, and being able to record your own message is just fab.  Their site and instructions are here

A couple of site recommendations.  I like Babies with iPads (thought I hate the name, as Snail is 12 and it just makes me sad that she can't do most of the "Babies" apps, *sigh*).  The reviews and information is great, and they also collect donations and give away iPads to special needs kids, which is a great, direct way to give a bit of money!  Spectronics has comprehensive lists of apps and prices.

My other App reviews are here.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for these recommendations -- I am going to pass them along!