What’s h’APP’ening? Sites Help Parents Navigate ‘Apps’ for Special Needs

With the tablet revolution well under way and most children regularly enjoying games and learning applications on mobile devices, parents are faced with the daunting task of evaluating technology that evolves and changes even faster than their cable television programming.

The job may be even tougher for parents of children with special needs, but – as more and more reports indicate – the potential benefits of apps and adaptive software are considerable. These websites may help families identify and evaluate this technology created with special interests, developmental needs and challenges in mind.

Common Sense Media’s Power Up! App Guide
Special needs guide created by not-for-profit media review organization, featuring an overview with suggestions for choosing apps that match kids’ needs. Apps are arranged by area of challenge (such as motor skills or math) and difficulty level.

Friendship Circle App Review
Searchable database compiled by nonprofit that provides programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs. Categories include speech and language, social skills, life skills, behavior, education and scheduling; user can specify Apple or Android. 

E-Special Needs Software
Retail website offering software programs designed for students with disabilities such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD), language impairments, developmental disabilities, Down syndrome, aphasia and traumatic brain injury. Also offers adaptive equipment and other assistive technology.

Moms with Apps
List of apps for children with special needs created by Moms With Apps, a group of developers dedicated to family-friendly apps. Site also hosts online forums for parents to discuss concerns and questions about how technology can best fit into their children’s lives.

Autism Speaks
Recommendations by parents and other users for apps designed for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Autism Speaks is a national nonprofit autism science and advocacy organization.

Categories: Early Education, Education, Exceptional Child, Preschool Early Learning