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January 2013 / Bronx/​Riverdale Family / Brooklyn Family / Long Island Family / Manhattan Family / Queens Family / Staten Island Family

Apps for kids with special needs

Incorporating technology into the life of a person with special needs

Many children, teens, and young adults were begging and pleading for an Apple iPad or other tablet to be tucked under the Christmas tree, or given as the grand finale to their Chanukah celebration.

For those family members who have unique personalities, such as autism spectrum disorder or other special need, brainstorming how to integrate this tool into their lives can be a bit tricky. But, with some organization and thoughtful purchases, this device can be the gift that keeps on giving.

The amount of apps available can be overwhelming. A simple internet search for “Best Autism Apps” or “Best Apps for Speech-Language Delays in Children” can list some solid choices. After that, you’ll become fluent on how to hunt for specifics. Always be aware of age-appropriate curriculum.

There is an abundance of content to choose from, so be patient and diligent.

For preschoolers and children in primary grades, language development is an all-important goal.

Apps to check out may include: Eat, My First Words, and Actions. School-age children in the intermediate grades would benefit from social apps, such as: Model Me Kids, Emotions, and You Rock Compliments.

Teenagers and young adults could take advantage of apps that promote independence and higher-level thinking skills, as in: Sosh, iDress, and Understanding Inferences.

Just as we engage in our own personal tech time for enjoyment, our family members with special personalities crave this as well. Being aware and sensitive as you shop for apps will help make the tablet a naturally reinforcing item. It can be used as a tool for hobby development, a pre-teaching tool for academics, a tool used for life skill independence, a fun item and activity to use during leisure time, and much more. Teaching these individuals how to fit in with the modern flow of their communities is another form of inclusion they need.

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