Apps for Special Needs

Special needs children consists of those that fall under the categories of autism, learning disabilities, ADHD, down syndrome and others. These children have a myriad of conditions and developmental difficulties that prevents them from communicating and learning properly. The usage of apps for helping and teaching special needs children has been nothing short of a miracle. Together with devices like iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, they offer some form of solution in managing and improving specific conditions. Using devices of this nature have lowered the cognitive base you have to have to interface with a computer. “You touch it, and something happens.” The iPad is especially popular because its bigger screen for easier interaction and its portability compared to a computer. You can read more information on Guadriplegia.

The design of each app is different. Some are designed to address a singular problem like apps for spelling, or they can be for a combination of problems like reading, writing and spelling apps. Reading comprehension is especially important because that gives an individual the ability to learn, make sense of things, and to adapt in society. Whatever the designs are, many parents have attested to the benefits of using them. There is a case where a parent reported that their down syndrome child is able to say a simple sentence after using it for 3 weeks, which he could not do before. Among the problems faced by these children, the most common are difficulties in communication. This includes speaking and non speaking individuals with varying degree of language delays.

Communication skills are vital in getting along in the community. “Proloquo2Go” is a comprehensive, full-featured communication solution for people who have problem with speech. It brings natural sounding text to speech voices, 8,000 symbols. powerful automatic conjugations, a large default vocabulary, full expandability and extreme ease of use on various tablet and mobile devices. The word base construction, together with powerful and handy phrases are very practical tools. This app is suitable for those with asperger spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, developmental disabilities, ALS, traumatic brain injury (e.g. stroke), aphasia, apraxia, and more.

It is often mentioned that these children faced great challenges in social situation, as social situations are complex and need a number of discerning abilities that these children do not possess. In a study conducted by Indiana University, it was found that by modelling exemplary behaviors, children who are at the low end of social skills ability have shown evidence of improvement in that area. Another good app is ‘Model Me Going Places.” It is a great visual tool for helping children to behave appropriately in different locations in the community. This is done by providing different social stories background. Model Me demonstrate social skills by modelling peer behavior at school, on the playground, at a restaurant, at the doctor’s office, and more. This type of visual aids social stories greatly assist children and adults with developmental delay adjust much better in real life situations.

These apps covers many area of difficulties ranging from communication, reading, writing, spelling, maths, understanding emotions, understanding relationship of things, behavior, manners, daily living skills and so on. Most of them can be used interchangeably among those who have autism, learning disabilities, ADHD, down syndrome and others. Some of these individuals have varying degrees of difficulties, as well as different area of difficulties. Only those individuals themselves or their immediate families will understand and comprehend what they are. So knowing where the difficulties lie is very important and also very personal. Apps of these nature can be used to help even the very young, as one parent mentioned the improvement in their 2 year child in being more interactive with them after just three weeks of usage. It works as well in teens and adults. The future is good for further development of apps for special needs.