Parenting Special Needs Magazine September/October 2013 : Page 40

by Sami Rahman & Cristen Reat A s the school year gets under way, parents of children with special needs are overwhelmed with information, IEP goals, and transition challenges. Here are some app ideas for supporting learning by making it less daunting, and more accessible and enjoyable! This is a list of apps for the iPad, and in some cases the Android platform, that we find particularly useful when it comes to supporting our children with academic tasks. A common feature of nearly all of them is the ability to customize information and create your own content for your child. SpellBoard by PalaSoftware Inc. This is a useful app for helping students T learn, manage and have fun with spelling words. You have the ability to categorize words according to grade level 1-12, record audio pronunciation of the word, and record sentences using the word. Included in the app are fun activities for practicing --Word Scramble, Word Search, and Missing Letter game. Each of these games has “hints” built in, so for those who can get frustrated easily. Price: $4.99 IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spellboard/ id390290951?mt=8&uo=4 Abilipad A b Cheryl Bregman by Created by an OT, Abilipad is a versatile app C t that can be used as a customizable keyboard, w word processor as well as a communication tool. It has text-to-speech, word prediction t and spell check built into the word processing function. The language and voice can also be changed to English, Spanish, German or French with a choice of 20 voices. Keyboards can be edited and fully customized where each key can be assigned a letter, word, sentence or picture with color options. Price: $19.99 IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/abilipad/ id435865000?mt=8&uo=4 Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=390290951 Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=435865000 Write My Name W b NCSOFT by This is a well designed tracing app that is T v versatile for practicing writing letters and w words, in both upper case and lower case. It can be customized to work on tracing any c name or word by using stock pictures or adding your own. Audio can be added so the child traces the letters and then the word is read aloud to them. Price: $3.99 IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/write-my-name/ id500623496?mt=8&uo=4 American Wordspeller A b i.m. Press by For students who need spelling support, this F a app is specifically designed for those who spell w words “how they sound” or, phonetically. It is particularly helpful for ESL students or those who have Dyslexia. It includes 4 tools in 1: brief definition, cross-reference words that sound the same but are spelled differently (ex. petal/ pedal/ peddle) suffix speller, and prefix listed with definition. Price: $4.99 IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/american-wordspeller/id397617771?mt=8&uo=4 Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=500623496 Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=397617771 26 40 PARENTING SPECIAL SPECIAL NEEDS.ORG NEEDS.ORG PARENTING NOV?DEC 2012 SEP/OCT 2013 Photo Courtesy Kristen R. Walton via Facebook PSN Wordless Wednesday

App Tools For

Sami Rahman & Cristen Reat

Back to School Success

As the school year gets under way, parents of children with special needs are overwhelmed with information, IEP goals, and transition challenges. Here are some app ideas for supporting learning by making it less daunting, and more accessible and enjoyable! This is a list of apps for the iPad, and in some cases the Android platform, that we find particularly useful when it comes to supporting our children with academic tasks. A common feature of nearly all of them is the ability to customize information and create your own content for your child.

SpellBoard
by PalaSoftware Inc.

This is a useful app for helping students learn, manage and have fun with spelling words. You have the ability to categorize words according to grade level 1-12, record audio pronunciation of the word, and record sentences using the word. Included in the app are fun activities for practicing -- Word Scramble, Word Search, and Missing Letter game. Each of these games has “hints” built in, so for those who can get frustrated easily.

Price: $4.99
IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spellboard/id390290951?mt=8&uo=4
Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=390290951

Write My Name
by NCSOFT

This is a well designed tracing app that is versatile for practicing writing letters and words, in both upper case and lower case. It can be customized to work on tracing any name or word by using stock pictures or adding your own. Audio can be added so the child traces the letters and then the word is read aloud to them.

Price: $3.99
IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/write-my-name/id500623496?mt=8&uo=4
Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=500623496

Abilipad
by Cheryl Bregman

Created by an OT, Abilipad is a versatile app that can be used as a customizable keyboard, word processor as well as a communication tool. It has text-to-speech, word prediction and spell check built into the word processing function. The language and voice can also be changed to English, Spanish, German or French with a choice of 20 voices. Keyboards can be edited and fully customized where each key can be assigned a letter, word, sentence or picture with color options.

Price: $19.99
IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/abilipad/id435865000?mt=8&uo=4
Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=435865000

American Wordspeller
by i.m. Press

For students who need spelling support, this app is specifically designed for those who spell words “how they sound” or, phonetically. It is particularly helpful for ESL students or those who have Dyslexia. It includes 4 tools in 1: brief definition, cross-reference words that sound the same but are spelled differently (ex. Petal/ pedal/ peddle) suffix speller, and prefix listed with definition.

Price: $4.99
IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/americanwordspeller/id397617771?mt=8&uo=4
Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=397617771

Inspiration Maps
by Inspiration Software, Inc.

This is a great organizational tool for students who need a visual of what they are studying, students who need help with sequencing events, creating outlines and note taking tasks. Students build their knowledge by creating diagrams, maps and organizers that help them brainstorm, plan, and build thinking skills. It comes with helpful templates and documents can be exported and shared.

Price: $9.99
IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/inspiration-maps/id510173686?mt=8&uo=4
Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=510173686

BrainPOP Featured Movie
by BrainPOP®

Watch a different animated movie every day, then test your new knowledge with an interactive quiz – free! For more access to BrainPOP’s award-winning content, choose an optional in-app subscription and enable students to explore more than 750 Science, Math, Social Studies, English, Engineering & Tech, Arts & Music, and Health subjects. All movies are closed captioned..

Price: FREE
IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brainpopfeatured-movie/id364894352mt=8&uo=4
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.brainpop.brainpopfeaturedmovieandroid
Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=364894352

100s Board HC
by Matthew Thomas

This is a digital 100s board that can show and/or hide all of the numbers to 100. Developed by a classroom teacher to use with his students, it was designed to be “high contrast,” making it particularly useful with those who have visual impairments or visual-perceptual challenges. Uses for a 100s board are endless in the classroom and for helping teach number recognition, one to one correspondence, skip counting, number patterns, practice, place value, money, addition, subtraction, etc.

Price: $2.99
IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/100s-board-hc/id507031877?mt=8&uo=4
Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=507031877

SymbolSupport
by Attainment Company

SymbolSupport allows you type any text, and it adds symbols to each word as you type. This is a tool that a caregiver or teacher could use to create documents with symbols for someone who cannot read words or needs symbols to help them comprehend what they are reading. You can make your document as simple or complex as you want, so it can be used for students of all levels and abilities. It comes with a User’s Guide that is easy to access at anytime while creating documents.

Price at time of review: $59.99
IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/symbolsupport/id571654488?mt=8&uo=4
Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=571654488

Special Words
by Special iApps

Special Words teaches students to recognize written and spoken words, and encourages their speech development, using pictures and sounds. It is interactive, allowing children to learn at their own pace with increasing levels of difficulty. The words and pictures are the same as those in the See and Learn Language Reading resources from Down Syndrome Education International. This app has 4 different levels and has a customizable feature, so it is a useful app for children with varied abilities and skills.

Price: FREE
IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/special-words/id451723454?mt=8&uo=4
Android: http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.specialiapps.specialwords
Full review: http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=451723454

For complete review of each of the apps listed here, visit Bridging Apps: http://bridgingapps.org/list/?id=46398

If you are interested in searching for more apps, creating your own list of apps and sharing them, please go to BridgingApps.org. BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston, is a community of parents, therapists, doctors, and teachers who share information about using mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, and Android) with people who have special needs.

Sami Rahman and Cristen Reat are co-founders of BridgingApps.org. Both are parents who found success when using a mobile device with their child with special needs.

Read the full article at http://magazine.parentingspecialneeds.org/article/App+Tools+For/1505133/175292/article.html.

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