Are you a parent, teacher, or caregiver of a child with special needs? Did you know several apps on smartphones and tablets are proven to be beneficial for students with special needs? Throughout the past year, I have cranked out several lists of apps for covering many special needs. However, a majority of these apps are solely available on iOS devices. I have received several requests for a list of apps for Android devices, so here you go!
Before diving into the Android galaxy, if you do have an iOS device, be sure to check out these previous posts on helpful apps:
- Apraxia and Dysgraphia
- College students with learning disabilities
- Learning and attention issues
- Math apps
- Motor skills
And now I present to you without further ado, the post several have been waiting for:
Drum roll please…
6 Android apps for individuals with special needs
Voice4U is “revolutionary AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) application that helps individuals express their feelings, thoughts, actions, and needs.” It is a possible solution for individuals with communication issues. A few examples of people who may benefit from this app include those with autism, stroke, language barrier, traumatic brain injury and more.
- Over 170 icons consisting of pictures with corresponding words.
- The icons are included with easy-to-listen audios.
- Simple interface makes it easy to find and navigate.
- Users can decide to arrange icons alphabetically, or by genres (e.g. greetings, actions/feelings, etc.)
- Customization options available: users can create their very own icons with own pictures and voice.
The LetMeTalk app can turn one’s Android phone or tablet into an AAC device. According to its description on Google Play, “LetMeTalk is a free AAC talker app for Android which supports communication in all areas of life and therefore providing a voice to everyone.” The LetMeTalk image database contains more than 9,000 simple images from ARASAAC.
- Unlimited creation of new categories and adding new images
- Designed especially for children with autism
- Voice support for images and sentences
- Load/save several profiles on your device and easily switch between them
JABtalk is another example of a free speech communication app. It was initially designed as a communication tool for children with special needs, but has evolved into a tool used by stroke patients, toddlers, speech-language pathologists and more. “By combining personalized voice and images with an extremely simple interface, JABtalk delivers a speech solution that is both fun to use and easy to learn.”
- Navigation designed to be intuitive for toddlers
- Build sentences from words
- Heptic feedback when pressing a word or category for immediate physical feedback
- Ability to capture and import your own pictures and audio
AAC Speech Buddy was created to “quickly and easily create custom Speech Sets Online, which could be loaded on one or many AAC Speech Buddy Apps.” (A Speech Set consists of selected images with corresponding words and sentences.) Further, with the easy-to-use web management, parents, therapists, and teachers can collaborate and work on Speech Sets from any browser on a mobile device or computer.
This feature alone makes AAC Speech Buddy unique from other AAC apps, since no other AAC app gives users the ability to share their created, customized, personalized Speech Sets with others.
AAC Speech Buddy features:
- Once Speech Sets are loaded, they do not require an internet connection to run.
- The app and desktop application only require connection when loading new or updated speech sets.
- Parents, therapists and teachers can create and group Speech Sets into profiles, which allow the sets to load on any AAC Speech Buddy App
Memory Trainer is a free, game-like app that helps provide mental exercise to improve memory. The app is specifically designed to work on one’s spatial and working memory, focus, chunking and concentration skills and more. It also includes graphical progress so users can keep track of their status as training goes on!
According to multiple studies, better memory can improve one’s overall focus, problem-solving, and multitasking skills. It also helps control all types of distractions and keep impulses in check.
Shapes Lite: Autism Series is an Android app that can help teach children about different shapes. The app has been designed by WebTeam Corporation, a development firm that has pioneered the development of an “autism management program comprising screening, assessment, and intervention apps. WebTeam’s ABA-based autism apps help parents, teachers, health care experts, researchers and other stakeholders worldwide efficiently manage the entire life-cycle of autism from infancy to adulthood and employment.”
On this app, users will play an interactive, colorful game depicting an image of a shape (e.g. triangle). Then the user will be given 4 different images (e.g. diamond, square, circle, triangle,) and be instructed to choose the image of the triangle.