The term special needs describe a range of conditions that may be medical, psychological, or mental. Some of these conditions can be very mild while others may be profound and last for life. Special needs cover a variety of medical conditions, developmental delays, and genetic conditions that require assistance and support so children can reach their potentials.
Whether it is challenging behaviors, problems at school or difficulties establishing and maintaining relationships, kids with special needs are often challenged in their day-to-day life.
Technology and apps can be beneficial to kids with special needs. Smartphones, iPads, computers, and other tech devices help children with special needs such as developmental delays or challenging behaviors to acquire new skills, improve communication, learn self-regulation, and much more.
Educational Apps Help Kids with Special Needs Improve Communication
Apps help children with learning disabilities, especially with speech delays communicate with their parents, caregivers, and other children. Children with a language or speech delay have difficulties communicating their needs, feelings, wants, or dislikes. Applications such as Go Talk Now or First Phrases HD use augmentative and alternative communication (ACC) to help kids with special needs clearly express their feelings, needs and desires to their parents and caregivers. Whether they help children with communication delays by teaching the language or communicating for them, these apps are a great tool to help kids with special needs experience less frustration and feel much happier.
For example, apps such as First Phrases is an easy-to-use tool for language development that teaches kids two- and three- word phrases, and as such is great for children with expressive or receptive language delays.
Apps like TalkTablet are great communication solutions for kids with speech delays as they actually communicate for the user vis text-to-speech voices and applications. If a child is unable to use his or her voice, they can use these apps to communicate their needs, emotions, desires, or discomfort.
Similarly, Go Talk Now uses imagery representations, so kids just need to tap images representing words to communicate their inner world.
Apps Improve Executive Skills and Organization
Apps that teach life skills like time management, memory, organization, information processing are highly beneficial to kids with special needs as they boost executive function.
Children’s learning success is determined by their executive skills. These skills involve attention, memory, cognitive flexibility, and cognitive control. Research shows that executive skills in kids with ADHD develop more slowly than in kids without ADHD, which causes the delay in these kids’ executive skills.
Apps such as Choiceworks teach kids to explore topics such as feelings or schedules, boosting their executive functioning.
Educational Apps Teach Social Skills and Self-Regulation
Social and emotional skills are essential for kids to build relationships and have fulfilling lives. However, children with autism and other special needs often struggle with their social and emotional skills as well as self-regulation.
Apps like Go Go Games, Look In My Eyes Dinosaur, or Model Me Going Places 2 help kids with autism and other developmental and behavioral delays learn and practice emotional regulation, understanding of other people’s emotions, and communication skills. These are the skills they need to integrate and develop relationships.