Nearly everyone can agree that technology is changing the way we communicate with one another, but the use of technology as a means of educating people, especially the learning impaired, is still somewhat of new concept. Thankfully, innovative technology professionals are building apps that help build skills in identifying emotions, communication, practicing social and perceptual skills, recognizing word reversals, etc.
Below is a list of the top/most used/referred apps that are marketed to the learning impaired.
1. Touch and Learn – Emotions
Age recommendation: Best for ages 3+
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Created by Innovative Mobile Apps, this app is created to assist children who need practice deciphering emotions. Kids play by looking at four photos and then touching the photo of a person showing a specific emotion. You can customize the app by selecting which emotions are shown, adding your own photos and determining whether the requested emotion is spoken as well as displayed in writing.
Age recommendation: Best for ages 2+
Created by AssistiveWare, the app assists speech-impaired kids and becomes the child’s voice. This app charges more because it has a very limited market, required years of research to create, and is constantly updated for free.
The app provides a pictorial interface for kids to use. Known as an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device, the app lets kids tap on symbols or type to direct the iPad to speak for them. It can be customized to provide simple or detailed speech, using clear expressive voices. Kids even have the option of having a child’s voice speak for them.
3. LetterReflex – Overcoming Letter Reversals & Backwards Writing in Early Childhood Development & Dyslexic Children
Age recommendation: Best for ages 4+
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Created From BinaryLabs, Inc., this apps assists children with dyslexia or a preschooler who is frequently mixing up his b’s and d’s or p’s and q’s, this app helps with recognizing letter reversals by having kids play two different games. In the first, which uses the tilt aspect of the iPad, kids direct marbles into the holes formed by b’s, d’s, p’s, and q’s. In the second game, kids flip words that are formed incorrectly to match a target word.
4. The Social Express
Age recommendation: Best for ages 6+
From The Language Express, Inc., the app is designed for kids who have trouble understanding social situations, this app lets them learn by role-playing through 16 interactive lessons.
Presented as video vignettes starring four animated kids, the lessons clearly reveal the characters’ facial expressions and body language. Kids experiment to see what the right behavior is in typical social situations. By interacting with friendly characters that kids can easily relate to, players learn how to start conversations, be a part of a group, look for hidden rules in social situations, make inferences from sequenced situations and more. While expensive, this app delivers visually-rich and detailed environments rarely seen within the app world. The app is meant to be explored by a child and adult together.
Source: USA Today
Maria Lloyd (@WritingsByMaria) is the Business Manager for the Your Black World Network and Dr. Boyce Watkins. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and an advocate of dismantling the prison industrial complex, increasing entrepreneurship, reforming education, and eradicating poverty.