Below is a compiled list of various resources for those that are new to using an iPad with their special needs individual, or just wanting to check out various resources. When our daughter first received an iPad I looked all over the internet at a variety of information. Problem was, by the time I bookmarked it or jotted it down in a note, I would forget to go back and see what I had come across. Over time I finally compiled this list! As a parent I thought it would be easier to go to one place to see some resources that are available. As you can see there is a lot of information out there and new information being added all the time.
If you don’t see something on here that has helped you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment and I can add it onto here.
The format for the information listed below is:
Name of the Facebook group/page, Website, Blog etc.
Links to access
Description of what each individual/group/etc. has written to describe what they offer as “quoted” on their page. This will hopefully allow you to see a glimpse of what might be beneficial for you to check out, or not, based on your needs.
CHAT Bag LLC and Lori Holbrook are not affiliated with any of the following companies, individuals, etc except for the CHAT Bag. The information provided is to hopefully help out the individual who is looking to get started on the iPad or is looking for various resources.
Facebook Pages/Groups and their Websites:
Lilies Pad: https://www.facebook.com/LilliesPad
“The mission of this site is to be a resource for everything special needs related to the iPad and the iPhone. Whether it be apps, videos, music, news stories, accessories, links, helpful hints, etc.”
• Website: http://www.lilliespad.com
App Friday: https://www.facebook.com/AppFriday
“Family-friendly app developers and enthusiasts, promoting apps together.”
• Website: http://momswithapps.com/app-friday/
Appy Mall: Technology in Education: https://www.facebook.com/techinspecialed
“This is a website to collect and distribute Tools, hardware and applications available for the enhancement of technology in education with emphasis in Special education.”
• Website: http://techinspecialed.com/
“Look 2 Learn is dedicated to the support of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders through the development of new and affordable applications for the Apple® iPhone© and iPad©. As school districts and parents are increasingly becoming interested in the idea that such devices can be used as alternate forms of communication and education for students who are non-verbal, Look 2 Learn has to date released three titles focused on supporting many of the core issues related to their special needs.”
• Website: http://www.look2learn.com
“About: Apps, iPads and a community of Very Special People, changing lives.
Mission: To help provide parents and educators with more information about Apps for the iPad and other such devices that can benefit children in the home and school environment.”
• Website: http://www.a4cwsn.com
iHelp SN Kids: https://www.facebook.com/iHelpsnkids
“To showcase people who are showing initiative by fundraising themselves for an iPad or other Specialised Equip. for their child with Special Needs.”
• Website: http://ihelpsnkids.blogspot.com.au/
Bridging Apps: https://www.facebook.com/pages/BridgingApps/172185472886296
“BridgingApps is a volunteer community of parents, therapists, doctors, and teachers who share information on how we are using the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices with people who have special needs. We have found these mobile devices to provide accessibility for people who may have been previously disengaged from the world because of challenging language, motor, or other developmental delays.”
• Website: http://bridgingapps.org
Best Apps For Kids:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Best-Apps-for-Kids/122485731112165
“The BestAppForKids.com site reviews – well, the best apps for kids. We also include weekly giveaways, promo codes and other app news.”
Moms With Apps:https://www.facebook.com/momswithapps
“Moms With Apps supports family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families.”
“I am a two kids mom and also an app developers. I started developing apps for iPad/iPhone last year May. By that time, I was teaching my younger son to learn phonics and reading. I found out that iPad is the best tool for kids to learn how to read. The apps I made really helped him a lot. And also for myself I really enjoy developing apps. I made 40 apps so far. I will continue to make more apps. I like to give free apps and promo codes to my fans. I hope I can get more people to support me.”
Special Apps, Special Kids:https://www.facebook.com/SpecialAppsSpecialKids
“Special Apps, Special Kids is a page focusing on gathering Apps for iPhone/iPodTouch/iPad FOR ALL KIDS and other resources to help children with special needs. Please feel free to join in and add to the conversation! App Developers, if you have an app that is motivational, inspiring, educational or creates accessibility, feel free to send it my way to review and share. If you don’t want an honest review, this is not the place.”
• More iPad Resources (click on link below):
The REMLE Project:https://www.facebook.com/at4asd
“The REMLE Project, LLC is a social enterprise whose mission is to show others the love of God by providing free evidence-based application training and disseminating assistive technology devices to families and individuals with limited or no access to such services. We are focused on community and believe that bringing all stakeholders together, app developers, professionals, families, and educators, will increase collaborative efforts so that physical needs may be met and so that focus can be placed on our spiritual lives and the purposes for which we were created. We provide training, research and opportunities to receive access to devices through rental programs, fund-raising, and discounted pricing.”
“Welcome to AppAble.
We are here to help promote apps (and their Developers) that benefit the Special Needs Community. We will also be a place for people to ask and give app advice to SN parents and teachers. We hope Developers will be active members of the page. Advising how to get the best out of their apps and also listening to what WE all would like to see added to the app world for our kids.”
Puzzled Parents is a small informal group of parents with children that have all types of disabilities that get together for fun, resources, support and sharing!
Our mission is to connect families with resources in San Diego for their disabled child and to provide regular support for all family members.”
Smart Apps For Kids:https://www.facebook.com/smartappsforkids
“Kids app reviews, giveaways and freebies for the iPad, iPhone and iPod.”
Appy Ladies: https://www.facebook.com/TheAppyLadies?fref=pb
NOTE: This is not a Non-Profit Organization..I just didn’t know what other kind of page to call it! I am an Autism Specialist with a knack for technology. Our district has recently purchased Apple products and I want to know more!!”
The mobile education store was born from a father’s desire to help his special needs daughter. Our family had invested thousands of dollars in special education software, and almost always came away from the experience disappointed. Not only were the programs incredibly expensive, but they lacked the variety of content and engaging play that makes our daughter WANT to play. We exist to fill the large gap that exists between the availability and cost of commercial special needs software and the needs of everyday parents.”Website: http://mobile-educationstore.com
App Co-op For Special Needs:https://www.facebook.com/groups/137437923037124/
“This group is for developers, parents, teachers, related services and caregivers to collaborate and share ideas for Apps for the special needs population.
As our special needs children grow they sometimes are still working on the very basics but need apps to reflect their chronological growth while they are still working on their basic skills.
There are many areas that still have not been tapped into for special needs and hopefully by sharing suggestions and thoughts new apps will be developed to meet a wider range of needs for all our special population not just the younger set but from toddler to senior citizens.
If you are a developer and wish to learn more about the needs of the Special Needs Population you’ve come to the right place.
If you take away any ideas please be sure to credit where you got the idea from and maybe even share a promo code with those who have inspired you. 🙂
If you are a parent, educator, related services or caregiver and need something specific that you have not be able to find then this is a good place to make your wishes known by sharing your ideas and needs with the developers.
When we all work together our special needs population will always be the winner.”
This is a closed group. You do need permission to join.
iTeach Special Education-iDevices in Special Education:
“This group is a very active support network for those using iOS devices and apps in special education. We welcome any special education/general education/inclusion teachers, program specialists, administrators, service providers (SLP/OT/PT), AT consultants/specialists, ABA therapists, parents, students, as well as app developers!”
This is an open group.
Apps & Their Facebook Pages/Websites that were discussed in our Touch Technology Presentation
The following 3 apps are ones that our daughter personally uses!!
“The Choiceworks App is a picture-based learning tool that helps children complete daily routines, understand and control feelings, improve their waiting skills and make choices.”
Proloquo 2 Go:https://www.facebook.com/proloquo2go
“Proloquo2Go is an AAC solution for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad developed by AssistiveWare. Proloquo2Go is changing the world of communication for people with disabilities.”
i Write Words:http://www.giggle-lab.com/iwritewords.html
“iWriteWords teaches your child how to write in an easy and fun way.
How to play:
Help Mr. Crab collect the numbers in sequence by dragging him with your finger – and drawing the letter at the same time. Once all the letters in the word are drawn properly, a cute drawing appears.
Slide the letters into the rotating hole and advance to the next level.”
Miscellaneous Resources for App Information:
Autism Speaks-Apps for Autism:http://www.autismspeaks.org/autism-apps
“List of favorite apps for the Autism Speaks Community”
Moms with Apps-Apps for Special Needs:http://momswithapps.com/apps-for-special-needs/
“These apps for special needs were made by the developers at Moms With Apps to assist children and families. We will update this list periodically. If you have feedback on the apps, please contact the developers as they are very open to collaboration. The descriptions below are NOT reviews – they are descriptions written by the developers.”
One Place for Special Needs:http://www.oneplaceforspecialneeds.com/main/library_special_needs_apps.html
“The most detailed app guide for special needs families, speech therapists, occupational therapists, social workers and teachers! Our guide breaks down apps by skill set so you can easily find and buy apps that most benefit your child. Great for kids with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, apraxia, learning disability, sensory issues and more. Included are apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and some Android apps. Get started right now by clicking on a category. Contact me if you’d like to add your app to our list. Read on to learn How to pick great apps and What’s on my iPad?”
by Dawn Villarreal, One Place for Special Needs
Getting Started: iPads 4 Special Needs Book:
Publication Date: March 20, 2012
“The iPad can be a very powerful tool for the special needs user, but deciding to buy one is not the end of the story. This handbook addresses not only why you should consider an iPad for your special needs user, but also which one to buy, the accessories that may be necessary for a special needs user – case, stylus, keyboards, switch access, Braille interfaces, wheelchair mounting and more – all with a particular focus on the special needs user. This book will also guide you through goal setting, basic and advanced set up options, finding apps and encouraging your user to interact with the iPad. Getting Started: iPads for Special Needs covers – What the iPad is, what it can do for your special needs user, and why you should buy one – What iPad you need to buy, including the device itself, appropriate accessories, assistive technology and adaptation – How to set-up your iPad, with basics such as buying apps, syncing and back-up – Goal setting – Advanced set-up options – Accessibility features – Alternative Augmentative Communication on the iPad – Getting the most from your iPad – finding apps, creating your own content – Maintenance and Troubleshooting on your iPad Co-founder of bridgingapps.org (part of Easter Seals of Greater Houston) and parent Sami Rahman presents a clear roadmap for not only determining whether or not an iPad would be helpful to your special needs user, but which version to buy, how to set up and protect your iPad with the special needs user in mind. Advanced set-up options, using Apple’s built-in accessibility options, apps and accessories are all discussed, as well as Tips and Tricks for using the iPad with the special needs user.”
“Various links to a lot of websites, blogs, reviews, etc.”
My Aspergers Child: http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2012/08/best-apps-and-audiobooks-related-to.html
“Best iPhone and iPad Apps, Books and Audiobooks Related to Autism Spectrum Disorders”
App and Product Reviews:http://www.specialeducationadvisor.com/app-and-product-reviews/
Some app and Product Reviews.
Links to various articles and websites.
“Are you thinking of purchasing an iPad, but are unsure of where to start? Do you have an iPad, but are having a hard time using the iPad effectively? Do you have the right accessories? Let BridgingApps help.
BridgingApps is pleased to offer the iPad Selection and First Steps Service. We will provide you with a customized plan that will ensure that you have the right equipment, short-term goals and confidence gained by having a plan. This service is designed with the special needs user in mind and can be beneficial for parents, caregivers, therapists, teachers or individuals with disabilities.”
“Do you have an iPad, but struggle to figure out which apps will work best for you or someone you know with a disability? Let BridgingApps help with your unique situation.
The App Selection service for special needs users will match applications or “apps” to goals of people who have special needs. We have found that providing app selection expertise has enabled people with special needs to progress towards reaching individual goals. BridgingApps will recommend appropriate applications customized for a special needs user to support up to 5 IEP goals . In lieu of a formal IEP, up to 5 goals can be identified by parents, caregivers, therapists, teachers or individuals with disabilities to focus on. Whether you have a school-aged child with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or have specific skills that you want to improve, BridgingApps can assist you by selecting apps for your particular needs.”
There is a cost involved for both of these!!
Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs:
“Resources and ideas for teachers of learners with severe, profound, intensive, significant, complex or multiple special needs.”
Gadget Wise: Finding Good Apps for Children With Autism
“The Apple iPad has been hailed as a savior for assisting children with autism spectrum disorder or other special needs. It was portrayed as a minor miracle in a recent segment on “60 Minutes” and has been found to help even the very young quickly learn.”
Autism Speaks: http://www.autismspeaks.org/autism-apps
“Do you have a favorite autism app you’d like to add to this list? Email us at FSDB@AutismSpeaks.org and we would be happy to share your recommendation with the Autism Speaks community!”
Grace App: http://www.graceapp.com
“The Grace App for Autism helps autistic and other special needs children to communicate effectively, by building semantic sequences from relevant images to form sentences. The app can be easily customized by using picture and photo vocabulary of your choice.”
Accessible Technology Coalition:
iPad/iPhone/iTouch AAC Apps Sorted by Age Appropriateness:
Some augmentative and assistive communication (AAC) apps for the iPad, iPhone, and iTouch have been designed for children, others will be best for adults, and still others are age-neutral. This article provides guidance on which apps to start with for each age range. However, these are not hard-and-fast categories; the link to detailed descriptions of each app will give you additional information to help with selection.
Articles and/or Video about Benefits of the Apple iPad
with Special Needs:
iPads Help Autistic Kids Communicate: Featuring, our daughter, Hannah!
Touch technology applications, like those on iPads, are helping children with special needs, like autism, communicate with the outside world.
NJ Special Needs Students Learn with iPads:
CNN-iPad gives a voice to kids with Autism:
Touchscreen iPads are giving voice to autistic children, adults
Apps for it and other tablets aid those with trouble verbalizing their thoughts
Education and therapy apps also help with other aspects
Therapist: Apple’s Steve Jobs gave a voice to the voiceless”
60 Minutes-Apps for Autism
October 23, 2011 12:10 PM
“Autistic people whose condition prevents them from speaking are making breakthroughs with the help of tablet computers and special applications that allow them to communicate, some for the first time.”- Lesley Stahl reports.
Carrying Tools & Protective Cases
“The CHAT bag was inspired by our daughter who has Down Syndrome, Autism, and Apraxia. She currently uses an iPad to communicate with us. I wanted to create a versatile bag that had adjustable straps, soft fabric with colorful designs, and have the screen exposed at all times for easy access. Now she can carry her bag anywhere and CHAT (Children Have A Tool) with us.”
“A pediatric RN who provides care for children with complex medical needs and developmental delays Kristen Lazuka created the “Gab n Go Harness” for the need of one young patient, but her experience with the need for communicative devices happened closer to home when she adopted her second child, Nikolas, from Romania. At 14 months, Nick who was non-verbal was diagnosed with autism. By 18 months, he used both sign language as well as PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) for communication. He received his first augmentative communication device, a Dynavox MT4, when he was 6, and then soon after he began speaking. “It was an amazing process to watch as he grew. He is now 13 years old and an effective verbal communicator,” said Lauzka.
OtterBox Defender Series:www.otterbox.com
OtterBox Defender Series is a popular protective case. We have this case on our iPad 1.
Griffin Survivor Series is another popular protective case. We have this case on our daughters iPad 2.
Autism Plugged In:
“These 6 Great iPad Cases for Kids With Autism are the perfect way to justify putting a piece of technology worth hundreds of dollars into the hands of a child. I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you, but as a reminder: iPads and other electronic devices can easily be dropped by anyone … accidents do happen! So, for most parents of children with special needs, these iPad cases are a must.
The iPad and all of the apps featured here on Autism Plugged In won’t do your child any good if the device gets broken from an accidental drop.
Check out these protective cases, and then pick one – you’ll be glad you did.”
Friendship Circle: Special Needs Blog-
“You just invested in a shiny new iPad for you child with special needs. Next, you lay out some more money to purchase a few communication apps, install them and your child is off and running with a $500 piece of equipment. Minutes later you see the iPad less bounce its way down those beautiful wooden stairs of yours…
And then you woke up from your nightmare.
You were smart enough to purchase a protective case for the iPad. Your child gets to develop communication and social skills while dad becomes an Angry Birds champion.
Make sure you don’t have an iPad nightmare…
here are 13 14 great cases that will protect your iPad investment!”