About this guide

Learn more about how to use this guide and the experts who helped build it.    Read more

About this guide

If your child has a special need or learning difference, you've come to the right place. Common Sense Media gets lots of requests for product recommendations from parents whose kids struggle with traditional learning. Some of their kids have a hard time with schoolwork; others have trouble staying on task or find it difficult to express their feelings.

Our hope for you and your kids

No matter which hurdles your kid faces, the apps and other media included in this guide can give them an added boost. We don't expect an app to be a complete solution, of course. Working with kids who face challenges requires lots of time, attention, and patience on the part of a parent, teacher, or other adult caregiver. Our goal is to offer you a host of fun, well-designed apps that were recommended and tested by field experts. We hope they can become a part of your toolkit as you work with your child.

About the categories

Apps are arranged by challenge area and difficulty level. For each challenge area, we've included an informational overview with a list of typical challenges that kids face, help for choosing apps that match kids' needs, and further resources. You'll also find Power Tips with ideas for other activities you can do.

We've done our homework

Lots of work went into creating this guide. Our team spent several months surveying research, conducting interviews, and field testing products with field leaders, experts, teachers, and parents. In addition, Gayl Bowser, an expert in the field of special needs and technology, helped select products and authored the guide.

Contributing Experts

Lorna Jones Askew
Intervention Specialist
Bellefaire School, University Heights, Ohio
Shira Cherniet
Elementary Teacher
Chime Charter, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Michelle Collins
Special Education Teacher
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Sara Delee
Special Education Teacher
Neil Cummins School, Corte Madera, Calif.
Leigh Burley Fong
Cofounder
Ready Set Go Therapy, Inc.
Lani Hessen
Clinic Director
Kidspace
Amy Martini
Former Reading Recovery Teacher
Ravenswood City School District, East Palo Alto, Calif.
Barbara K. Polland
Professor Emeritus, Child and Adolescent Development
California State University, Northridge
Kelly Priest
Cofounder
Social Foundations LLC
Donna M. Sobel
Associate Professor, Special Education
University of Colorado, Denver
Ali Steers
Speech and Language Pathologist
Chime Charter, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Jackie Hessen
Director
Family Center for Technology and Disabilities
Joy Zabala
Independent consultant
CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology)
Matt Poynter
Director of Education
Oak Hill School, California
Randy Kulman
Founder and President
LearningWorks for Kids
Russ Holland
Director, staff and consultant for Alliance for Technology Access
Cofounder of Adirondack AccessAbility
Sara Castille
Education Specialist, MS/Full Inclusion Specialist
Neil Cummins School, California
Vicki Windman
Special Education Teacher
Clarkstown High School South, New York
Whitney Scott
Associate Professor
California State University, Northridge

No matter which hurdles your kid faces, the apps and other media included in this guide can give him or her an added boost. We don't expect an app to be a complete solution, of course. Working with kids who face challenges requires lots of time, attention, and patience on the part of a parent, teacher, or other adult caregiver. Our goal is to offer you a host of fun, well-designed apps that were recommended and tested by field experts. We hope they can become a part of your toolkit as you work with your child.

About this guide

Learn more about how to use this guide and the experts who helped build it.    Read more

About this guide

If your child has a special need or learning difference, you've come to the right place. Common Sense Media gets lots of requests for product recommendations from parents whose kids struggle with traditional learning. Some of their kids have a hard time with schoolwork; others have trouble staying on task or find it difficult to express their feelings.

Our hope for you and your kids

No matter which hurdles your kid faces, the apps and other media included in this guide can give them an added boost. We don't expect an app to be a complete solution, of course. Working with kids who face challenges requires lots of time, attention, and patience on the part of a parent, teacher, or other adult caregiver. Our goal is to offer you a host of fun, well-designed apps that were recommended and tested by field experts. We hope they can become a part of your toolkit as you work with your child.

About the categories

Apps are arranged by challenge area and difficulty level. For each challenge area, we've included an informational overview with a list of typical challenges that kids face, help for choosing apps that match kids' needs, and further resources. You'll also find Power Tips with ideas for other activities you can do.

We've done our homework

Lots of work went into creating this guide. Our team spent several months surveying research, conducting interviews, and field testing products with field leaders, experts, teachers, and parents. In addition, Gayl Bowser, an expert in the field of special needs and technology, helped select products and authored the guide.

Contributing Experts

Lorna Jones Askew
Intervention Specialist
Bellefaire School, University Heights, Ohio
Shira Cherniet
Elementary Teacher
Chime Charter, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Michelle Collins
Special Education Teacher
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Sara Delee
Special Education Teacher
Neil Cummins School, Corte Madera, Calif.
Leigh Burley Fong
Cofounder
Ready Set Go Therapy, Inc.
Lani Hessen
Clinic Director
Kidspace
Amy Martini
Former Reading Recovery Teacher
Ravenswood City School District, East Palo Alto, Calif.
Barbara K. Polland
Professor Emeritus, Child and Adolescent Development
California State University, Northridge
Kelly Priest
Cofounder
Social Foundations LLC
Donna M. Sobel
Associate Professor, Special Education
University of Colorado, Denver
Ali Steers
Speech and Language Pathologist
Chime Charter, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Jackie Hessen
Director
Family Center for Technology and Disabilities
Joy Zabala
Independent consultant
CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology)
Matt Poynter
Director of Education
Oak Hill School, California
Randy Kulman
Founder and President
LearningWorks for Kids
Russ Holland
Director, staff and consultant for Alliance for Technology Access
Cofounder of Adirondack AccessAbility
Sara Castille
Education Specialist, MS/Full Inclusion Specialist
Neil Cummins School, California
Vicki Windman
Special Education Teacher
Clarkstown High School South, New York
Whitney Scott
Associate Professor
California State University, Northridge