Are mainstream apps OK for my kid with special needs?
Yes, many mainstream apps are great for kids with special needs. Many kids are very tech-savvy and enjoy the popular apps that neurotypical kids play. Mainstream apps can boost a sense of independence and confidence in kids with special needs, provide the ability to ask for help, and let them challenge themselves.
When you're choosing apps for your child, let her share what interests her. Many "mainstream" apps can be modified or have different skill levels, allowing kids of all abilities to use them.
Here are a few to try.
- Marlee and the Diamond Earring (Android). This hide-and-seek game can help kids with memory and visual spatial relations issues.
- Toontastic (iOS). Toontastic walks kids through the basics of the story arc (setup, conflict, challenge, climax, and resolution), letting them choose their scenery and characters or draw their own from scratch, then record their own dialogue and choose appropriate music.
- Toca series (iOS, Android). A collection of interactive apps on a wide array of subjects that can help kids with social skills and motor and visual coordination.
Vicki Windman contributed to this article.