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SEN Resources Blog

Georgina Durrant, a mum of two, teacher, SENCO, and tutor for children with SEN, created the SEN Resources Blog to share her recommendations and ideas for learning activities at home. 

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The SEN Resources Blog featured Special iApps in an article all about how to choose a high quality learning app for children with Special Educational Needs. Read an excerpt of the blog below by Georgina Durrant, or read the full article here

child using Special Numbers on iPhone

"In my experience, many educational apps try to be exciting, colourful, full of movement and sound in order appeal to children (and to compete against the thousands of other apps on the market). And whilst these features clearly engage many children and encourage learning through play (which is brilliant!) they often aren’t suitable for some children with Special Educational Needs for various reasons.

I’ve also found that when looking for apps that help develop skills such as fine motor skills, communication skills, literacy and basic numeracy- the apps are often not age appropriate for older children with special educational needs. There are some fantastic ‘baby’ apps for example, for helping children learn first words or learn to count, but they are aimed at babies and so often aren’t engaging for many older children.

Child using Special Words on iPhone

Thankfully, there are apps out there that have taken these things (and many more factors) into consideration. We were excited to find out about Special iApps who create educational apps that are specifically designed for children with Special Educational Needs.

There’s a lot of factors that make Special iApps suitable for children with Special Educational Needs, these include:

  • No time-limits or count down timers – Ensuring children have as long as they need to complete the task without any pressure.
  • No distracting background music, colours or moving characters – We loved how simple the design of each of Special iApps games was- great for helping children (for example autistic children) focus more easily on the task in hand. It also makes the games appear more grown up and not ‘babyish’.
  • Support Children Who Find Touch Screen Apps Difficult – one of our frustrations with some apps is that children with difficulties with fine motor control find they can’t select the correct answer on apps because their movements with their fingers might not be accurate enough. What’s great about Special iApps is children can still get the correct answer if they accidentally tap more than once, take their finger off or don’t position the card completely over the box.
  • Fully Personalised – The most exciting thing about Special iApps is how much you can personalise their apps for your child’s needs, likes, dislikes etc and also to make it more relevant to them. The detail and depth to how you can personalise their apps is honestly incredible. You can fully personalise Special Words by changing the images in the games to your own photos and even record your own voice or the child’s voice for them to listen to! And you can personalise the game to fit your learning objectives, by changing the word list to the words you are currently helping them to learn."