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5 apps that make learning easier for students with learning disabilities

Learning disabilities
These apps can make learning easier for children and adults with learning disabilities. Source: Shutterstock

A significant portion of the school population have learning disabilities, ranging from dyslexia to autism.

In the US, the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) states that ” in 2017–18, some 34 percent of all students who received special education services had specific learning disabilities.”

Unfortunately, not all education systems are well set up to help students who learn differently and might need special assistance in the classroom. There are times where technology is really useful, and this is one of those times.

Assistive technology can fill in the gap and help students with learning disabilities, such as text-to-speech software and telepresence robots.

The saying “there’s an app for that” holds true for students with learning disabilities, too. There are a number of apps that can help these students so they can keep up to their peers and learn according to their needs.

Here are five apps that are useful for students with learning disabilities:

ModMath

ModMath is the first free iPad app that helps kids with dyslexia and dysgraphia (writing learning disability) do maths.

Dysgraphia can affect children with a range of learning problems – not only dyslexia, but also those with austism and ADHD.

As students with these challenges find it difficult to read their own writing, this app (developed by parents of a child with both dyslexia and dysgraphia) provides students with virtual graph paper in a pencil-free platform so they can work on problems in a legible format.

Learn with Rufus

Rufus the Robot teaches kids about colours, shapes, fruit and other common objects from a range of examples so they can form broad categories and learn through generalisation.

The app can be customised for kids with varying skills, learning styles and abilities. It was developed by Dr Holly Gastgeb, a clinical and developmental psychologist who works with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Finding that children with ASD have difficulty forming categories and identifying objects, she designed this interactive game to help them. It’s also suitable for children with no learning difficulties.

Articulation Station

Developed under the Little Bee Speech host of apps, Articulation Station helps children learn how to pronounce sounds in English through engaging and fun activities such as flashcards, matching activities and storytelling.

The app was founded by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist to help children and adults with speech and articulation problems learn to speak and pronounce their sounds more clearly.

Austism Core Skills 

This innovative educational platform was built by autism experts to help ASD children reach their full potential.

Themed lessons (animals, trains, sports, etc) on the app teach academic skills such as reading and math, as well as social skills like communication, expressing preferences, staying on topic and  defining categories. The games also teach students to share, take turns and follow rules.

Lessons are embedded with autism best practices, such as errorless learning, discrete trials and visual lists and counters.

Choiceworks 

This app helps kids who struggle with executive functioning, teaching them how to cope with day-to-day activities like schedules, waiting and feelings.

Using pictures, checklists, storyboards and other interactive activities, Choiceworks is an essential learning tool for helping children and their caregivers complete daily routines. It can also be customised for teachers to use in school settings.

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