Favorite iOS Apps

Note: Knowing the constraints of an educator's budget, we strive to present low-cost or free apps in this list. However, most free apps represent a limited version of a full, paid app.  In listing apps, we make no endorsements or guarantees. Please add comments to provide feedback or suggestions for this list.

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Between the Lines: Appropriate for older elementary and up, this app provides practice interpreting vocal intonation, facial expressions, perspective-taking, body language, and idiomatic or slang expressions. 

Build a Toy 1: Designed for ages 2+, this app develops visual perception skills, spatial perception skills, and fine motor skills. The child assembles a toy by dragging the parts into their correct places on a drawing.

Calm Myself Down: Uses Applied Behavior Analysis techniques to help children make socially appropriate behavioral choices. By using real pictures and choosing from a familiar list of calming activities, children feel more in control of behavior.

Emotions from I Can Do Apps: Designed by a speech pathologist, this app focuses on helping individuals identify different facial expressions (using real faces) and testing their understanding of emotions. 

Habitica: Gamify your task list and make motivation fun. Modeled after RPGs, Habitica offers rewards and punishments as you advance through the game to help you achieve your goals to become healthy, hard-working, and happy.

Inkflow Visual Notebook: Turns the iPad into a personal whiteboard. Good for visual thinkers. Use finger or stylus to draw, write, etc. Drawings can be resized, sent to email, and exported to PDF or JPEG.

MindMeister: A mind-mapping app that facilitates note-taking, brainstorming, and collaboration. Maps can be synchronized and exported to several formats, including PDF, Word, and PowerPoint.

Miracle Modus: Miracle Modus is a series of mathematical patterns and sound that may help students handle sensory overload. Many individuals enjoy the logical arrangements and find it calming, but others may not.

Skitch: Draw and annotate photos, screenshots, maps, and webpages. Sketches can be saved to Evernote or shared via Tweet.

Touch and Learn - Emotions: Helps children learn to read body language. 

Touch Trainer - Autism & Special Education: An app to teach children how to use touchscreen technology. By practicing with this app, students may be able to use other apps more independently.

Speech and Language

Grace Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal Peoplehelps 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.

Language TherAppy: A family of apps by Tactus Therapy Solutions Ltd, centered around language, reading, writing, conversation and more. Free versions offer decent functionality. Low-cost single versions and a full-featured 4-in-one version are also available.

MyTalk Tools MobileCreated by the parent of a child with special needs, MyTalkTools is an easy, customizable and affordable augmentative, alternative communication (AAC) device. The lite version of the app can be downloaded for a free trial.

Phrase BoardDesigned by a Registered Nurse experienced with clients who were unable to speak or for whom speaking was too taxing. This app features a body diagram to help people indicate pain or make simple requests.

Picture Board: Picture Board is an easy to use interface for people who are unable to speak or see clearly. It is intended to augment the existing communication processes when a person is unable to speak and needs to make simple requests.

Proloquo2Go: A full-featured augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution for people who have difficulty speaking, Proloquo2Go is a popular option for children with autism. This app is costly (around $220) but functionality is outstanding. See iPad Gives Voice to Kids with Autism.

Verbally: Enables users to enter words and phrases via keyboard, buttons, or word predictions. Tap the Speak button to have Verbally say it aloud. The Premium version (around $99) offers additional customization options. Note: not available for iPhone.

Write My Name: Handwriting app that guides you with the correct finger-strokes, so that you are not simply tracing, but learning the proper method to complete each letter. Cute animations or audio reward the user. Read a review of Write My Name.


Fleksy + GIF Keyboard: Originally designed for visually-impaired people, Fleksy uses predictive technology to analyze what you've typed, and to guess what you meant to type. Extensions allow you to find and send GIFs and offer features like Hotkeys and one-handed typing.


Autism AppsA comprehensive list of apps that are being used with and by people diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome and other special needs. It also includes links to any available information that can be found for each app. Apps are separated into over 30 categories.

Doceri: Combines screencasting, desktop control, and an interactive whiteboard to allow the instructor to face the class at all times. Can share to iTunes, YouTube, Facebook or save to camera roll. The free version includes a Doceri watermark that is added to all images.

Mint: Easily pulls all a student's finances into one place to track spending, create a budget, receive bill reminders, and get customized tips for reducing fees and saving money. 

Nova ElementsAn interactive periodic table of elements from PBS. Students can build the molecules and atoms by adding protons, neutrons, and electrons. The “hands-on” nature of this app is a good fit for students who need a kinesthetic experience.

PillPackCreates custom and flexible medication reminders based on time of day, day of week, and location.

ShowMeAllows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online. Can import images. Easy embedding for sharing. Can share presentations at showme.com.

Signlex: A signing lexicon for American Sign Language (ASL) displaying video and explanatory description. Free version contains 99 signs; paid version contains over 2000 words, with almost two hours of filmed material. Works offline, compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Talking Scientific Calculator: Designed for a wide range of users, this calculator has large colorful buttons, optional high contrast, full VoiceOver support, and the option to use speech for answers, buttons names and formulas.

Z5 Mobile: Allows deaf and hard of hearing people to make and receive point-to-point calls to/from any videophone, as well as make and receive calls to hearing people using video relay service (VRS).