Having a kid with learning and behavior challenges requires a lot of learning on your part. What are the best treatment options, best learning environments, how do you locate the best support and resources for you, your child and your family? Most importantly, how do you help your child learn?
Technology to the rescue! There are loads of digital tools out there (some free, some for a reasonable fee) designed to help kids with all kinds of learning challenges. We’ve compiled a list, with links, to a few of the best apps for reading and math, as well as a link to a comprehensive guide of assistive technologies.
ABC Reading Magic is a 5 part series of apps that build off each other to improve reading skills. The three core skills that these apps focus on are blending, segmenting, and reading. These apps also expand your child’s vocabulary so that he/she can recognize and pronounce words that are not normally found in the everyday vocabulary of young learners. Free trials available on iTunes.
The Reading Machine app reduces frustration for early or struggling readers and gives kids the power to teach themselves to read. When they come to a word they don’t know, they type it in and the app shows them how the letters and sounds go together. There’s have decoding support for over 5,000 words, compiled from the words in real, popular books. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Voice Dream will read text from any source — from Microsoft Word and PDF files to web pages. Users can listen to text in one of 36 available voices, and it’s easy to pause, rewind, or fast-forward. Voice and reading speed can be adjusted easily while reading the text. Voice Dream makes it simple to navigate text and start reading anywhere, and users can highlight and make notes in the app as they listen.
Motion Math’s visual, adaptive games help students master the most challenging K-6 standards using growth mindset research to build math fluency, conceptual understanding, and a love of challenge.
ModMath is a free iPad app designed by parents who have a son with dyslexia and dysgraphia. Because they have trouble writing legibly, kids with these challenges can’t read their own writing and their number columns don’t line up. This app helps with concepts like regrouping, long division, multiplication with multiple digits, and more complex math concepts like algebra.
Teen and Adults Phonics, also known as TAP, has an iPad app featuring a library of novels written for teenagers and adults with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. They’ve chosen high-quality literature with sophisticated, edgy and thought-provoking themes that appeal to the mature reader. Additionally, there is a decodability tool and 7 different levels of reading.
The Greatschools.org team has compiled an overview of current assistive technologies in a downloadable document that includes a research-based method for finding the right tools based on your child’s needs, and a practical worksheet about how to match AT tools to your child’s learning issues. The guide also includes consumer tips for evaluating assistive technology products and recommended resources.