Tools for kids with special needs
February 5, 2016  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

For children with special needs, being prepared for school could prove to be a challenge. Fortunately, today there are tools in the form of apps, games and gadgets that can become their best allies, including those that will help them develop the social needs required to play and share with others. Here, at The Toy Blog, we´d like to help you discover the technology that is available for those children that need it most.

Rosa Aparicio, whom we interviewed last year (in Spanish only), told us that  ”she loves to dream things that never were and she strives to make them happen. This educator spent years observing how technology was being implanted in school, benefiting children´s learning skills and development, but not all children. Those with special needs found the devices and proposed activities difficult to use and understand.”

Just like we shared in that article, Aparicio created the blog “iPads & Autism”, a platform that families and professionals can use to voice their ideas and opinions as well as exchange information and create awareness. We invite you to read the other interesting projects that Aparicio is leading here. Remember, in Spanish only.


If you are an educator, parent or work with children, you should know about Common Sense Media, leaders in evaluating books, gadgets, apps, games and movies for kids. With the goal of including all children, this educational platform created a section that offers information and advice to families with kids with special needs, helping them determine which tools are best.

There are apps especially designed for these children, who need extra help reinforcing basic concepts such as getting ready to read and write, number recognition and visual and auditory learning.

The majority of all recommended by Common Sense Media are available for iOS and Android. These include interactive series and books to cultivate their math and social skills. There are also apps for children with autism like QuestioniT (only for iOS).

But before you check them out and download them, we encourage you to tune your devices. This will allows you to customize your smartphone, tablet or computer so your children can benefit and use the technology available. Some setting help kids with visual and auditory impairments as well as kids who have attention deficit disorders.

For iOS, for example, there is a VoiceOver setting (for Android, it´s TalkBack), which narrates the order your son gives offering audio feedback of the actions taking place. Braille is also available via Bluetooth for both platforms. In your settings, you´ll also be able to choose the option of changing screen colours so it improves clarity and amplify written and visual information.

Now you even have the chance to connect earphones to practically any device and slow the audio speed and translate what your son or daughter says to written text. Go ahead and explore all the possibilities.

Did you know about these special settings? Were you already familiar with Common Sense Media? Read the interview we did last year!


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