These days, everyone seems to have some kind of device not far away, making smartphone and tablet apps ideal tools for ADHD symptom management. If you or your child is having trouble getting through assigned work or can’t seem to focus at work or around the house, find help right on your smartphone or tablet. These apps do everything from set reminders and create to-do lists to improve concentration.
Click here: APPS FOR ADHD
TeachMe: Preschool and Kindergarten is an educational touch app which teaches six different age appropriate subjects to Preschool and Kindergarten aged children: sight words, addition, subtraction, spelling and now writing letters and numbers.
Click here: APPS FOR READING
Reading Rockets has an extensive list of apps for reading. It is a great website for understanding and remediating reading difficulties.
Apps for the older student
LD Reading Apps
Since reading is a portal to knowledge, students with dyslexia can be frustrated that difficulties decoding and understanding written words often get in the way of learning. Apps that read text aloud, especially those that highlight words as they go, can take decoding out of the equation and make reading a more pleasant and more productive experience. There are also apps that can read PDF documents aloud, apps that convert pictures of text to readable text through optical character recognition (OCR), and specialty apps that read text aloud using recorded human voices.
(Claro Software; iOS — $3.99)
Since PDF files are essentially images of documents, they present a problem for basic text-to-speech technology. ClaroPDF is an app that can recognize image text and read it aloud with synchronized highlighting. Unlike most OCR apps, it preserves the formatting of the original document.
Features: text-to-speech with synchronized highlighting, annotation tools, ability to add audio and video notes, Dropbox integration
(Claro Software; iOS — $3.99)
At its core, ClaroSpeak functions as a basic text-to-speech app, in which the user can change its speaking voice and adjust its reading speed. What makes it stand out are its ability to perform OCR on photos of text and its ability to save a text document as an audio file for listening on the go.
Features: text-to-speech with synchronized highlighting, OCR from text images, conversion of text documents to audio files, Dropbox integration
(Google; Android — Free)
This is a great e-book app for Android devices because it integrates with the operating system’s TalkBack accessibility feature in order to provide continuous text-to-speech with synchronized highlighting. It should be noted that Google Play Books is also available for iOS devices, but that version lacks the “Read Aloud” feature present in the Android app.
Features: integrated text-to-speech (“Read Aloud”) with synchronized highlighting, annotation tools
Writing can be challenging for anyone, but it can be extraordinarily problematic for students with dyslexia. Written expression can be hampered by difficulties with spelling, applying correct grammar, and remembering desired words. For mobile devices, there are apps that utilize word prediction, dictation, contextual spelling and grammar checking, and word retrieval tools to make the writing process easier.
(Don Johnston; iOS — $19.99)
One of the best tools to use for spelling assistance is word prediction. Co:Writer lets students practice their knowledge of phonics while providing an important accommodation. The app’s keyboard predicts the word a user is trying to write after only a few characters are typed. It bases its predictions on the context of particular sentences and on how well students sound out words they cannot spell correctly.
Features: flexible spelling, topic dictionaries, auditory feedback, Dropbox integration, Google Drive integration
(Ginger Software; iOS — Free; Android — Free)
Sometimes, traditional spell-checkers do not catch every error in a piece of writing, such as when students use incorrect homonyms. Ginger Page is a word processing app with a contextual spelling and grammar checker. It looks at entire sentences as units while searching for errors. It also has a unique rephrasing tool that suggests better word choices for a piece of writing.
Features: contextual spell and grammar checking, rephrasing tool, text-to-speech for proofreading, integrated dictionary and thesaurus
(Google; Android — Free)
The onscreen keyboard of a mobile device is essential in the transformation of thoughts to written words. For Android users with dyslexia, the Google Keyboard provides both dictation and word prediction for spelling assistance in any app.
Features: dictation, word prediction
(Quillsoft; iOS — $24.99)
Like Co:Writer, the iWordQ app provides solid word prediction for help with spelling. Its most unique feature is that it provides usage examples for easily confused words and homonyms. It also provides a greater number of predictions than other apps — with up to nine choices accompanying each word.
Features: creative spelling, auditory feedback, usage examples, ability to export text to other apps
(AssistiveWare; iOS — $7.99 [back-to-school sale])
Keeble is a third-party onscreen keyboard that provides advanced word prediction with auditory feedback for iPad users. Notably, Keeble’s word prediction is self-learning and becomes more accurate over time based on an individual’s vocabulary. It can also be set for word completion, next-word prediction, or multi-word prediction, depending on a student’s writing skills.
Features: highly customizable, multiple options for word prediction and auditory feedback
(Brendan Kirchner; iOS — $3.99)
Workbooks and photocopied worksheets can be problematic for students with dyslexia. During normal OCR, the formatting is often lost for fill-in-the-blank and matching exercises, a problem that makes it difficult to use AT to insert answers. SnapType solves that problem by giving users the ability to overlay text boxes on photos of worksheets. Students can then use a keyboard to place their responses in the correct spaces.
Features: the ability to use AT to respond to worksheet questions
(Voice Dream; iOS — $9.99)
The Voice Dream Writer app is a writing tool that has a handful of unique features not found in other word processors. In addition to multiple options for auditory feedback as students are typing, the app allows for visual customization, including the ability to adjust spacing between characters. It also has a unique set of reference tools. Students who have difficulty recalling specific words can look these up by definition, and they can also look up words using phonetic spellings.
Features: text-to-speech proofreading, automatically-generated outlines, ability to find words by definitions and phonetic spellings
Note-Taking and Study Skills Apps
Taking effective notes in class is important for both retention of new knowledge and preparation for quizzes and tests. The most effective notes for students with dyslexia (and indeed, for all students) are multisensory in nature and often contain images and audio notes in addition to text. There are several apps that make it easier to generate multisensory notes, along with apps that can be used to create multisensory electronic flashcards that promote effective, independent study.
(OrangeOrApple; iOS — $3.99, Android — $3.99)
Electronic flashcards have several advantages over traditional ones created with index cards. The biggest advantage for students with dyslexia is that they can use text-to-speech technology to study their cards independently. Flashcards Deluxe is perhaps the most full-featured flashcard app available. It has integrated text-to-speech, the ability to create more than two sides for each card, the ability add images to all sides, and multiple visual options for customization.
Features: text-to-speech, multiple card sides, integration with Quizlet, Dropbox, and Google Drive
(Zymbiotic Technologies; iOS — $4.99)
Mental Note is a full-featured note-taking app for Apple devices that allows students to create customized, multisensory notes. In addition to typing or dictating text, students can add voice notes, sketches, and photos.
Features: multiple visual options for notepaper, Dropbox integration, ability to protect notes with a password, ability to use tags to organize notes
(Ginger Labs; iOS — $5.99)
Notability is another option for multisensory note-taking. It is packed with features and options, including rich-text formatting, audio recording, sketching, and highlighting. In addition, students can add multiple forms of media, including photos, Web clips, and sticky notes. Completed notes can be exported to Dropbox and Google Drive and opened in other apps.
Features: audio recording, multiple options for creating and sharing multisensory notes
There are a handful of apps that perform multiple functions and can be used for various purposes. They include multisensory presentation apps, electronic graphic organizers, and tools that help with both reading and writing. Because they are typically more robust than the more common single-purpose apps, they can be particularly useful for students who rely on mobile devices to complete their schoolwork.
(Adobe; iOS — Free)
Adobe Voice provides an elegant alternative to traditional slideshow presentations for students with dyslexia. While the app gives the option of including written text, each presentation is based on voice narration and images. Once a series of slides is created, the app transforms it into an animated video with background music.
Features: a means of presenting information verbally, ability to save completed videos to the photos app for easy sharing
(Inspiration Software; iOS — $9.99)
There are many uses for electronic graphic organizers, and their multisensory nature makes them ideal learning tools for students with dyslexia. Inspiration Maps makes the writing process easier and more efficient. It can also help students improve their reading comprehension and study skills. It easily converts visual diagrams to linear outlines, and the app contains many formatting options that allow users to customize their work.
Features: multiple pre-made templates, ability to create personal templates, integration with desktop Inspiration software
(Inspiration Software; iOS — $9.99)
Kidspiration Maps targets elementary-aged students. It shares most of the features and functionality of Inspiration Maps, but it is more visually pleasing to younger eyes. It also adds a few unique features, such as several subject-specific activity templates.
Features: multisensory graphic organizers for elementary students, activity templates
Other Dyslexia Tools and Resources
Apps to Make Worksheets Less Tedious
There are a number of free iPad apps that let kids complete paper worksheets on a tablet. Two examples are PaperPort Notes and SnapType (developed by an occupational therapist).
Here’s how these apps work: Your child takes a photo of her worksheet. She taps on the screen where she wants to add text and types in her answers. If the worksheet is multiple choice or fill-in-the blank, she can use her finger to write in words or circle the answer. When she’s finished, she can print out the photo of the worksheet.
Android users can try Samsung Galaxy Note5, which allows you to do similar things. You can upload an image of a worksheet from your camera roll and then, using a text box, write on it with your finger or a stylus.
Chrome Tools for children with learning and attention issues
Video: Apps for teens with organization issues
High school can be really challenging for teens with organization issues with so many assignments to keep track of. The good news is that there are apps that can help. Watch this video to see an expert’s picks for the best apps for helping teens get and stay organized.
It is unlikely that any particular student will have a need for every app we’ve listed. Since every child is different, so are their needs. Individual students will need unique sets of apps to accommodate their own language difficulties. The great thing about using smartphones and tablets is that they are customizable learning tools, and they give all students the ability to find out what works best for them.
-Turning Point Assessments