Monday, December 5, 2011

Seven Special Needs Apps in the Google Android Market

by Tzvi on Wed, March 9th, 2011
This Post is part six of the Special Needs iPad & App Series.
Almost from the day the iPad was launched there was an immediate buzz about the special needs apps that were available in the iPad app store. Apple quickly realized that the iPad was perfectly suited to enhancing the lives of individuals with special needs and created a special education section of the app store. Websites and blogs sprung up dedicated to reviewing apps for Assistive Communication, Social Skills, Life Skills, Scheduling and more.
With all the hype surrounding the iPhone & iPad I started to wonder: what if you are a Google geek and prefer the Android platform? Or what if you work for Google (which would mean iPhone & iPad use is prohibited) and you have a child with special needs? Are there any quality special needs apps for Android Phones or Tablets?
After digging around online, here are seven Special Needs Android Apps in the Android Market
Voice4u, is a revolutionary picture based AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) application that helps individuals express their feeling, thought, actions and things they need. It is a perfect solution for learning and communication for individuals with autism. Voice4u includes over 150 Pre-loaded icons and lets you create your own icons and categories.
Price: Subscription based- $99.95 per child per year
TapToTalk turns an Android device into an affordable AAC device. TapToTalk displays a set of pictures on the screen. When you tap a picture, TapToTalk plays a word or sentence and displays another screen of pictures. Each of those pictures can lead to another screen, and so on. For example, a picture representing Food can lead to a screen with pictures of Fruit, Vegetables, Sandwiches, Snacks and other foods.

JABtalk is an android application that provides a fresh new approach to speech and communication technology. Speech therapists commonly refer to JABtalk as an easy to use and effective AAC device. By combining personalized voice and images with an extremely simple user interface, JABtalk delivers a speech solution that is both fun to use and easy to learn.
Model Me Going PlacesModel Me Going Places
Model Me Going Places™ is a great visual teaching tool for helping your child learn to navigate challenging locations in the community. Each location contains a photo slide show of children modeling appropriate behavior. Locations include: Hairdresser, Mall, Doctor, Playground, Grocery Store, Restaurant

Behavior Tracker ProBehavior Tracker Pro
Link: Tracker Pro dramatically increased the efficiency of an Autism treatment program. BTP is a behavioral data collection app that allows behavioral therapists, teachers or parents to track and graph behaviors. BTP improves your child’s ABA therapy by capturing behavioral data and translating into an easy to understand graphical format.
AAC Speech BuddyAAC Speech Buddy
Price: $27.99
AAC Speech Buddy create custom PECS Speech Sets. AAC Speech Buddy was created to quickly & easily create custom Speech Sets Online ( which could be loaded on one or many AAC Speech Buddy Apps. AACSpeechBuddy allows users to quickly and easily create customized Speech Sets using their own photos or collected images, or using images from the image repository.
Price: $4.99
Created by Apps4Android, an Android software development company dedicated to developing Android applications that enhance the quality-of-life, independence and educational success of individuals with disabilities. iAugComm turns your Android into a powerful, high-quality, low-cost AAC device, which can enable individuals who are non-verbal or whose speech is difficult to understand to communicate easily and effectively using a simple, icon-based interface.

The Bottom Line

If you are in the market for a tablet or smart phone and you plan on using special needs apps, then you definitely should stick to the iPad and iPhone. The Apple App store has a much bigger selection of special education apps to choose from and the Android Market doesn’t have any of the bestselling apps such as Proloquo2Go or iPrompts. Google is just now releasing optimized operating systems for tablet devices. It will be at least a year before the Android Market will be able to compete with the iPad App store.

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