Apps We Use for Teaching & Sensory Processing Disorder
Kids with sensory processing disorder have some challenges & it’s hard to figure out how to help them in the most effective ways. After a few months of therapy, we’ve discovered technology is one of Jackson’s motivators & one of his best teaching tools.
Being able to use technology in different settings like traveling, during therapy sessions, at daycare or at home can be great for families. Even though these apps shouldn’t completely replace the presence of the therapist, it can serve as a helpful tool. For example, we originally bought our iPad for myself & my design ventures. However, it now gets more use from Jackson because he’s able to watch his shows & plays his games privately & be in his own world. To clarify, it should be used as a tool to contribute to his world, not be his world - make sense?
As many standard toys & tools that are on the market, technology is CONSTANTLY changing & updating with the times. Below, Im listing our top 6 apps that work best with Jackson.
INTERACTIVE ALPHABET ABC’s
This was one of the first apps we downloaded for Jackson. It allows him to tap the screen & trigger moving parts when going through the alphabet. There are also other tiers of learning like tracing letters, typing & singing along with robots to the alphabet song. FREE
This is a great app as far as teaching the basics with matching shapes & colors. We originally started with the Baby version but have since upgraded to the Toddler version. It became evident this helped Jackson during his ASD evaluation because the psychologist had him place physical shapes in holes that matched & I honestly thought he wouldn’t do it because I hadn’t exposed him to that [mom guilt]. But he did it NO PROBLEM because he’d mastered the digital version via this app. PURCHASED
DAVE & AVA: LEARN & PLAY
This one is one of Jackson’s all time favorites. We found Dave & Ava via YouTube one random day & there was an advertisement for the app which included a bunch of different options within it [with no commercials]. He can trace letters & numbers, do interactive puzzles & has access to a GIANT library of video nurseries that he can pull up & enjoy on his own. PURCHASED
This one is a little odd but I think because it’s a little different, it helps Jackson. It helps with matching & counting but with weird graphics. For example, he’d have to count the legs on a creature & match the numbered ski set with the legs. The free version includes 2 games but after buying the entire app, it gave us access to at least 20 different aged games for Jackson! PURCHASED
This app could be used actively between parents & child because of the requests within the app. Because J already has some set programs in place with his therapy, this one isn’t used during his sessions. However, we use it during the weekends when he doesn’t see anyone. Jackson is also a visual learner & the picture cards within this app work great for him. It combines the use a traditional flash cards with the technology of a iPad so it makes it easy to track progress & work from anywhere. FREE
This app doesn’t necessarily teach anything but provides more of a self centering activity. Because of J’s SPD, the visual feedback he gets from the color & pattern changes draws him in. Kind of like a lava lamp effect in your hand. FREE
I know the use of technology is a massive topic as far as ‘too much screen time' or ‘get them outside to explore’ & I totally get it. As a matter of fact, Jackson loves being outside more than anything so we have activities & lessons for him in that environment as well. But my child just happens to learn & respond best with technology. No, the habit wasn’t formed because of early exposure although I’m sure most believe that’s the case & will say this is an excuse. That’s fine - everyone’s entitled to their opinion. This is for those parents looking to try new things & want to incorporate some apps into their teaching arsenal for their kids.
Also understand this isn’t an end-all-be-all list. Like I said before, technology is CONSTANTLY changing & I’m 100% sure we haven’t heard of every single app that assists SPD kids. This is just what we use. I welcome any other apps I haven’t listen & you’d recommend!