I Found An App, Now What?

Wordle: apps for special needs There are so many great websites and blogs out there to guide parents and professionals in their quest for the BEST apps to support children with special needs. But finding a great educational app is only the first step! What happens next?

First, allow me to climb onto my best practice soap box for a moment... 

My Opinion (and it is just that)
An iPad in the hands of a child is useless without the guided support of a knowledgable play partner! Don’t get me wrong, all children need free time to “explore”, whether with Mr. Potato Head, everyday objects around the home, or on YouTube. But, if we want to scaffold learning, moving our kids toward their developmental goals, we have to be present in the interaction (at least part of the time, if not most of the time!). Apps are great, but they can’t do all of the work for us. :)

What does this mean, generally speaking?
1) As special needs professionals, we need to assure that in addition to app recommendations, we are supporting our families with appropriate home programming strategies around these apps, just as we would with more traditional home practice materials.

2) As parents, we need to assure that we are involved with our children during iPad play, providing the modeling, support, and interaction learned from our therapeutic and educational teams to promote the development of vital social and academic skills within our kids.

Ok, climbing off of the soap box now...

What next?

I love apps, and I love how eager my families are to use them with their kids at home! To bridge my love of apps with a need for valuable parent coaching resources, I have decided to embark on a journey. Over the next few months, I plan to post several “how to’s” to support parents in using popular special needs apps at home. But I need your help!

How you can help SNEAK’s project:

1) If you are a parent/therapist/educator that would like guidance on a specific app, post in the comments below.
If you are an app developer that would like to find out how your app can be used to target specific skills for children with special needs, post in the comments below.
If you are a blogger/AT professional who has valuable resources to guide the use of specific special needs apps, post in the comments below.

Thank you for contributing and keep checking SNEAK for app “how to’s”! :)


  1. I'm a pediatric occupational therapist and I agree that apps alone won't meet therapeutic goals! I've created a page on my blog that lists apps I like to use in therapy. With each app description/review, I try to include how I use the app therapeutically, and for handwriting apps I show how I transition from the app to "real" writing with a paper and pencil. This might be a useful resource for your readers.
    I enjoy following your blog and I'm looking forward to reading your "how to" series.

  2. PS - Here's the link to the iPad apps I've written about so far. I update it as I include more apps. http://abbypediatricot.blogspot.com/p/ipad-apps.html

    1. Thanks for sharing, Abby! Great site and a great list! Stayed tuned for SNEAK's how to's-as soon as "life" will let me get to my blogging, I will have them posted! lol