Common Sense


Best Special Needs Apps for Android

The Android apps listed here can help kids with a range of special needs and learning difficulties. From fine motor controlĀ to empathy and emotional awareness, kids can build essential skillsĀ for success both in and out of school.

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Starfall ABCs

ABCs and phonics integrate with fun images, animations, and activities

Bottom line: Great -- and free -- way to give kids clear, engaging examples of the ABCs in action.

Thinking Time Pro - Cognitive Skills for Early Learning

Challenging games stress memory, logic, impulse control, flexibility

Bottom line: Effective and engaging way to address foundational cognitive skills; most kids will need adult support.

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Sesame Street winner teaches kids how to keep calm and carry on

Bottom line: Highly effective tool for whole-class instruction or one-on-one intervention.

Dexteria - Fine Motor Skill Development

Hand and finger exercises help kids develop fine motor skills in fun ways

Bottom line: Three well-crafted exercises help students with fine motor skills, letter formation, and finger pinching.

FTVS HD - First Then Visual Schedule HD

Useful multisensory tool teaches self-direction and follow-through

Bottom line: This simple but powerful tool engages kids in independently following a schedule.


Useful text-to-speech app and extension unlocks the written word

Bottom line: A valuable tool to make classroom use of websites and digital documents more accessible to all students.


Unique way for kids with limited verbal skills to express themselves

Bottom line: Expensive but worthy investment can pay off in helping non-verbal kids learn to communicate thousands of things.

Time Timer

Easily conceptualize, manage, and visualize time

Bottom line: Goes above and beyond standard timers to include handy customization and visual cues.

Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are

Must-read graphic novel teaches relatable tween lessons

Bottom line: A hip, compelling read for tweens and teens looking for guidance and understanding of common social situations.

Audionote - Notepad and Voice Recorder

All-in-one note-taking system may be complex for young students

Bottom line: With some prep time, this is a solid choice for note-taking on mobile devices, but other choices, like Notability, have more intuitive design.

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