Common Sense


Social Skills Apps for Kids with Special Needs

Social and emotional learning is critical for all kids to lead healthy and fulfilling lives both in and out of school, but it's a particularly important area of focus for those with special needs. These apps will help kids express themselves, interact with others, identify and manage with emotions, and develop meaningful relationships.

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Peek-a-Zoo by Duck Duck Moose

Cute, vibrant app helps kids learn social-emotional cues and vocab

Bottom line: Cute and funny animals ask kids clear questions to help them think about emotions, social communications, and actions.

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.

Four Little Corners - An interactive storybook app about friendship

Simple story about shapes showcases problem-solving and inclusion

Bottom line: This cute little story could be a nice launching pad for big discussions about friendship, tolerance, and acceptance.

Kid in Story Book Maker

Easy-to-make personalized stories can help boost social skills

Bottom line: Kid in Story Book Maker is a must-have story creation tool for teachers in special-needs settings.

Toca Tea Party

Pretend play meets social skills at this cute interactive gathering

Bottom line: Beautiful, imagination-provoking app is so easy to use, kids will likely want to return for many more parties.

Model Me Going Places 2

Fantastic yet limited resource for modeling social interactions

Bottom line: Six story choices useful to traveling teachers/therapists.

Social Stories

Quick and simple behavior-reinforcement tool for kids with autism

Bottom line: Teachers will find this an efficient way to engage their students in understanding and creating social stories.

Autism Core Skills School Edition: Academic, Communication, and Social Skills Plus Data

Robust app combines high-quality lessons with handy quantitative data

Bottom line: Academic and social lessons are worth the purchase price for the amount of depth and data produced.

Touch and Learn - Emotions

Free app helps kids identify emotions, recognize body language

Bottom line: Bridges the gap between feeling or witnessing emotions and using words to describe them.

Social Adventures

Expert-approved activities nurture students' social skills

Bottom line: A treasure chest of social-skills-building activities created by speech and language pros that are worth the high price and need for facilitation.


Themed scripts help kids practice successful social exchanges

Bottom line: For speech-language pathologists, this is a must-have tool for helping kids learn conversation skills.

The Mood Meter

Well-designed tool encourages kids to reflect on and manage emotions

Bottom line: Appealing, thought-provoking tool builds emotional intelligence.


Customizable tool provides valuable practice with social interactions

Bottom line: Engaging way to practice peer conversations on tricky topics.

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