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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 students with special needs. Whether they read a story about friendship, practice meditation techniques, or learn about body language, students can benefit from tools that teach emotional intelligence and mindfulness. The apps and sites on this list will help kids express themselves, interact with others, identify and manage emotions, and develop meaningful relationships. 

Avokiddo Emotions

Hilarious animals help kids identify emotions

Bottom Line: This silly animal app is a fun way to teach kids about emotions and creativity.

Grades: Pre-K–K
Price:
Paid

Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings

Songs and activities help kids express, recognize, understand emotions

Bottom Line: Daniel Tiger and his friends present excellent examples for kids who are just learning healthy emotional expression.

Grades: Pre-K–K
Price:
Paid

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.

Grades: Pre-K–K
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: Pre-K–1
Price:
Free

Four little corners

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.

Grades: Pre-K–1
Price:
Paid

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.

Grades: Pre-K–1
Price:
Paid

Model Me Going Places 2

Fantastic yet limited resource for modeling social interactions

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

Grades: Pre-K–3
Price:
Free

Social Story Creator Educators

Create multimedia stories that help with social skills

Bottom Line: Solid and very simple app for kids with social challenges.

Grades: Pre-K–12
Price:
Free to try, Paid

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.

Grades: K–2
Price:
Paid

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.

Grades: K–3
Price:
Paid

ConversationBuilder

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.

Grades: K–6
Price:
Paid

Prism

Experiential game teaches empathy toward those with autism

Bottom Line: Lessons on inclusion and community in the classroom require post-game facilitated discussion for deep learning.

Grades: 2–6
Price:
Free

Stories in Motion

Comic-style course on social nuances aims to help kids with ASD

Bottom Line: Sufficient tool to supplement social and emotional learning for students with autism.

Grades: 3–8
Price:
Free to try, Paid

Synth

Asynchronous audio response tool encourages all students to speak up

Bottom Line: This tool offers classrooms a space for short, impactful voice-based discussions, but it's lacking some key ways to modify the experience.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

Hall of Heroes

Responsive game helps students prepare for transition to middle school

Bottom Line: Wonderful and fun social-interaction game designed to teach cooperation and friendship skills needed for middle school and beyond.

Grades: 5–8
Price:
Free to try, Paid

The Mood Meter

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

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

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Paid

ConversationBuilderTeen

Customizable tool provides valuable practice with social interactions

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

Grades: 8–12
Price:
Paid

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