Common Sense


Special Needs Apps for Language Skills

These engaging, thoughtful, and accessible apps help kids with speech challenges build foundational language skills and alternative means of expression. There are image-based communication platforms, news sites tuned specifically to those with special needs and learning difficulties, text-to-speech tools, and note-taking and writing apps that offer multiple ways to communicate. For other ways to empower students with speech difficulties, check out our Apps and Sites for Storytelling and Best Tech-Creation Tools lists, which include terrific tools to help kids communicate their unique point of view.

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Top Picks


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Articulation Station

Pricey but definitely worth it for kids struggling with pronunciation

Bottom line: For helping students with letter and word pronunciation, this highly valuable tool is worth the cost.


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.


Wh- questions taught in concrete ways for kids with language delays

Bottom line: A solid, if basic, approach to teaching question words and concepts to students with significant language issues.

Proloquo2Go - Symbol-based AAC

Brilliant tool helps kids with speech difficulties communicate

Bottom line: The price is hefty, but Proloquo2Go carries its weight by providing students and teachers an effective, one-of-a-kind communication tool.


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.


Fabulous tool can help kids create social stories

Bottom line: Pictello is a great way for kids to create social stories that can help them find their unique voice and prepare for internal and external struggles.


Draw kids into weekly news with powerful symbols and voice narration

Bottom line: Students can expand literacy skills, learn about the world, and get involved with discussion questions and activities.


Give kids a voice with supportive, quality text-to-speech tool

Bottom line: It's easy to use, and the multiple settings and functions make this app well worth the price.


Flexible note-taking tool empowers learners of all abilities

Bottom line: An excellent tool that lets students make their notes thorough and useful in the way that best suits their learning styles and abilities.

Microsoft OneNote

Note-taking giant built for flexible, collaborative work

Bottom line: A powerful (and free) tool for thinking and organization that's making smart strides in the education space.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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