Saturday, March 23, 2013

BEST Apps for Children with Down Syndrome

Updated January 2015

We received such a response from last week’s article entitled Vision & Literacy Resources for Down Syndrome that this week, we wanted to continue to offer assistance and support for teachers as well as families by providing them with some helpful apps for children and teens with Down Syndrome.

We did some research during the past week and found quite a few lists in special needs' blogs and elsewhere that should provide a wide variety of apps to address various needs in a number of content areas. We also added a short list of other resources (not apps) to follow near the end of the article.

We hope you’ll agree that these apps and resources will be helpful to teachers and families challenged with the special needs of Down Syndrome.

Apps & Resources for Children with Down Syndrome

App List for Young Children with Down Syndrome (October 30, 2014)
by Julie Melton Smith
There are many good apps that can be beneficial for young children! BridgingApps has put together an app list for young children with Down Syndrome. Use these apps to not only make the smart device fun but beneficial to the child’s development.

Apps for Middle and High School Students with Down Syndrome (October 8, 2014)
by Julie Melton Smith
BridgingApps has put together an app list for people with Down Syndrome that could be helpful during these years.

Desktop APP---Reading Focus Cards (Patent 8,360,779)
This desktop app for Macs, Windows PCs & Microsoft Surface tablets accommodates low vision or unfocused readers by covering text NOT to be read and channeling the eyes to 1 or more lines of text that ARE to be read. Users can manipulate all features of this digital tool available for download to help them better decode words and improve focus, comprehension and retention. This app allows for customization to meet the needs of individual readers and can also accommodate very large text or fonts as needed.
To learn more, visit
Direct links to access app download:
1. For Macs (desktops & notebooks):
Visit the Mac App Store and search for Reading Focus Cards or go directly to
2. For Windows PCs (desktops & laptops):
Visit Gumroad at OR visit the Microsoft Windows Store and search for the app called Reading Focus Cards. (No URLs are ever provided for apps in the Windows Store.)

Technology Use for Children with Down Syndrome: The iPad
by Dr. Thomas L. Layton
This article contains information on using iPads with children challenged with Down Syndrome. Various apps and their links are provided throughout the article that addresses needs in the area of phonics and reading, writing, speech and more.

Down Syndrome Awareness Month App List (iPad & Android Apps)
by Amanda Schaumburg, M.S. CCC-SLP
This link will provide access to a pdf file for download. The file contains a list of apps for work on language skills compiled by a speech & language pathologist. Ms. Schaumburg prefers to think “functional!” and always tries to find ways to transfer skills learned in these apps to real life.

National Down Syndrome Congress 2011 BridgingApps App List
This list of apps was created for the convention by BridgingApps co-founder Cristen Reat, with contributions from Tricia Brinks (educator), Bonita Merrill (parent) and Betsy Furler (speech language pathologist). The apps address skills and topics related to school, independence, communication, leisure and more for parents of children with Down Syndrome.

Apps for Kids with Special Needs (for iPad, iPhone, and iPod)
This link will provide access to various lists of apps to help our kids learn and possibly improve their quality of life.

Other Resources (not Apps)

The Reading and Language Intervention for Children with Down Syndrome (RLI) (2 DVDs & 1 CD-ROM)
Authors: Kelly Burgoyne, Fiona Duff, Paula Clarke, Glynnis Smith, Sue Buckley, Margaret Snowling and Charles Hulme---Publication date: December 13, 2012
Intervention (now available in the U.S.) designed to teach key reading and language skills to children with Down Syndrome. Found to be more effective than ordinary literacy instruction in a randomized controlled trial in the UK. Adapted to meet the specific learning needs of children with Down Syndrome aged 5 to 11 years. An evaluation of RLI is also now underway in schools in San Antonio, Texas.

Educational strategies for children w/Down syndrome—A “closed” Facebook Group (Request to join)
A place to share educational ideas for your child with Down syndrome, including but not limited to things you can do at home to reinforce what's happening at school.

42 Great Down Syndrome Resources You Should Know About
by Tzvi---Published on 3/20/13
Check out these informative and supportive resources from the web, various books, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest---all in one place!

For information on customizable reading tools for children and adults with additional needs: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of: Brennan Innovators,LLC


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