Mar 01, 2017
Students with dyslexia face special challenges with school and homework that can include staying focused, difficulty processing sounds and visuals, more difficulty with math than their peers and trouble staying organized and on task. Parents need all the help they can get without breaking the bank. One great tip is to find apps that help your child succeed academically, but which are the best apps for your child’s struggles?
See our list of affordable apps that can specifically help students with dyslexia overcome challenge:
The following apps are for enhancing Study Skills
This top education app allows students to create their own flashcards for thousands of subjects. Users are required to sign up for a free account at Quizlet.com. From there, you can create study sets by typing words or even adding images or audio. This teacher-friendly resource is easy to use and engages students in multiple ways (text, audio, visual, games), making it a top choice for students with dyslexia.
- Useful for learning languages
- Test prep for exams like the SAT’s
- Learning proper pronunciation & memorization
- Useful on the go & can be used offline
- Students can play a game of Match against the app (a great activity for visual learners)
This app, recommended by the International Dyslexia Association, provides a collaborative white board that allows students to study, design and share slides for just about any school subject. This is also a great tool for homeschoolers, special ed and learning support teachers, and subject teachers, who can share notes and visual diagrams with their students or to the Explain Everything Discover content portal. Teachers can even create interactive templates for students.
- Can integrate color, shapes, text, math equations, videos, images and audio files
- Images can be rotated, sorted, flipped, etc. & recorded and played back to give students a personalized study tool
- Includes a laser pointer tool and the capability to import lots of different file types, including PDFs, HTML and movies
- Students can also import their own presentations & create a movie they can customize by adding notes, images and highlights
Available for iOS, this app has two version, VPP for $15.99 and Classic, for $5.99. VPP also has real time collaboration and cloud and link-based sharing, for schools and others.
The following apps are for enhancing Math Skills
This app allows students to take a photo of math problem to get instant and step-by-step solutions. It is not designed for math past high school, but is a simple, easy-to-use program. After taking a picture of your problem, Photomath provides both the solution and a detailed list of steps to help students figure out how the answer was derived.
- arithmetic, integers, fractions, decimal numbers, roots, algebraic expressions
- linear equations/inequations, quadratic equations/inequations, absolute equations/inequations, systems of equations
- logarithms, trigonometry, exponential and logarithmic functions, derivatives and integrals
Available on both iTunes and Google Play, this free app offers in-app purchases.
This free app for iPad allows kids to write or speak out math problems. Designed for kids who need help with handwriting, it provides both a touchscreen for math problems as well as voice recognition.
- It does basic math, multiplication, square roots, fractions, long division, variables & complex algebraic equations
- Designed to be a “virtual piece of paper.” Students can share files to print, email and DropBox
- Specifically designed by the developers for their dysgraphic son & directly addresses your student’s challenges
- Users can make in-app purchases, such as buying additional symbols (pi, infinity, currency, etc.). Future updates are being developed, which may incur a nominal fee
Available on iTunes, this free app offers in-app purchases.
The following apps are for enhancing Mind Mapping
This is the must-have tool can help students with dyslexia coordinate their thinking. Students can also sync it to their PC with MindMapper software that must be purchased separately, however, the apps are free to download.
- MindMapper converts maps to linear outlines and vice versa
- It features quick, simple mapping and scheduling, which syncs to DropBox
- It also has a planner that users can sync with Google Calendar. This is handy to help students plan for finals and major exams, create a project and schedule it from start to finish or just organize to-do lists
This mind mapping tool available for both iOS and Android.
Inspiration Maps allows users to build diagrams and graphic organizers.
- Users can add in a variety of elements, like images from a library or URLs
- Students also can select a built-in template or create their own, allowing them to write, take notes, plan and customize their maps
- Can convert outlines into diagrams and vice versa
- Inspiration Maps allows your student to share his work to apps like DropBox or AirDrop and to other PC and Mac software from Inspiration
Available for purchase for iPad and iPhone, this app has been recommended by the International Dyslexia Association. You can try out Inspiration Maps first, for free, to create up to 5 documents and test its functionality before purchasing the full version. Inspiration also makes a Kidspirations Maps app for iPad for ages 4 and up.
The following apps are for enhancing Writing
Kids with dyslexia struggle to write properly. Page by Ginger Software is a tool that can help with spelling and grammar but it offers so much more.
- It provides users with contextual definitions and synonyms
- Gives users “smart” suggestions on a better ways to rephrase a sentence helping students improve their writing skills
- Translates 50 languages
- Page also has a text reader, making it ideal for dyslexic students
This app is specifically designed for people with dyslexia and dysgraphia.
- Employs an intelligent contextual spell checker, which is optimized for users with various learning disabilities, making its function easier to understand
- Spell check algorithm is far more detailed to help these readers
- Corrected word options are also defined and students can tap to have the word and definition read aloud
- Also features intelligent word prediction, integrated text to speech and an integrated dictionary
Ghotit is available for iPhone, iPad and Android for a flat fee of $99, or a monthly subscription of $29. (Mac and Windows versions are offered as well.)
The following apps are for enhancing Reading
Endless Reader can help beginner readers learn sight words. Designed for preschoolers, kids interact with cute monster icons.
- Words are pronounced and demonstrated by the word itself moving around the screen (i.e., the word “ball” bounces)
- Words are also inserted into sentences
- While intentionally designed without competitive games, Reader does use word puzzles to enforce word definition and usage
- For iPhone 6s and 6x Plus users, letters and words react in a special way
Endless Reader is free to download for both iOS and Android with 6 sight words available. In-app purchases of Reader Packs or Bundles are available for $5.99 or 11.99, or download all the packs for $29.99. The parent company, Originator Kids, has numerous Endless series apps, including Endless Spanish and Endless Alphabet.
Learning Ally provides kids access to 80,000 audio books and textbooks. These audiobooks can help any struggling reader.
- Users can browse their book catalog, which allows you to filter by category, subject and grade (1 to 13)
- Membership also gives you access to their community of parents
- If the fee is a burden, Learning Ally has a Fee Waiver Application for Individual Membership for whole or partial annual fee reduction for some who qualify
- Learn more and sign up at LearningAlly.com
Available for both iOS and Android, this app is free but requires annual membership, currently $135 per year.
These are some of the top apps that can help your student with dyslexic thrive in school. Most are affordable or at least let you sample for free before investing. What other apps do you use that have helped your child? Connect with us on social media to tell us your answers: Facebook or Twitter
Gina Badalaty is a lifestyle blogger for moms raising kids with special needs. She is passionate about living a nontoxic life, inclusion for kids with disabilities and technology to help kids thrive.