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Below is a list of DSRF's most highly recommended apps for individuals with Down syndrome; a portion of all proceeds of sales generated through these links will support DSRF. (Note: Some of the links below are for iPhone apps; others are for iPad apps. Most of the apps are available in both versions in the iTunes store, so be sure to purchase the best one for your device.)
*Please note that many of the apps under one category also target skills in other categories*
“Academics” (Counting, Printing, Sight words, Spelling, Math)
Candy Count - Free - This app using gummy bears and jelly beans to focus on colours, number-to-object correspondence and beginner numeracy.
LetterSchool - A fantastic app for teaching letter- and number-writing, sounds, phonics, and counting.
TeachMe: Kindergarten - This app includes fun games that focus on sight words, spelling, math, and printing. It includes a reward system with a pretend store for students to trade in their coins for stickers.
TeachMe: 1st Grade - This app includes fun games that focus on sight words, spelling, math, and printing. It includes a reward system with a pretend store for students to trade in their coins for stickers and more.
TeachMe: 2nd Grade - This app includes fun games that focus on sight words, spelling, math, and printing. It includes a reward system with a pretend store for students to trade in their coins for stickers and more.
Auditory Processing & Memory
Auditory Workout - This app uses basketball shooting at intervals to motivate students while working on auditory memory and processing over 13 levels.
BrainShake 2 - This fast-paced, video-game-like app is based on the game Bop-it and Simon Says. Students must follow written, 2-word directions to advance in the game.
Fun With Directions - Lite and Full Versions - This app focuses on listening, following directions of increasing complexity, colours, spatial concepts, auditory memory and processing, and expressive and receptive verb, adjective, and noun use.
Hear Coach - Free - A higher-level game to discriminate words from background noise.
KIDiPLAY Match Lite - Free – This memory app includes auditory and visual components.
Memory Train - Piikea St. LLC – This app uses a traveling train to help kids concentrate and work on memory skills.
Simply Smarter Kids Memory 4 You - Auditory memory - word is pronounced, must select correct card.
Comparative Adjectives - Free - Two pictures are compared for students to compare and describe the differences between while following directions to “Find the heavier animal; find the smaller boy; etc.”
What Does Not Belong? – This visually-based categorization app allows students to select which picture from a set of 5 does not belong. Users can then go on to discuss why and how.
CanPlan - CanPlan promotes independence and builds confidence by helping people with cognitive challenges complete tasks successfully. Virtually any activity can be broken into a sequence of easy-to-follow steps, illustrated by photos and reinforced with optional text and audio. Scheduling and reminder features ensure each task gets done on time.
Skitch - See something that sparks an idea? Use Skitch to snap it, mark it up with simple tools, and send it on in an instant. Your bold ideas stand out even brighter with Skitch.
Strip Designer - Make your photos come to live and tell a story you can share with friends and family. With Strip Designer you will create comics from beginning to end: Sketch, draw, mask, add warped 3D lettering, balloons, and combine everything with complex panel layouts.
Swackett - Swackett® answers these questions for you — visually — at a glance — with beautiful, clear imagery: How warm or cold will it be today? Will it rain or snow today? Will I feel comfortable outside today? How windy will it be today? What should I take with me when I leave the house today?
360 Thinking Time Tracker - The 360 Thinking™ Get Ready*Do*Done Timer is an instructional timer app specifically designed for supporting students’ executive function skill development. It is based on the innovative clinical model of executive functioning skills known as 360 Thinking™. By using the app, students will have the opportunity to nurture their situational awareness, develop forethought of an end result, and organize resource materials, time and actions to complete a future task.
Pic Collage - A fun photo collage editor with free stickers, grids, fonts & cards for your social media stories! Download the best free photo editing app for making collages, stories, wallpapers and cards! Choose from hundreds of photo grids, exclusive stickers, and festive background patterns. Then use our intuitive tools to clip, draw, and decorate your collages!
Runtastic - Ready to start your running & fitness activities? Lace up your running shoes and track distance, time, speed, elevation, calories burned and other stats with the adidas Running app.
Language - Building Sentences & Questions
ConversationBuilder - A terrific app to help students have multi-exchange conversations with other students. The app allows students record their voice and practice conversations repeatedly.
LanguageBuilder for iPad - This app helps children create original sentences about a photo and can provide optional "hints" which bring up a sentence pattern students can read and complete. The app records the students’ sentences too, and can be used to work on labeling, simple word combinations, and more complex sentence patterns.
Sentence Builder - A wonderful, straightforward app that focuses on expressive language use using written, auditory, and visual support.
StoryBuilder - A higher-level app to focus on inferencing, description, and paragraph development, using pictures in sentences.
iBernard - Free – A wordless video app that allows students to describe what is happening. A great way to work on vocabulary, sentence structure, narrative skills.
QuestionIt Lite - Free – A symbol-based app that works on all wh- words at the word and sentence level, with many ways to provide a variety of cues and teach students at their more appropriate level.
Sound Touch Lite - Free – An excellent categorization app that encourages turn taking with the iPad, and is great to practice asking and answering, "What do you hear?”
Language in Play
Balloonimals - This animal ballon app gets students guessing what animals are being made, taking turns, and talking about colours, animals, and actions.
Toca Kitchen Monsters - Free - All Toca Boca apps are very fun and fabulous for teaching turn taking and asking and answering questions.
Toca Store - All Toca Boca apps are very fun and fabulous for teaching turn taking and asking and answering questions.
Language & Social Skills
Communication Skills - This program is a higher level version of the Communication Skills How-To Series (HTS). This Learning Activity Series (LAS) approaches the content in a way that is more suitable for advanced users, using interactive lessons based upon video modeling. Users will learn different aspects of effective communication like Non-Verbal Communication, Listening Skills, and Verbal-Speaking skills. They will also learn other everyday communication skills like how to answer the door, answer the telephone, call on the telephone and make appointments.
Social Skill Builder (Full) - FULL version offers 19 modules, with various sequences of videos and questions for the user to view and react to by answering multiple choice questions. These video scenarios are of real interactions in preschool, elementary school, middle & high school and community settings. Within these settings children and young adults demonstrate common social interactions with their peers and other adults. The LITE version offers four modules, one from each of Social Skill Builder’s titles. These modules include videos and questions for the user to view and react to by answering multiple choice questions. These video scenarios are of real interactions in preschool, elementary school, middle & high school and community settings. Within these settings children and young adults demonstrate common social interactions with their peers and other adults.
Social Skills Sampler – Video modeling for social skills.
Promoting Increased Independence in Activities of Daily Living
Choiceworks - This app creates picture boards for schedules, waiting, and dealing with feelings, with a companion book supporting each board. There are over 180 images and audio files, with the ability to add your own images and record your own audio as well.
iDress for Weather - This app fills a wardrobe with appropriate clothing to wear, based on the weather outside. This way, students know what type of clothing to select from their own wardrobe in order to independently dress for the day.
Working4 - This token economy and visual reinforcement schedule app lets students select which reward they’d like from a list of options selected by their teacher. Then, after the students completes 1 5 steps of work, they receive their reward. Students can see how close they are getting to their reward with this app.
Timer+ Touch HD - This app is based on the traditional Time Timer. There are multiple visuals to let users know how much time has passed and is left, and a selection of auditory cues when the time runs out.
Reading, Sight Words, & Spelling
Bitsboard - An app that includes five different games to work on speaking, reading, and limitless vocabulary with words and pictures. Easy to individualize, and ranked Top 5 Education apps in the app store.
First Words Deluxe - A great app to introduce spelling and sight words. Students can be prompted with letter sounds or names, vocabulary is categorized, and animations keep the game fun.
SUPER WHY! - PBS KIDS - A student favourite, this app focuses on letter tracing, sentence and story comprehension, and spelling, with PBS Super Why characters and sticker collecting as great motivators.
Pictello - A classic app that allows users to incorporate their own photographs and voice to create personalized books. Pictello is great for social stories, sharing information with others, and having fun spelling, writing, and reading.
SPELLING MAGIC 1 - Free - A series of free apps that focus on letter sounds, blending, and sequencing, with a variety of cues. Makes for fun guessing games.
SPELLING MAGIC 2 - Free - A series of free apps that focus on letter sounds, blending, and sequencing, with a variety of cues. Makes for fun guessing games.
ABC SPELLING MAGIC 3 Multiple Syllables Deluxe - Free - A series of free apps that focus on letter sounds, blending, and sequencing, with a variety of cues. Makes for fun guessing games.
ABC MAGIC 5 - Free - A series of free apps that focus on letter sounds, blending, and sequencing, with a variety of cues. Makes for fun guessing games.
Starfall Learn to Read - An interactive app that works on phonics and speech sounds for emerging readers.
Bla | Bla | Bla – An app that is reactive to volume and thus helps students work on volume control and awareness.
Speech Sounds – Articulation
Articulation Station - Free - An excellent app to work on speech sounds at the word, sentence, and paragraph level. Sounds can be purchased individually, or the whole app can be purchased as one. Students can record their own voice and evaluate their productions. There are two different in-app games available.
Starfall ABCs – Another excellent app to practice speech sounds, at the sound, word, and sentence level. Students can practice speech sounds after hearing multiple productions through a variety of simple, interactive games.