Game Apps for Individuals with Special Needs

Looking for games, leisure activities or cause and effect activities apps for students with cognitive challenges using a iPad or iPod?

Here is a combination of games, leisure, cause and effect apps that could be used for inclusion as well as a link to prior posts to more of the same type of activities that are appropriate for individuals with special needs. Especially check out the spinner app which can be used for inclusion and choice making in any classroom.

  Image Spinner app – iPhone/iPad (.99) provides use of up to 10 images and audio recordings to create a spinner. Touch or shake to activate. Have you used the All-Turn- It Spinner for choice making, rolling dice, choosing names, numbers? Now you can create your own!

This app could be used to chose a random name, class jobs,  number, concept or activity in a classroom as an inclusionary task. This developer also makes an app called Custom Spinner that provides 5 different spinners that you might also want to consider.

Balloon Pops –  app for iPhone/iPad (.99) provides a simple balloon popping game. Suited for young and old.

BubblePopper – app for iPhone/iPad (free) is a bubble wrap game allowing customization of size, quantity and color of bubbles presented. Allows playing by times or “Just Pop”. Increased bubble sizing,  color and timed activity options allows easier access for individuals with physical, visual or cognitive challenges.

Undecided  – app for iPhone/iPad (free) provides choice making tools for games such as:

  • Rolling dice (up to 6 dice at once)
  • Drawing straws
  • Paper-rock-scissors tool
  • Random number generator
  • Coin for flipping heads/tails
  • Spinner with numbers 1-10.

Touching or shaking the iDevice activates the choice making tool (dice, coin, etc.). On an iPad the dice, coins are large and could be accessed by a mouth stick or a gross movement for students to participate in an activity that needs choice making or random numbers generated.

Here prior posts with suggestions for games, leisure activities and cause-effect apps that provide opportunities for individuals with special needs:

Game apps from Ensenasoft – Listing of game apps available from Ensenasoft for students with special needs.

Leisure Apps for Students with Multiple Special Needs – Leisure activities and games for students with special needs.

Cause Effect Apps – Listing of cause and effect apps.

I am awaiting switch equipment to begin to trial switch access possibilities for students requiring indirect access for accessibility. I hope to have more information on that soon. It appears that apps with switch access for the iPad are limited. One of the new devices, the Tecla Shield from Komodo uses Voice Over hooks for access to the iPad, to provide access to the iOS environment. AbleNet and others also have switch access available but which as I understand require switch capable apps.

For more information about switch access for iDevices, check out Jane Farrall on her  Jane Farrall’s Blog  which provides up to date extensive, expert reviews of accessibility options for iDevices. Her very recent blog posts covers current information on switch accessibility options that are available and those that are emerging. Her reviews are thorough and up to date (recent posts are from June 29th!). I think they are by far the best reviews out there that helps define what the state of switch access currently is clearly. Jane Farrall also  provides a wealth of  resources and information on AT in general with expertise in AAC. Check out Jane Farrall’s blog – to glean her wealth of knowledge!!

Any suggestions of apps you use for leisure, games or cause effect for students with special needs? Any one have an adaptive device idea that can be switch activated that could shake an iPod for indirect access to one of the above shake activated apps (and that will keep the device safe? Hmm, just a thought until more switch access is available. If you have an idea  please share!


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in App Reviews, Apps for OT's, Apps for Special Needs, Cause and Effect apps, Game, Game Apps for Special Needs, iPad, iPod, Leisure apps, Occupational Therapy, Special Needs, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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