Smartphone Apps Helping Children Living With Motor Disabilities

Smartphone Apps Helping Children Living With Motor Disabilities


According to the CDC, there are almost 800,000 Americans living with Cerebral Palsy (CP), and 18 million people worldwide. It is the most common type of motor disability in children. Using apps can help children with motor disabilities to improve their speed of movement, learning to drag and tap, and with accurate positioning. Many of the new smartphone apps are also designed to help with communication skills. Some also have Bluetooth switches, for people who are not able to use smartphone and tablet apps by touching the screen.

Apps with switch support

Many of the apps for cerebral palsy have a switch support that can be used without touching the screen. This assistive technology makes it possible to use the apps when tapping and dragging isn’t possible. Speicialiapps has developed a number of apps using 1 and 2 switch support, including match and find games to help with memory skills and Special Stories, a writing app for children with motor disabilities. Using the app you can create social stories with music, text and photos. This is a great communication app that allows children to express themselves in a simple way.

Developing Fine Motor Skills

Using and developing fine motor skills can be done using a smartphone or tablet app. It gives children a chance to use their hands and fingertips, waking up their muscles. Exploration apps using color and sound, such as Sensory Lightbox are a good choice, as they are interactive and engaging to use. Sensory Lightbox is also accessible if you have minimal or no fine motor skills. Finger Paint is another simple app that allows children to be expressive, but needs very little movement. The bright colors are particularly engaging to young children and toddlers.

Speech apps

For children that need help with communication and speech, there are plenty of apps that can help. Predictable is a good choice if your child is literate, but has difficulty with speech. The app logically predicts what your child wants to say, and then reads the sentence out loud. iConverse is another app specifically designed for people living with motor disabilities. The app includes communication tiles that cover basic needs, and can be easily activated using touch.

Accessibility is extremely important for children living with motor disabilities and the advances in technology can really help with this. From simple games, to ways to express yourself and communicate, there are apps that are easy to use, from toddler age upwards.

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