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What Are Examples of Assistive Technology for Special Education?

As someone who works closely with children with learning differences, I’ve seen firsthand the transformative impact of assistive technology. Parents need to know that these tools aren’t new; they’ve been evolving for thousands of years. Modern assistive technology is tailored to support specific educational needs and can significantly enhance your child’s learning experience. Let’s look into some of these technologies and how they can help your child thrive.

1. Communication Devices

Communication devices stand out in assistive technology, especially for special needs kids. These innovative tools do more than just beep and flash – they offer a powerful platform for self-expression. Now, when exploring examples of assistive technology for special education, you’ll come across many choices.

Picture boards, speech-generating devices, text-to-speech apps – the list is extensive. Each one of these options has the potential to be a game-changer for your child, opening up new avenues for them to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Sounds empowering.

  • Speech-generating devices (SGDs): These gadgets turn text or symbols into spoken words, making it easier for kids to talk with others.
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS): A system that uses symbols and images to help kids say what they need and want.
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) apps: These apps, found on tablets and smartphones, offer different communication tools for kids with speech and language difficulties.

By using these communication devices, kids with special needs can better express their thoughts and feelings. This can lead to improved social interactions and increased self-confidence. Goally, for example, offers a suite of apps designed to support neurodivergent children in developing essential skills and routines, including communication.


“Which language games will help my kid the fastest?” 👇

Goally’s tablet has some of the top language learning games & apps that help kids learn their first 50 words, practice finger dexterity & fine motor skills, AND communicate with AAC.


2. Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text: Words Made Easy

Reading and writing can be challenging for some neurodivergent kids. Luckily, there are tools that can help:

  • Text-to-speech software: This technology reads digital text out loud, making it easier for kids with reading difficulties to understand written content.
  • Speech-to-text software: By turning spoken words into written text, this software helps kids with writing challenges express themselves better.

You know, examples of assistive technology aren’t just tech tools; they’re the superheroes in disguise for kids grappling with reading and writing. Picture these devices swooping in, turning frustration into fun and transforming learning into a joyride. And the best part? They’re as mobile as your kids are, quickly hopping onto tablets and smartphones, ready for action anytime, anywhere.

The key takeaway here for parents in the Goally community? Examples of assistive technology for special education make learning more enjoyable and adapt to your child’s lifestyle, making them super accessible. Just think of them as your child’s personal sidekick in their learning journey – ready, set, learn!

examples of assistive technology. A little boy with glasses looks to the side.

3. Visual and Auditory Supports: See and Hear the Difference

For kids with sensory processing differences, visual and auditory supports can make a big difference. Here are some examples:

  • Visual schedules: These tools use images and symbols to show daily routines and activities, helping kids with special needs understand and follow schedules more easily.
  • Visual timers: By showing time visually, these timers help kids with time management and moving between activities.
  • Noise-cancelling headphones: For kids who are sensitive to noise, these headphones can help reduce distractions and create a more comfortable learning environment.

Build Custom Printable Visual Schedules

Is your child having trouble managing their routines? Here’s a free visual schedule builder. Goally’s custom tool allows you to create printable personalized schedules that motivate your child to focus on their tasks. Perfect for morning, homework, and bedtime routines, this free visual schedule builder is easy to use and will help your child reach their full potential.

Click below to make your CUSTOM printable visual schedule! 👇

Visual and auditory supports can help kids with sensory processing differences feel more at ease in their surroundings. They can also improve focus and attention, leading to better learning outcomes. Goally’s learning tablet offers a range of apps and tools that can provide visual and auditory support for kids with special needs.

4. Assistive Writing Tools: Write On!

Writing can be a challenge for many kids with thinking and learning differences. Assistive writing tools can help them overcome these obstacles:

  • Word prediction software: This technology suggests words based on the first few letters typed, making it easier for kids to finish their thoughts and reduce spelling errors.
  • Graphic organizers: These visual tools help kids organize their thoughts and ideas before writing, making the writing process more manageable.
  • Adaptive writing utensils: Specially designed pens, pencils, and grips can make writing more comfortable and accessible for kids with fine motor challenges.

By using assistive writing tools, kids with special needs can develop their writing skills and gain confidence in their abilities. These tools can also help reduce frustration and make writing tasks more enjoyable.

examples of assistive technology. A boy holds a tablet while sitting at a desk and smiles up at the camera.

5. Learning Tablets and Apps: Tech to the Rescue

Tablets and apps made just for kids with special needs can be game-changers and are an examples of assistive technology for special education. They offer many tools and resources to support learning and development:

  • Goally: This learning tablet for kids has a bunch of apps designed to help neurodivergent children learn important skills and routines.
  • Reading and math apps: There are tons of apps available that focus on specific reading and math skills, making learning more fun and accessible for kids with special needs.
  • Behavior and social skills apps: These apps help kids learn important social and emotional skills, like recognizing emotions, understanding social cues, and managing behaviors.

Think about it – learning tablets and apps have the power to create a whole new world for kids with special needs. Tailored, engaging, and interactive experiences? You bet! Learning can become a thrilling adventure uniquely customized to each child’s needs with the right tools.

6. Adaptive Equipment: Made Just for Them

Adaptive equipment can make daily tasks and activities easier and more comfortable for kids with special needs. Some examples include:

  • Adaptive seating: Customized chairs and cushions can provide better support and positioning for kids with physical challenges.
  • Adaptive utensils: Specially designed eating utensils can make mealtime easier and more enjoyable for kids with fine motor difficulties.
  • Adaptive clothing: Clothing with features like easy-to-use fasteners and sensory-friendly fabrics can make dressing more comfortable and manageable for kids with special needs.

By using adaptive equipment, kids with special needs can participate more fully in daily activities and feel more comfortable in their environment. This can lead to increased independence and an overall better quality of life.

Goally | Skills Training Videos for Kids

Does your child need some extra guidance on building essential life skills? Goally’s TV app for kids has the most robust video library of skills training videos for kids. Ranging from content like “How to Brush Your Teeth” to “How to Make Friends at School,” we have dozens of interactive video lessons for kids with thinking and learning differences.

A positive customer testimonial on a social media profile about the best tablet for kids by Goally, showcasing user satisfaction.

Dive into the Goal Mine channel, where Puffy the Penguin leads your child through behavior skills training videos. They’ll learn social, hygiene, and living skills that are key to their independence. For those moments when they need a break, the Chill Zone channel offers low stimulation video content with Paulie the Penguin at the beach, perfect for relaxation and self-regulation.

Empowering Your Child With Assistive Technology

These examples of assistive technology for special education are just the beginning. With the right tools and resources, your child can overcome challenges and thrive in their learning journey. As a caregiver, it’s important to stay informed about the latest innovations and explore the options that best fit your child’s unique needs. Together, you and your child can embrace the power of assistive technology and unlock their full potential.


FAQs About Examples of Assistive Technology

What are examples of assistive technology for kids?
Examples include visual schedules, emotional regulation apps, reading aids, and reward systems tailored for children's learning.
How does assistive technology help in special education?
Assistive technology tools help by customizing learning experiences to each child's unique needs, making education more accessible and enjoyable.
Can assistive technology be integrated into common devices?
Absolutely! Many assistive technology tools, like learning apps, can easily be integrated into everyday devices like tablets and smartphones.
How does the Goally learning tablet support kids with special needs?
Goally's tablet offers a range of apps and tools specifically designed for neurodivergent kids, aiming to make learning more effective and enjoyable.
What is the role of visual schedules in assistive technology?
Visual schedules help children understand and manage their daily activities better, aiding in time management and developing independence.

This post was originally published on 04/19/2023. It was updated on 07/08/2024.

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We help parents teach their kids life skills, like doing bedtime and morning independently. Backed by science, we incorporate evidence-based practices and expert-informed designs in all of our apps and content.