The return to school can be an anxiety-inducting period for children at the best of times. When set against the backdrop of COVID-19, new hand-washing routines and social distancing measures, the transition to school life is likely to be even more stressful than usual for some kids.
Kids’ friendship groups may have been split and the school landscape might not seem like the environment they’re used to. With SEN students, these challenges are likely to be emphasised further still.
In this article, we look at a range of clever iPad apps for SEN students to support them during this tricky time and help them cope with the disruption to their routines and the new situations they’re facing.
Apps to support SEN students
iPads are fantastic devices for engaging SEN students. With their compact design and touch screen, they’re far more intuitive to use than laptops or desktop PCs. They can also help kids with their fine motor skills and have many helpful accessibility features.
The portability of iPads also allows you to use them anywhere, so they’re extremely convenient if relocating to a quieter space or environment becomes necessary.
Some popular apps for SEN students to support them in the transitional back-to-school period include:
1) Sensory Mica: This app responds to sound by creating captivating visual effects. It can be used to assist with speech therapy, encouraging kids to make sounds through a microphone. The louder the sound they make, the bigger the pattern or shape becomes.
2) Fluidity HD: Kids can use this app to watch and interact with swirling patterns in a range of stunning colours. It’s a great way to block out distractions, is very calming. The app also has a selection of settings to customise visuals and enable or disable audio.
3) Book Creator: In times of change and heightened stress or anxiety, Social Stories can be a useful way to share information about situations or events. They present a brief description of a particular situation, event or activity, alongside specific information about what to expect in that situation and why. Social Stories may therefore help support students who are having difficulties settling back into school. They may also help kids understand the reasons behind the new routines and systems they’re facing.
Whilst Social Stories don’t have to be digital, incorporating photos and videos is likely to be helpful in explaining situations to kids. There are a variety of apps available for creating Social Stories, with Book Creator being a popular choice. This app is easy to use and offers several export formats, with the stories being accessible on a range of devices.
As well as apps to support the return to school and adjustment to new routines, there is a range of other apps for kids with special educational needs covering areas like literacy, numeracy and communication.
To find out more about how iPads can support your school in engaging with and supporting SEN students, get in touch today!
iPads for Education from Utility Rentals helps schools, acadamies, colleges and universities across the UK to acquire Apple iPads through affordable and tailor made rental solutions.
Our team of tablet wizards are fully in tune with the requirements of the education sector and will work in partnership with you to make the process of getting and maintaining iPads for your pupils and staff refreshingly straightforward.
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