Speech Apps for Special Needs and Speech Therapy

Nolan using urTalker ProSpeech Apps for Special Needs and Speech Therapy

Our son Nolan, pictured left, has been non-verbal for the last 11yrs.  We have been working with him since the age of 1 on speech utilizing a wide range of speech therapy, different therapists, and a wide assortment of assistive technology also known as Augmentative and Alternative Communication devices (AAC).

Over the last five years we have incorporated a huge number of apps for iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad into Nolan’s speech communication tools.

The term speech and speech apps is very broad.  This can range from apps that are used for translation, picture exchange apps and apps that provide text to speech capabilities.  In this article we are going to cover apps that are designed for special needs or for individuals with limited to no verbal abilities.  Within those apps we have outlined apps that are educational, functional and fun for individuals with speech impairments.

Broad Capability Functional Speech Communication Apps: These apps are for therapy and everyday use and most support picture exchange or PECS system use and/or text to speech through images.  Each app has pros and cons so visit their site to learn more about specific functions.  The most notable feature to look for in this category is the ability to edit/add/modify the app to support and grow with your communication needs.

urTalker ProApp Name: urTalker Pro

Apple Description: urTalker Pro is a fully featured communication app providing affordable augmentative and alternative communication. This assistive technology app comes with fully customizable grid or “board” style views for categories and words allowing the user to grow with the app. You can start with simple 1 or 2 word communication views and move all the way up to 16 grid displays for advanced communication needs.

urTalker allow you to leverage the camera and audio on the iPad to add your own picture and sounds so individuals can fully personalize the app with their home, food, therapy or related items that help them communicate.

App Price as of 9/2012: $99.99

App Name: Get Talking™ – Text To Speech (AAC)

Apple Description: Get Talking™ is a powerful Augmented Alternative Communication (AAC) text-to-speech (TTS) App that provides a user friendly and cool assisted communication solution for people who have difficulty speaking. Developed for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, it uses natural sounding male and female voices, an expandable default word library, and is a fraction of the cost of traditional AAC devices.

App price as of 9/2012: $209.99

App Name: Proloquo2Go

Apple Description: Proloquo2Go is a full-featured augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution for people who have difficulty speaking. Proloquo2Go provides natural sounding text-to-speech voices (CURRENTLY ENGLISH ONLY), a high resolution library of over 14,000 symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, two researched-based vocabulary organizations, advanced word prediction, multiuser support, and the ability to fully customize vocabularies for users along a broad continuum of abilities, from beginning symbolic communication to full literacy.

App Price as of 9/2012: $189.99

Fun and Therapy combined: These are some great app that can be fun for the individual while still supporting therapy based development.  There are some great companies that make more than one app in this category such as and

App Name: Fun and Functional

Apple Description: Fun & Functional is an application developed by author and Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) Rosie Simms to improve language comprehension and expression in individuals of all age groups. The ability to identify and describe the function or use of real-world objects is a key language and life skill. Fun & Functional provides SLPs, parents and others with a tool to develop categorization and descriptive skills by interacting with pictures and audio.

Price as of 9/2012: $9.99

App Name: Category Carousel

Apple Description: Whether you are a speech language pathologist or a parent you will find the Category Carousel app a fun way to increase and enhance a child’s vocabulary. The ability to categorize and subcategorize words and concepts is a skill necessary to build, store, and retrieve words leading to better comprehension and expressive language skills.

Price as of 9/2012: $4.99

App Name: ABA Receptive Identification

Apple Description: This Receptive Identification app is designed to teach foundational language concepts to early learners. Used by educators and speech language pathologists worldwide it’s an indispensable part of any speech or language program.

Price as of 9/2012: $1.99

Minimal Pair Pack AppApp Name: Minimal Pair Pack

App Description: Minimal Pair Pack is a fun application for working on speech sound discrimination and production. Designed for children with developmental communication difficulties and also adults with phonological difficulties. Easy to use flash card style tasks can be set up quickly by therapists or teachers for use with a range of clients including adults and adolescents with dysphasia, dyslexia or dysgraphia; teachers of adult literacy; therapists working with children who have language and literacy needs or those working with people for whom English is a second language.
The program targets the following speech sounds in the initial position of words: p, b, m, n, t, d, k, g, f, v, s, z, dz (as in jam), j (as in yacht), w, r, l, th, sh, ch.

Price as of 9/2012: $29.99


1 Comment
  1. Very interested in these apps just not sure which one to buy. Dont have lots of money to spend. My gradson is almost 5yrs was diagnosed with autism at 2 1/2yrs does speech and OT 4x aweek has an IPad is non-verbal and is getting so frustrated that he cant communicate with us that he bites his hand. this would be so great for hm can you help me?
    Dotti Cervantes

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