Since we’re cranking up for leaving in October, hitting the road again, I’m re-visiting books and the ipad…

Both kids use the iPad quite a bit and I give it full credit for teaching Moxie the alphabet, making her super interested in phonics.

It’s making yogis, readers, artists, singers and problem-solvers out of the kids and I couldn’t be more delighted, even if recent articles would have me believing that they turn the kids brains to mush and stuff like that.

Anyway. Here’s a list of apps that we use for each child:


Speech Apps:

  • Vast Autism 1
  • Vast Pre Speech
  • urTalker Pro

Sound Touch

Starfall ABC’s

Words with Tots

My First Words

Little Reader

Sentence Builder

Learn to Talk

First Words

Montessori Words

Little Writer


Duck, Duck Moose

Elmo Calls

Elmo Potty

Elmo Stories

Elmo’s ABC’s

Sesame Street:

  • Farm
  • Books
  • Playground
  • Nest
  • Look Find Elmo
  • 123
  • Birthday
  • Fix It Shop

There’s a Monster at the End of My Book (1 and 2)

Dr Seuss’s ABC

The Cookie Thief

Miss Spider’s Tea Party

Cat in the Hat


Dora’s ABCs

Lots of kindle books on the kindle app: 

  • Moxie’s favorites, hands down, are the Boynton books. She has them all and reads them daily. She also LOVES ‘chicka chicka boom boom’, ‘Draw Me a Star’ and ‘Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?’. But her very favorite book in the entire world without question is ‘Snuggle Puppy’ (- Boynton book).

Dora Vacation

Dora’s Great Big World

Super Stretch (yoga app)

SpiroDoodle (art app)

Fingerpaint (art app)

SketchbookX (art app)

Bugs & Bubbles (fun)

My Play Home (part fun and part for learning about home orientation, etc)

Talking Tom (practices words)

I haven’t updated this in a long time because our wifi is so sketchy/non existent. If you are in the same boat as I am or if you are just into my top 5 recommendations for apps (Kelley, I’m looking at you here!), they are:

  1.  Vast Autism 1: absolutely first rate app for speech development. It costs around $10, totally worth it
  2. Vast Pre-Speech: this might be less than the first one? I don’t know, but if you have a child that is learning to talk or will have potential speech issues, this app is gold! I’d even say that it’s great for people who want to learn (American) English
  3. Little Writer: great app for learning to write. I like it because it’s pretty clear on the stroke order
  4. SignShine: pain in the ass because you have to keep downloading it, BUT if you have fairly steady wifi, this one is awesome for your little signer. Moxie LOVES it, all those songs in sign… sigh.
  5. SuperStretch: yeah, it’s a yoga app but Moxie really loves it and we all get a kick out of her taking her yoga breaks. I think it’s free. How great is that?

The urTalker Pro thing was on sale for $10 but they said it’s normally $100. I haven’t figured out how to use it yet, to be honest.

The others are all great in their respective ways. They stay on the ipad mostly because Moxie likes them and uses them all.

There’s a Monster at the End of this Book would be torn and dog eared if it were really made of paper – she has read and re-read that about a billion times. Same goes for ANYTHING DORA. Moxie is a total Dora crackhead-junkie-fiend. I’m starting to use this to our advantage (“what would Dora do?”; “does Dora wear clothes?”; etc)

* ALSO – working through all the app suggestions from NDSC – the link: http://tinyurl.com/dscongress *

Moving on!

Micah’s apps

Little Writer

Handwriting Without Tears


Rocket Speller

Painting with Time

Montessori (- writing, math, words, games, calendar and more)


Montessori Crosswords

Kindle: he has dozens of books on his kindle app: the link to the post on his books is here: Books & Boys

Audible: he listens to books on audible and follows along with the book on kindle

Magic School Bus: Oceans and Dinosaurs

Solar Walk

Misty Island Rescue

Cat in the Hat

Treaure Kai

Big Business



Mind Snacks



Kanji Pic


Hiragana Book


Math (suji)

Sushi monster (- math)

First grade words


Silly stuff/games

Talking Tom

Talking Newsletter

Go, Diego Go

My Play Home

Construct Bots

Transformer Ruckus Reader



Comic Book





Piano DX


The big debate now is around MINECRAFT. Do you know about this? This app basically consumes your kid and I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or not. Is it?

I’m on the fence about TRANSFORMERS too. Ugh. I wish he could be obsessed about something really easy to approve of, like…. oh, intellectually stimulating things from Sesame Street?!

I think my top 5 for Micah – based on what I see him going for and what his personality is like are:

  1.  GeoWalk – very cool app with lots of information
  2. Solar Walk: I think he may have memorized this entire app already. He can recite most of it verbatim
  3. Magic School Bus – I don’t care for the sass in it, but holy cow! It’s so full of good learning!
  4. Spanish Mind Snacks – this is a game and it gets him to build his Spanish vocab. He likes it and is learning a lot
  5. Audible – he listens to this almost every day. He usually reads along to what he hears, by opening his kindle app. The book he is listening to is downloaded automatically

That’s the full list. I’d love to hear your own recommendations – what apps do your kids (with and without an intellectual disability) love? What apps do you as a parent love for your kids? Any good books you are reading these days? Please tell!

a little moxie apps


We all know apps can be great with kids… but what if your budget doesn’t allow for the purchase of an ipad itself? Here are some no cost options for getting your child (especially, your child with a disability) an ipad.


Local Resources:

Never underestimate the power of local. We ourselves received Moxie’s ipad from a local organization that my friend Mari told us about, the  The Shelby Clark Memorial Fund.

They were absolutely wonderful.

I contacted them off of their website, applied for a grant in honor of Shelby Clark, a beautiful little girl that passed away too soon.

We are deeply grateful to the Clarks for giving Moxie her ipad and try to honor the memory of their child.

Other Local Resources:

Rotary/Kiwani/Lions Club: your local business club is likely to have an outstanding commitment to championing education –  it might be a simple matter of asking if that commitment also covers ipads, which are used to help develop communication and cognition. If they don’t, encourage them to start one – with your child being the first recipient!

Cross Disability Organizations:  United Cerebral Palsy, Easter Seals, etc. They might have a fund to tap into, or they might know of one.

Lending Libraries:  Here in the Bay Area,  the Center for Accessible Technology’s ipad project for people with speech disabilities, lends out ipads for specified periods of time. Check out your local libraries/non profits to see if similar projects are happening that you can tap into.

Non Profits: Speaking of non profits, check in with your  local Center for Independent Living about options. I know the CIL in Berkeley has a lot of resources and knowledge – make sure to talk to the person who works more with funding/grants/technology.

Word Out: Family and friends are traditionally the source for most of our information and contacts. Spread the word that you are looking and that your child would really benefit from an ipad. Ask your people to keep their eyes peeled and ears open.

photo 3


I was going to do a write up on A4CWSN -Apps for Children With Special Needs – include information on their apps, an interview with Gary James, the founder, and of course, information on how to enter to win a free iPad.

It seems, however, that there is a situation with A4CWSN . They are being investigated by the Attorney General of the state of Connecticut. That sucks in and of itself, but the part that really stinks is the founder deletes questions on his facebook page and attacks people that question him or what is going on.

So saying this, there are still people that have received ipads from the organization. I guess this is one of those potential sinkholes that you can navigate at your own risk. All links and information follow – you make your own call.

General website: Apps for Children with Special Needs

About the investigation: Contact information for the man in charge of the AG investigation. Terence Zehnder, Special Investigator, Trade Practices Division, Department of Consumer Protection: terence.zehnder@ct.gov

ph.(860) 713-6130 fax (860) 706-1315

Sites related to the investigation:

photo 4

Moving On:

I just want to encourage other folks out there that might really want to get an ipad for their child (with or without a disability). Even if you have a low income, it shouldn’t stop you. Spend time googling local resources, organizations. Even unexpected ones, like those mentioned above.

Tell people you are looking, keep all doors open. It’s definitely possible.

There are also a million and two fundraising ideas floating around pinterest – you can even have bake sales to raise the money, a tip jar at work and so forth. It all counts and it all adds up. But that’s probably the subject of another post.

If you know of other resources, please leave them in the comments here so that everyone can read and learn.

photo 2Most of all, I think it’s important to keep a very positive outlook: BELIEVE it can happen, really believe that your child will receive what s/he needs to learn and that it’s simply a matter of finding the organization that is the best fit for your child, knock on doors and let them open.

Good luck.

Font Resize