Achieve educational milestones with our award-winning app designed for speech and language development. An invaluable app for visual learners that is adaptable to children’s individual needs and abilities.

Children, parents, teachers and professionals in 100+ countries and 27+ languages are using Special Words to turn screen time into an active and engaging learning experience.

Areas of Development
• Enhance communication, language and literacy skills
• Increase sight-word vocabulary
• Encourage listening and speaking skills
• Develop hand-eye coordination
• Improve fine motor skills

Personalize to Suit Abilities
• Use your own text and photos to harness interests and personalize activities
• Include your voice or audio to bring the learning experience to life
• Create word lists tailored to children’s learning needs
• Adjustable animation speed to suit abilities and concentration levels
• Activities adaptable to any developmental stage and for adults with learning difficulties and memory impairment
• Can be fully customized to grow with a child as they develop

Share Your Words
• Copy content to and from the app on another device
• Exchange stories using AirDrop, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cloud or email
• Transfer content to and from our Special Stories, Special Spelling and Special Sentences apps

Accessible For All
• Support for switch users
• Variety of fonts, plus a large text option to support those with visual impairments and dyslexia
• Use at home, school, in speech or occupational therapy sessions, and for home schooling to follow the curriculum and enhance learning
• Proven to be accessible and hold the attention of children with a variety of abilities and skill sets

Extra Features with Special Words Pro
For teachers and speech & language professionals we recommend the professional edition of this app, Special Words Pro. It includes:
• Printable PDF assessment sheets
• Printable cards to use in paper-based activities
• Free access to curriculum-related content
• Dual control using external keyboard

Reviews from Parents and Professionals
“Special Words is a clever and intuitive app. The developers have clearly drawn upon what works for young learners with special needs.”
Educational App Store, 5 Star Teacher Rating

“One of our pupils does not read or write so checking and questioning understanding is very difficult. He responded very quickly and positively to the app. Without it we would have no idea exactly what he is capable of achieving.”
Emma Watts, Teaching Assistant

“This is without a doubt the best app I have some across for children with special needs. My son signs for more as soon as he completes one set of words!”
Helen, Parent and Teacher

Speak Your Language
• Special Words includes 96 pictures, spoken words and written text in 27 languages: Afrikaans, Albanian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Dutch, English (American, British and Australian), Finnish, Flemish, French, German, Hindi, Icelandic, Italian, Luxembourgish, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian and Welsh
• All languages use audio provided from native speakers
• Replace words and re-record audio in any other language your child uses

Why Our Apps Are Different
• Visually clear and simple, with no distracting backgrounds or noises
• Tested and recommended by Down syndrome and ASD experts and organizations around the world
• No in-app purchases, pop-up ads or user tracking
• Developed in collaboration with parents, professionals and teachers of children with special educational needs

Part of the Special iApps Family
Special iApps is a multi-award-winning non-profit social enterprise with a worldwide reputation for creating educational apps for those with learning disabilities and additional needs, as well as in preschool education. They initially created apps to teach their youngest son William, who has Down syndrome and autism, now they support children internationally.

What’s New

Version 4.4.1

• New feature: Text to speech
• Compatible with iOS 13.4
• Bug fixes

Ratings and Reviews

4.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

mikeymou ,

Great teaching tool!

This is one of the best apps I have purchased to use with my lower functioning 13 y.o. son with autism on his new iPad. I like the ability to customize. The children in the photos are cute but it would be nice to have a mixture of different people/ages for the action words. I also would like to have a choice of reward noises instead of just the clapping. I was looking for this type of app for some time now and this one does not disappoint. I will recommend it to my son's therapists and other parents.

Developer Response ,

Thanks for your kind words. You can replace any of the pictures with your own photos or other images you have. You can also turn off the clapping in the app's settings, to allow the parent, therapist or teacher to respond directly to the child.

ACruff ,


Just purchased for one of my students. It is VERY limited. Plus, I cannot find any “button” that will allow me to use my own photos and recorded voice! Where is this feature hidden?

Developer Response ,

Hello, so sorry to hear that you are frustrated with the app. Can you tell us a bit more why you think the app is limited. It may be you need the Pro version that includes downloadable resources, ability to print boards and words, plus assessment sheets. Please email us at as we continue to update all our apps with requests from our users.

To answer your question about adding your own photos and voice: To add a word, just tap Word List in the bottom bar (tap More first if using an iPhone), then press the + button at the top. You can now type in a word (or short phrase) and take a photo (or select one from your existing photos). To add sound, press the Record Sound button, speak the word(s), and press again.

You can also change the text, picture or sound for any of the 96 supplied words: from the Word List, tap the "i" to the right of the one you want to change.

An alternative to adding to or modifying the existing list is to add more lists of your own. You can copy words between lists, reorder their content, and download more lists for free from our website.

There's lots more to Special Words, including a range of adjustable settings and the ability to exchange lists of words between devices (e.g. from home to school). For details, take a look at the user guide at, and email us at if you have any further questions.

Bev, Special iApps.

jdavin ,


This app is excellent and very practical. Our son has Down syndrome and he is learning to read using the Learning Program which is based off of Sue Buckley and Patricia Logan Oelwein's work research. This app allows some of these principals to be executed without all the work. It also helps with review and carry over between home and school. Personalizing the words is a very smart option. The only thing I wish was an option is... That when matching word to picture that it isn't read to the child. At this point of instruction some children can use there recall skills to demonstrate knowledge of the word and comprehension... Versus recognizing. I wish that tier could be scaffolded. This way you would know if the child can think for themselves. I'd like the option. The other thing I think would be great is for the app to have it pair with an electronic book, preferably customized from the language of the child. Great start and I see lots of great things coming from this app.

Developer Response ,

Hello, thanks for your feedback. You can use one of the many settings we added to the app to prevent the sound being played in this way. Go to Word List > action button (top right) > Settings, and turn off "Play Before Match". Our "Special Stories" app is probably what you're looking for as a companion electronic book - you can copy content between the apps in both directions.


Special iApps C.I.C.
64.7 MB

Requires iOS 8.2 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.


English, Afrikaans, Albanian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Icelandic, Italian, Luxembourgish, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Welsh

Age Rating


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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