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, Dropbox, Google Drive or email
• Transfer content to and from our Special Stories app to extend the learning process

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 4.2.0

• Bug fixes

Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

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.

annova ,

Customize for iPhone users

My child with Down syndrome learned to read a few dozen sight words at 2 years old through a basic flash card app. I bought this app by recommendation of our developmental pediatrician to help his speech clarity, expand his vocabulary, and add more sight words. I like that I can add words and custom pictures. But we almost always are trying to use it on my iPhone and the words and boxes are just too small! Please add a customization to change the box size, or at least an option to rotate the screen and increase the fonts to readable size on our smaller-than-iPad devices. It's what we have with us all the time so we will get more practice of we can see them better. Thanks for making such a great app for visual readers!

Frances Amato ,

Top App For Students With Disabilities

Dear Special iApps,
Your application special words is one of the best applications on the whole market today
After using special words for five minutes, I realized how useful and wonderful of a program it was. Work tasks that took me hours to create and differentiate were at my hands at the stroke of my I-pad. Your ability to create flawless learning in such a manner is wonderful. I had two of my students working with your program, the results were just amazing. It was a self motivating task in which they not only learned pictures and words but to control fine and gross motor skills in order to manipulate I-pad with the program.
Thank you for everything. For becoming a non-profit organization and producing this amazing application. Thank you so much!!!


Ms. Frances Amato


Special iApps C.I.C.
60 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
Rated 4+
© 2011-2019 Special iApps C.I.C.


  • Family Sharing

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

More By This Developer

You May Also Like