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

Personalise to Suit Abilities
• Use your own text and photos to harness interests and personalise 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 customised 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 organisations 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 early years 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 4.1.4

• Bug fixes

Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
5 Ratings
5 Ratings
Gina Robbo ,

Great app to support children’s reading skills

Our speech and Language therapist talked about children with Down’s Syndrome learning to read using word matching skills before phonics. This app supports the resources my daughter has been given from S&L.
Could be improved even further by being able to choose your own words and pics.

Developer Response ,

Hello Gina, thanks for your kind review. You can choose your own words and pictures, and it's very easy to do! 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 in 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 or your speech and language therapist have any questions.

Colin, Special iApps.

MintyGreen2 ,

Excellent for a child with learning difficulties!

My 4 year old son has down syndrome and was using the printed versions of the material on this app from the DSE website. I also gave a copy to school. Working with the printed versions he would get distracted if I took too long to set all the cards up or would throw them on the ground, chew them etc. However using this app is excellent because it's so interactive & immediate. I especially love that you can create your own words in seconds. Also as well as the text and picture you have also got the spoken word. I even recorded a few new words with a recording of his voice for the object which he absolutely loves. I have also purchased the other app made by the same people call Special stories which I also can't recommend enough. I bought an iPad specifically to buy & use these apps and it was worth every single penny. Even after a few days of using these apps Ive noticed an improvement in his speech.

Smurfette suggsy ,

Fantastic!! Buy buy buy buy

I read about this app in the DSA newsletter. I bought it not really thinking much about it. My 4 year old daughter who has DS just loves it, she is now able to match all the standard pics to pics, words to pics, pics to words and words to words. Tonight I realised I could add my own words, pics and voice. So tomorrow she is waking up to all the family, Peppa pig and friends and coloured shapes. Also as she starts in reception in September she will be learning to read the oxford learning tree books. I have therefore put some of the first characters on the app, Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy. It is a must buy, AMAZING Value for money. I can't wait to see what they may develop for the next stage!!! :-)


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

    Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.

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