Special Needs Education (SEN) describes the arrangements in place for children who have a difficulty or disability which makes learning harder for them than for other children of the same age. According to the BBC (2015) around one in five children has special needs education at some point during their school years.
Help Educational Games provide literacy and numeracy games aimed specifically at children with specific learning difficulties.
The conditions illustrated above can be independent or co-exist within one individual. Although there will be common patterns and behaviours, the effects can range from mild to severe. This buying guide is to help teachers and parents choose the right game which is specific to their child’s literacy and numeracy needs. Many of the games will feature multiple skills but there is a main game for each problem area.
What is life like now? Difficulties or delays in spoken language development. Some children with SpLD’s have trouble pronouncing some, especially multisyllabic, words. They often have difficulty separating spoken words into sounds and blending spoken sounds to make words.
What does life look like after? Penalty has a feature that allows you to hear the words. By hearing the sounds in the word and recognising the rhyming pairs, children will become more familiar with the correct pronunciation.
Other suitable games: School House Mouse
What is life like now? Problems with visual processing/ visual memory. This is a reduced ability to make sense of information taken in through the eyes. They may have slow reading speed, struggle to read words with silent letters or find it hard to remember what they have just read.
What does life look like after? Plunder helps children to understand and practice the concept of the ‘magic e’. Word sets of varying difficulty are available to improve reading skills as the child grows.
What is life like now? Putting letters and figures the wrong way round. (such as writing “6” instead of “9”, or “b” instead of “d”)
What does life look like after? Bugs helps with b, d, p confusion. Children will be able to distinguish the different words with similar looking start letters. They will test their knowledge by picking the correct picture beginning with the same letter.
What is life like now? Short term/ working memory difficulties. Working memory is used to process and store information during demanding activities in school. When the working memory exceeds its capacity, children forget what they are doing and this can lead to inattentive behaviour.
What does life look life after? This game offers children the chance to play pairs with a teacher or classmate. They must find matching rhyming pairs of words from each team to have the chance to score a goal. Auditory, visual and memory skills will be enhanced. Children will be able to recognise the different digraphs ‘ea’ ‘oi’ ‘ou’ ‘ai’ ‘ow’ ‘aw’
What is life like now? Children with dyslexia often have difficulty learning sight words. Some sight words do not follow the standard spelling rules making them difficult to understand and must simply be memorized.
What does life look life after? Children will learn to recognise the essential high frequency words quickly in order to be fluent readers.
Other suitable games: Bugs
What is life like now? Confusing the order of letters in words. People with dyslexia may reverse the order of two letters especially when the incorrect word looks similar to the intended word (e.g., spelling “dose” instead of “does”)
What does life look like after? As well as b, d, p confusion. Bugs is aimed at helping children with initial and final blends of words. They will be able to use digraphs such as ‘th’ ‘ch’ and ‘sh’ correctly at the beginning and end of words.
What is life like now? Struggles with maths signs like + and – and uses them incorrectly and so find it difficult recalling basic maths facts such as 2 + 4 = 6. May also struggle with multiplication and number bonds.
What does life look like after? Children will be able to recognise the different maths signs to answer the sums correctly. Practicing simple maths facts will help children memorise number bonds in order to develop into more complicated areas of maths as they progress.
Other suitable games: Penalty
If you would like advice of which game is best for any other difficulties not described that a child may have, just comment below and I’d be happy to advise which game is most suitable for their needs.