While we’re on the topic of Personal Books…

Let’s talk about apps! Many thanks to Facebook mom Lisa Graebner Orvis for tipping us off to 4 apps that will help digitally-incined parents to create those awesome Personal Books I described last Friday. Lisa and I belong to the Facebook group page “Educational Strategies for Children with Down Syndrome,” which you might want to join!

Lisa’s List:

Little Story Maker – FREE

Lisa says, “Here’s an easy to use app that’s free. It will help you make books as Natalie describes.”

Little Story Maker

Little Story Maker









Picturebook – FREE

From Lisa: “Here is another free app that has a library of pictures you can use. It also has in-app purchases for additional pictures.











Story Me  – FREE

I agree with Lisa: “This might be a cool option for older students.” You can turn your photos into a comic strip, with  dialogue bubbles and the works.

"Story Me" App

“Story Me” App










Kid in Story Reader – FREE

It’s worth listing this review from Technology in Special Education: 5 Stars – “I am impressed and found it difficult to write this review without saying ‘It’s so easy and fun!’ every other sentence. The truth is that it performs as promised, is attractive and no bugs were found while putting it through the motions.”

Kid In Story Reader

Kid In Story Reader









And here are 3 more I’ll add to Lisa’s List:

Story Creator – FREE

This one allows you to include photos, videos, text, and audio.

Story Creator

Story Creator












Special Stories – $19.95

This one also has audio feature and has a store of 11 languages.

Special Stories










And Last but IMPORTANT, here is an app for teaching the sight words that make up your Personal Books, whether your books are paper or digital:

Sight Words – FREE – I love the features in this app: you can set the speed of the flash cards (I recommend the fastest setting, one word per .7 second), you can create your own groups of words, turn the sound on or off, change the font and font size (I recommend the largest font size!) A really great tool.

Sight Words App

Sight Words App


So that will get you started! Enjoy!



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Showing 7 comments
  • Michelle

    Thank you so much for the story maker apps. It can be very time consuming to find the right apps.

    • Natalie Hale

      You’re welcome! And you’re right about app searches being time-consuming. I’ve spent hours looking in the past. Hope you find these useful!

  • Anna

    Thank you so much for sharing these apps! I can’t wait to get started using them. ( sad to say the Kid in story reader is now $6.99) I love giving my daughter IPad time as part of her school day- she loves it and doesn’t realize it’s still school work and reinforcing all the topics we’ve been working on in a new format!

    • Natalie Hale

      Anna, check out If you get on their mailing list, they let you know what the “free apps of the day are.” Looks like a really good deal.

  • Tania

    These are all Apple apps – and Windows or android apps that can be recommended? Tania

    • Natalie Hale

      Hi, Tania- I think this would be a great question for the Appy Ladies. You’ll find them at Surely there are droid apps available!! Good luck!

  • Karen

    I know it’s been a while since Tania asked, but I wanted to point out that Special Stories is available for Android systems as well as Apple iOS. The same group also puts out Special Words (for both systems), and Special Numbers (only iOS now, I think). Special Words is a matching app to teach sight words using the system advocated by Down Syndrome Education International. While it doesn’t use flash cards, it has a series of levels of matching where success is guaranteed. Also, the pictures with people in them are all children with Down syndrome. My son loved this touch.