Best Receptive Language Apps

I was trying to think of an adjective that started with R so I could have a cutesy alliteration title – but I only came up with risky, ridiculous, and rad. Those all seemed weird. Then I kept thinking of the word ‘raunchy.’ And that seemed even weirder. So I just settled on ‘best’ – I feel okay about this choice. It’s to the point. And not at all weird.

Everyone knows my iPad obsession. I have shared with you my favorite reading apps, math apps, free apps, and even the app I use for charting my data. We are still just denting my extensive app collection. I said obsession remember? I just love using the iPad for any IEP goal related work. I love it because it’s sneaky. Since it’s on the iPad my kids don’t even realize they are ‘working.’ LOVE IT. I keep catching one of my kids playing Splash Math in his down time. Yea that’s right – he has chosen to work on telling time to the minute over flinging birds towards angry green pigs. Glorious!!!

One set of apps I use very frequently are apps for building receptive language abilities. These are great to work with my students who are lower functioning to build verbal discrimination and identification skills. It also helps students who may not be as technologically adept build their iPad skills!


Apps for Simple Receptive Identification 

Where’s Mommy $1.99 – You can upload your own pictures and record your voice for simple picture identification. When you get it wrong an X stays over the picture which I like. Only bummer is you can’t change the field size.

You can customize the pages easily with pictures on your iPad:

 Adam’s Game $1.99 – Another simple receptive identification game. The field size stays at the 3. The voice that comes preprogramed is very babyish – but you can change it.

You can also customize this one:

ABA Receptive Identification by Noun – I love this app but could not find the link for it! It said it was only available in the Canadian store. This app is very simple and straight forward picture identification with common vocabulary.

Here are some others I like for simple picture identification:

Color Slapps                                                                                                                                                                            Learn Animals

                                                                     Learn Shapes   

Receptive Furniture free – This game is free but the My Program Books makes receptive identification apps for everything from colors to fruit to letters. Try it out with this free game. It’s a simple receptive identification game with 4 picture options.

What’s that Sound? $1.99 – I really like this game. It’s simple and great for my students with lower language skills. It presents a sound and 3 options of which item makes that sound.

Animals Sounds free – This app is only flashcards of animal noises paired with the picture but I like using this one for animal sound identification. I cover the iPad so the student can’t see it and have them guess what animal makes the sound. They love it!

Apps for Complex Receptive Identification  

Fun with Directions $0.99 – This a pretty cute app that gives a simple instruction for the students to respond to. There are simple identification commands (such as touch the…) or following directions commands such as “give the apple to the girl.” You can increase the set of commands with an in-app purchase.

Following Directions $1.99  – This game is super fun for small groups. It gives a verbal command with a picture prompt. A lot the prompts are really fun like pretend you are a cat or show me your teeth. My kids love this!

Speech with Milo: Verbs  $2.99 – Doonan Speech Therapy makes a whole set of great Speech with Milo apps including adjectives, prepositions, sequencing, and more. These apps can be used in a variety of ways. I like building receptive vocabulary through practicing these flashcards. The verb game is great because the mouse will do the action so this is an awesome way to pair the concept with the spoken word.

SeeTouchLearn free with in app purchases – I have had a love/hate relationship with this app. At first I loved it but then I realized that in order to buy each library you needed to purchase the card set. Then I was annoyed. And then I realized that each set was only $0.99 and if I am only going to buy the only I really need and will use it’s not a big deal. And it’s really not. This app is awesome. You can customize everything and create your own lessons.

WH Questions App Free with in app purchases  – This game by Super Duper gives you the “Who” set for free and the other wh- questions are $2.99 each. You can use these for receptive or expressive language. For working on receptive language, it will ask a question based on a picture and provide 3 textual answer options.

They have a free Thanksgiving set right now! So cute 🙂

I love these other apps also from – Receptive by Function and Receptive by Feature. It presents 3 picks and a verbal command such as “Pick which one you use to brush your teeth” or “Which one has handlebars.” But again – I can’t find these in itunes! What’s the deal?!

Any other recommendations??


  1. Thank you for reviewing these apps!

  2. Hope some were helpful to you 🙂

  3. You must try the Bitsboard app!

  4. Do you have any recommendations for a 10 year old in 4th grade. He is autistic. Articulation is good but receptive expressive language is a problem. School does not have programs available to help. His insurance has cut his speech language therapy down to 30 minutes a week, I believe this issue is the reason he is not understanding instructions in all subjects, and having issues in reading comprehension and writing which are so important in 4th grade. He also is dyslexic and has dyscalculia.

  5. It seems the Adam’s game app has been discontinued. Have you been able to find an alternative like it? That is exactly what I’m looking for with a kiddo I work with.

    • Oh that is a bummer! I have been using a lot of Boom cards for use on there are tons of receptive vocabulary decks!


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