iPad App Review: FirstWords: Deluxe

FirstWords: Deluxe is an excellent iPad app that may help children with autism learn how to spell.  The app contains over 140 words from categories such as animals, vehicles, shapes, and colors.  The name of each letter is reinforced as the child slides the letter into position.  When the word is spelled correctly, the autistic child is rewarded by having a picture of the word come to life through animation and sound effects.

iPad App Name:

FirstWords: Deluxe by Learning Touch



iPad App Overview:

Screenshot of FirstWords: Deluxe
Screenshot of "Plane" on FirstWords: Deluxe

This iPad app focuses on letter recognition and spelling.  It is not a phonics-based iPad app.  The main menu includes the option to focus on a particular category of words, an option to focus on all words (includes words from each of the categories), or to go to the options/settings screen.  When a category of words is selected the iPad app goes to the activity screen.

The activity screen includes the letters to spell the word randomly placed throughout the screen.  There is also a picture of the object that is to be spelled.  Finally, there is a template (holds the letters of the word in the correct location) that is used to place the randomly scattered letters onto.

The iPad app user must then place each letter on the corresponding location on the word template.  If the letter is placed in the correct location it will “stick”.  If the letter is placed incorrectly it will fall off the word template.

When each letter on the screen is touched a voice says the name of the letter (the voice can be turned off on the settings screen).  When the entire word is spelled the voice respells the word and then pronounces the word.  Afterward, the object being spelled becomes animated with sound effects.  The iPad app then moves to the next word.

Video Demo of FirstWords: Deluxe iPad App:


  • Speech: On or Off
  • Letter Hints: On or Off
  • Word Order: Alphabetical, Random, or Shortest to Longest
  • Letter Order: Any Order or Left to Right
  • Letter Case: Uppercase, Lowercase, or Capitalized
  • Longest Word: 4 Letters, 5 Letters, 6 Letters, 7 Letters, or 8 Letters
  • Spelling Speed: Fast, Medium, or Slow
  • Get More Games
  • Send Us Feedback

Focus Words in iPad App:

FirstWords: Deluxe Screenshot of the Word "Blue"
Screenshot of "Blue" on Firstwords: Deluxe
  • Animals (43): Ant, bat, bear, bee, bird, bug, bull, camel, cat, cow, crab, dog, duck, elephant, fish, fox, frog, giraffe, goat, goose, hen, hippo, horse, koala, lion, llama, mouse, mule, owl, panda, pig, pony, puppy, seal, sheep, snake, swan, tiger, walrus, wasp, whale, wolf, and yak.
  • All Words (143): Includes the words from every category.
  • At Home (31): Apple, bath, bed, book, bowl, broom, cake, chair, chest, cup, desk, door, fork, house, jar, keys, lamp, milk, mop, pan, pot, quilt, rug, salt, sink, spoon, stool, table, towel, trunk, and vase.
  • Colors (13): Black, blue, brown, gold, gray, green, orange, pink, purple, red, silver, tan, and white.
  • Shapes (21): Arc, arrow, circle, clover, crescent, cross, diamond, dot, heart, hexagon, line, octagon, oval, pentagon, rainbow, raindrop, spiral, square, squiggle, star, and triangle.
  • Vehicles (35): Backhoe, barge, bike, biplane, blimp, boat, buggy, bus, cab, caboose, canoe, car, cart, crane, dozer, ferry, jeep, jet, limo, moped, plane, plow, rocket, semi, ship, sled, sub, taxi, train, tram, trike, truck, tug, van, and, wagon.

iPad App Designed to Help Toddlers with:

  • Speech development
  • Recognizing letters
  • Spelling


A finalist for the BestAppEver Award in the Toddler Category.

May Help Children with Autism:

  • Develop speech skills
  • Learn letters
  • Associate written letter with name of letter
  • Learn words of objects in app
  • Learn how to spell objects in app
  • Develop fine motor skills
  • Learn cause and effect

*Note: FirstWords: Deluxe screenshots are copyrighted and are used with the permission of their owner.

Additional Resources for FirstWords (Deluxe):


Previous iPad App Review ······· Autism and the iPad ······ Next iPad App Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *