Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘iPad’ Category

Hi and welcome to Ask Missy Mondays where I respond to email questions from readers who have questions about their child’s behavior. Today’s question comes from Katie who is living and working in Dubai where even the Burj Khalifa will “light it up blue” for autism awareness. Katie asks,

“A colleague mentioned that some iPad apps will be reduced in price for the month of April and you are the person to ask about which ones! Perhaps you could do a blog post on it?! I am hoping that some of the scheduling apps will be reduced as they look amazing but a lot are super expensive. Almost all of my young kids have the duck duck moose nursery rhyme apps now and they love it! Thank you for introducing me to those!”

Thanks for writing Katie. I had to do some research on this but yes, some apps are free this month and others are reduced. I’m providing a list below and I hope that readers will share others. I will keep updating this post all month to make sure we have the most accurate list for readers.

Kindergarten dot com offers a number of apps on receptive language development, vocabulary development, etc. Their apps were free in April last year, and it appears they are free now.

Hearty Spin is also offering 50% discount on its Picture AAC app on World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April. Hearty SPIN will also be offering free copies of Picture AAC app to non-profit organizations (schools/therapy centers/hospitals)worldwide that support people with speech impairment/delay during the month of April.

Gary Brown author of DTT apps is offering DTT Words and Autism Dx for free this month.

Expressive, a communication app appears to be reduced from $35 down to $25.99.

First Then, normally $9.99 is $4.99

iCommunicate is normally $49.99 is reduced to $29.99

See Touch Learn is free.

Grace, a communication picture exchange app is reduced from $37.99 to 27.99.

Scene Speak, normally $14.99 is reduced to $4.99.

Zanny Born to Run is normally $2.99 is reduced to $1.99.

Augie, another communication application appears to be reduced from $149.99 to $79.99.

AutismTrack – it is regularly priced at 49.99 and it is free for April 2nd only.

VAST, a communication app is reduced from $4.99 to $2.99. It is a “Medical app that helps parents and caregivers of those with autism track interventions, behaviors and symptoms…”

Grasshopper apps is offering a few free or reduced price apps through Sunday April 8, 2012. This includes First Numbers, First Grade Reading, Sight Words.

Smurks is free for the first week of April only.

For a complete list of recommended apps, be sure to check out our previous post of updated applications. Also, Apps for Children with Special Needs is a good resource.

Please be sure to let us know of any other free or reduced apps for this month so we can update our post.

Read Full Post »

Hi and welcome to What Works Wednesdays where we share a success story from one of our clinical cases. All names have been changed to preserve the privacy of the child and family. Our intent is to show readers how successful ABA can be.

Today’s post is about a 4-year-old little girl named Nahir who carries a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism. Nahir began receiving early intervention services early in life. She began receiving ABA services shortly after she was diagnosed with autism. She began receiving ABA services from us last year.

Nahir’s parents wanted Nahir to be a community member in her neighborhood and they wanted her to learn alongside other children her age without disabilities. We designed an ABA program that consisted of about 10 hours per week of supported inclusion and 10-15 hours per week of 1:1 ABA instruction. Nahir responded to the intervention and began showing an interest in her peers at school and she began learning many skills at home. She even began using the toilet!

After several months, Nahir’s parents wanted to increase the amount of time in inclusive settings to 20 hours per week combined with 10-15 hours of 1:1 ABA. Nahir began engaging in non-compliant behavior and her rapid learning tapered off. We discussed our concerns about this change in learning with the parents and we encouraged them to consider making a change.

As a result, the family agreed to decrease inclusion time and increase 1:1 ABA time. Watch out! Nahir’s learning took off. She began imitating, her non-compliance decreased, and she started to communicate using her new iPad and Proloquo2go.

You see, inclusion is not all or nothing. Decisions about inclusion should be made individually for each child based on his or her unique situation.

We would love to hear from readers! Share your successful ABA and inclusion stories!

Read Full Post »

Apps on the iPad can be an invaluable resource.  The great thing about apps is that they can be implemented by family members, and don’t require professional support (and the associated fees!).

Most of our readers know that we both have family members who are or who have been affected by autism. We are well-aware of the cost burdens on families, and the need to find cost-effective resources. Goodness knows we buy educational materials all the time, and we know how expensive they can be.

The good news about apps are several:  they are convenient, usually fun, usually effective (at least for the generalization of skills),  mostly decently price, and can be a helpful/practical addition to your toolbox.

Here is our current list of apps that we have used.  If you have any that you would like to share with us, please post in the comments! We are always looking for new apps that can help our kids. We are especially interested in scheduling applications and sequencing applications so please share your knowledge.

Reading and Reading Readiness

  • Smiley Sight Words
  • Teach Me Toddler
  • Teach Me Kindergarten
  • Teach Me 1st Grade
  • Super Why
  • ABC Match Ups
  • Intro to Letters (by Montessorium)
  • Bob Books
  • Elmo’s ABCs
  • See Touch Learn
  • Zoo Train
  • Feed Me
  • Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

Vocabulary and Language Builders

  • Kindergarten dot com Flash Cards (there are many! actions, alphabet, zoo, fruits, toys, instruments)
  • Speech with Milo (sequencing, verbs, prepositions, adjectives)
  • First Words Deluxe
  • Preschool Animals
  • Story builder
  • Sentence builder
  • Language Builder
  • Question Builder
  • Zombie Grammar Force
  • Grammar App
  • SAT Grammar

Speech and Articulation

  • Phono Pix Full
  • Artic Pix

AAC and Visual Planners

  • Proloquo2go
  • iPrompts
  • Going Places
  • Timer
  • Alarmed
  • Tap to Talk
  • Vu Meter

Social Skills

  • QuickCues
  • Stories2Learn
  • What are They Thinking?
  • HiddenCurriculum Kids
  • Stories2Learn
  • Conversation Builder
  • iTopics

Interactive Food Games (Thank you Maverick Software)

  • More Grillin
  • More Cookies
  • More Buffet
  • Cupcakes
  • More Pizza
  • More Salad
  • Little Match Ups Fruits

Interactive Echo Games

  • Talking Gugi
  • Talking Tom
  • Talking Babies
  • Talking Gina
  • Talking John
  • Talking Roby
  • Talking Larry

Interactive Books

  • Misty Island (Thomas the Train complete with puzzles, coloring, and dot to dot)
  • 5 Little Monkeys
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Me and Mom Go to the City
  • Toy Story (with reading and painting)
  • On The Farm
  • Ronki
  • Speech with Milo
  • Mickey Mouse Puzzle Book

Books

  • Read me Stories (a library with one free book each day)
  • Mee Genius (a library)
  • Reading Bug
  • Food Fight
  • Christmas Tale
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • Three Pigs
  • Sesame Books
  • Elmo’s Birthday

General Knowledge

  • Brain Pop
  • Weet Woo

Math

  • Bert’s Bag
  • Intro to Math (by Montessorium)
  • Free Multiplication Tables
  • Grasshopper
  • Ace Math Flash Cards
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Analogies for Kids
  • Analogies Practice
  • Tally Tots

Puzzles

  • Children’s Wooden Puzzles
  • Wooden Puzzles (these are not all good but the good ones are great. Sadly, the developers did not advertise on their app so we can’t tell you the exact name or developer)

Strategy and Problem Solving

  • Zentonimo
  • Cogs
  • Scrabble
  • Numulus
  • Logigrid
  • Conquist2
  • TicTacToe
  • Memory Game
  • Checkers Plus
  • Sudoku
  • Dots Free
  • Spider Free
  • Understanding inferences

Scanning

  • Pictureka
  • Waldo
  • I Spy

Adaptive Skills

  • I Love Potty
  • Everyday Skills

Motor Skills

  • Dexteria (developed by an OT and teaches fine motor skills)

Interactive Games

  • Bowling
  • Mini Cooper Liquid Assets
  • Monkey Flight (by Donut Games)
  • Sunday Lawn (by Donut Games)
  • Skee Ball
  • Flashlight
  • Spin the Coke Bottle
  • Spinning Plates
  • More Cowbell
  • Angry Birds
  • Doodle Jump
  • Cut the Rope
  • Where’s My Water
  • Rat on a Skateboard

Interactive Songs and Music

  • Wheels on the Bus (Duck Duck Moose developers)
  • Old MacDonald (Duck Duck Moose)
  • Wheels on the Bus (Duck Duck Moose)
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider (Duck Duck Moose)
  • Kid’s Songs
  • Virtuosa Piano
  • Piano Free

Art Tools

  • Drawing Pad
  • Draw Free
  • Kid Paint
  • Whiteboard

Halloween Applications

  • Carve a Pumpkin (to make the cute Jack-O-Lantern)
  • Pumpkin Lite
  • PumpknXplod
  • Pumpkin Plus
  • Skeleton (interactive and imitative)
  • Halloween Coloring Book
  • Carve It
  • Halloween Heat

Data Collection and Other ABA Tools

  • DT Data
  • ABC Logbook
  • ABC Data Pro
  • Touch Trainer
  • Smart White Board

 Parent Tools

  • IEP Checklist

 

Websites with Application Reviews

Let's BEE Friends

Read Full Post »

We are pleased to announce our schedule of upcoming webinars for the spring! Please join us for your continuing education needs. Contact us if you have questions: info at appliedbehavioralstrategies dot com.

Additionally, we are pleased to announce a free webinar for parents on using the iPad for communication, language, and academic instruction. The webinar will be on Wednesday February 8th from 7pm-9pm. Please visit our website for additional information. Space is limited and registration is required.

If you have suggested topics for continuing education or parent trainings, please email us with suggestions.

Thank you!

Spring Webinars

Read Full Post »

Hi and welcome to Ask Missy Mondays where I respond to email questions from readers who have questions about behavior. Today’s question comes from Suzanne, who asks:

“Hi, Missy. I feel so embarrassed to ask this question because, as a parent, I feel that I should know how to get my children to do homework. However, in our house, we struggle with homework every day. Please help us!

One of our kids has a meltdown every time he sees how many pages of work he has to do. Our other child actually starts his homework right away but he cannot stay focused. He is up and down constantly. No wonder it takes hours for him to finish! Last but not least, our youngest doesn’t have homework yet because she is still in kindergarten. She runs around the house making so much noise that the other two have a hard time focusing. Clearly, I am not up for Mother of the Year Award. Any help you can provide will be appreciated.”

First, Suzanne, you have to stop beating yourself up over this. Please understand that what you have described is identical to scenes from many other houses. Parents just do not want to share the horror stories for fear of being judged a bad parent. I am certain that those parents are thanking you for asking about this on their behalf.

I have a few tips to help get you started. Please let me know how it goes and I can make adjustments to the plan as they progress.

Routine

One of the most important things you can do to help your children is to establish a homework routine. Depending on after school activities (e.g., sports, music, play dates), the routine may change from day-to-day. None the less, the routine should be the same once it starts.

  • In our house, we like to get a healthy snack in before the work starts. This gives children the energy to stay focused and it prevents them from getting too hungry before dinner.
  • Next, we organize the homework so we know exactly what needs to be done.
  • We use a “to do” list or an agenda to identify each of the activities that should be completed. Our children take great pride in crossing items off that list.
  • I allow the children to choose which items they work on from the list. This allows them to have some control over the situation.

Reinforce

What advice could possibly come from a behavior analyst that doesn’t include the use of reinforcement? Of course you must spend a great deal of time reinforcing the behaviors that you want to see more. Depending on the age of your children, they may be able to practice some self-management strategies so that they reinforce themselves rather than you having to do all the work.

The reinforcers that you use during this time need to be individualized to your children. One child may be ready for a token system, while another child may need verbal praise. Ask your children to help identify reinforcers that they are willing to work for. Keep in mind that outrageous reinforcers such as cars, iPads, or computers should not be used. However, working for access to such items is completely appropriate (e.g., earn access to the car on the weekend, earn access to TV time).

  • Consider using stickers on a sticker chart. At the end of the week, cash the completed sticker chart in for a bigger reward (e.g., pizza night, movie)
  • Consider using coins and a bank as reinforcers. This helps the child learn about money and it also teaches the child to save. At the end of the week, your child can cash in his savings
  • Give your children attention and praise for engaging in the correct behaviors (e.g., “I love the way you are getting so much done!”)
  • Have a reinforcer available at the end of each homework session. This could be TV time, electronics time, or Wii Time. Make it brief (30 minutes or less) but it should be available immediately after each homework session.

Work Breaks

The behavior analysts who read this blog will immediately recognize that this, too, is another form of reinforcement. In behavior analysis we call work breaks “negative reinforcement”. There is not enough space in this blog post to explain the difference between positive and negative reinforcement. I promise to distinguish between the two at another time. But for now, please know that work breaks are important for children to remain focused during homework time.

  • Set a timer so your child knows when the break is coming
  • Work breaks are brief. 5-10 minutes–tops
  • Work breaks are free choice activities as long as no other house rules are broken (e.g., climbing on furniture or running in the house)
  • All children are on a work break together so they do not disrupt each other on break

Educational Support

I believe that all homework should be supplemented with manipulatives and other types of support.

  • Our children use the iPad to look up words in the dictionary. They use the iPad to practice their sight words. They use the iPad to practice their math facts.
  • When our oldest was learning to add fractions, we made it real by finding recipes and doubling the batch. We brought out the measuring cups and spoons and it made the math more real for her.
  • There is no better way to learn about geography, weather, or science than by scouring the internet for videos, photos, and other multi-media.

Planned Activity

Last but not least, I have to address the needs of your child who does not yet have homework. Homework time is an excellent time to start teaching the homework routine to her. I feel strongly that all children should read every day. Thus, she needs to spend part of homework time reading. If she cannot read yet, then you should read to her. You could also rent or download books on tape so that she can listen to a book. Additionally, there are many interactive books available for the iPad. If you don’t have one in your house, I recommend saving up for one as there are so many educational applications available to help each of your children with their homework.

After your daughter does her “homework” then find an activity for her to keep her engaged.

  • This can be special time with you or it can be an activity that she needs to do independently.
  • We love using the Wii for exercise and engagement. She could entertain herself for hours on a number of games.
  • You could also give her house chores so that she feels important. She can help unload the dishwasher, she can help with the laundry, or she can dust furniture

Suzanne, thanks for writing. I hope these tips help. Please let me know how it goes!

Readers, do you have anything to add?

If you have a behavior question or problem, email Missy at askmissy at appliedbehavioralstrategies dot com.

Read Full Post »

Each week we try to review a research article. Though not intentional, several of our posts this week related to visual supports for students with autism and other disabilities. Thus, we thought it would be helpful to review a research study on the use of visual supports.

Today’s research article was published by researchers at the University of Kansas. However, the article is now over 10 years old and several of the authors have moved to other institutions. You are probably wondering why we would review an article that is over 10 years old. We have 2 reasons for doing so. First, while the article is old, many teachers and parents do not even know about visual supports. Sadly, research does not always result in translation to practice. Second, the authors completed a cool study with results that we found compelling to share with you. Finally, if it worked 10 years ago, it most likely will work today–especially if we augment the practice with a little technology.

The authors of this study included Sarah Dettmer, Richard Simpson, Brenda Smith Myles, and Jennifer Ganz. The study appeared in Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities in 2000 under the title, The Use of Visual Supports to Facilitate Transitions of Students with Autism. You may find a copy of the study (and many others) here.

Participants in the study included 5- and 7-year-old boys with autism. Both boys experienced difficulties transitioning between activities. The researchers used a withdrawal research design. Specifically, researchers observed behaviors and collected data in baseline. This was followed by intervention procedures and additional observations. The researchers then withdrew the treatment and continued observations. Finally, the treatment was reinstated while observations continued. A design such as this demonstrates experimental control and shows the effectiveness of an intervention if observed behaviors change as a result of treatment and treatment withdrawal.

For this study, baseline (or pretreatment) observations demonstrated the difficulty of transitions for each child. One mother physically removed her child from community settings due to challenging behaviors and refusals to leave. Both boys required 2-5 minutes of transition time combined with multiple verbal and physical prompts.

The intervention consisted of the use of visual supports. Researchers taught parents how to use visual schedules to communicate to their children upcoming events. If the intervention sounds simplistic to you, it is. The simplicity of the intervention adds to the quality of the study.

Both boys experienced decreases in total transition time. Specifically, one boy decreased from 5 minute transitions to 1.5 minute transitions. The other boy decreased from 2 and 3 minute transitions to transitions lasting 30 seconds.

The most surprising finding in this study (and the reason we still want to talk about it 10 years later) is the fact that one student verbally requested his picture book when it was removed. The other student went looking for the visual support materials. The students wanted their visual schedules.

So why 10 years later aren’t we all using visual supports for children who need them?

If you have a child or a student with autism who experiences difficulties with transitions. Consider using visual supports as a strategy to reduce transition difficulty. If the student has an iPad consider purchasing iPrompts so a visual schedule may be made in seconds.

Happy transitions everyone!

Read Full Post »

It never occurred to us that we could take our existing knowledge about the iPad and applications and write an informative blog post for readers. So, thanks @PaulCBrady for asking us for a list!

The picture to the left comes from a wonderful (and free) application for Halloween. Children may carve by hand, carve by facial feature, carve by various faces, or use stickers to decorate. When the decorating is complete, a picture may be saved to your photo files. So, given that it is so close to Halloween, we’ll start with Halloween applications.

Halloween Applications

  • Carve a Pumpkin (to make the cute Jack-O-Lantern)
  • Pumpkin Lite
  • PumpknXplod
  • Pumpkin Plus
  • Skeleton (interactive and imitative)
  • Halloween Coloring Book
  • Carve It
  • Halloween Heat

Interactive Food Games (Thank you Maverick Software)

  • More Grillin
  • More Cookies
  • More Buffet
  • Cupcakes
  • More Pizza
  • More Cowbell
  • More Salad
  • Little Match Ups Fruits

Interactive Echo Games

  • Talking Gugi
  • Talking Tom
  • Talking Babies
  • Talking Gina
  • Talking John
  • Talking Roby
  • Talking Larry

Reading and Reading Readiness

  • Smiley Sight Words
  • Teach Me Toddler
  • Teach Me Kindergarten
  • Teach Me 1st Grade
  • Super Why
  • ABC Match Ups
  • Intro to Letters (by Montessorium)
  • Bob Books
  • Elmo’s ABCs (amazing and worth every penny)

Interactive Books

  • Misty Island (Thomas the Train complete with puzzles, coloring, and dot to dot)
  • 5 Little Monkys
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Me and Mom Go to the City
  • Toy Story (with reading and painting)
  • On The Farm
  • Ronki

Books

  • Read me Stories (a library with one free book each day)
  • Mee Genius (a library)
  • Reading Bug
  • Food Fight
  • Christmas Tale
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • Three Pigs
  • Sesame Books
  • Elmo’s Birthday

Vocabulary Builders

  • Kindergarten dot com Flash Cards (there are many! actions, alphabet, zoo, fruits, toys, instruments)
  • Verbs with Milo
  • First Words Deluxe

Math

  • Bert’s Bag
  • Intro to Math (by Montessorium)
  • Free Multiplication Tables
  • Grasshopper
  • Ace Math Flash Cards

Interactive Games

  • Bowling
  • Mini Cooper Liquid Assests
  • Monkey Flight (by Donut Games)
  • Sunday Lawn (by Donut Games)
  • Skee Ball
  • Flashlight
  • Spin the Coke Bottle
  • Spinning Plates

Interactive Songs and Music

  • Wheels on the Bus (Duck Duck Moose developers)
  • Old MacDonald (Duck Duck Moose)
  • Wheels on the Bus (Duck Duck Moose)
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider (Duck Duck Moose)
  • Kid’s Songs
  • Virtuosa Piano

Art Tools

  • Drawing Pad
  • Draw Free
  • Kid Paint
  • Whiteboard

Puzzles

  • Children’s Wooden Puzzles
  • Wooden Puzzles (these are not all good but the good ones are great. Sadly, the developers did not advertise on their app so we can’t tell you the exact name or developer)

Data Collection (I don’t think any of these are worth the money)

  • DT Data
  • ABC Logbook
  • ABC Data Pro

Applications for Autism

  • Proloquo2go–we love it.
  • Dexteria (developed by an OT and teaches fine motor skills)
  • iPrompts (thanks for the reminder Kristen!). iPrompts may be used to make schedules, choice boards, and a countdown timer. We LOVE this one.

Websites with Application Reviews

Parents of children with special needs will find the application called IEP Checklist very helpful.

We should clarify that we are not application developers and we have not been paid by any app developer to list their product. Missy is friends with Glenda, owner of Maverick software. Missy and Rebecca have both been given complimentary copies of Proloquo2go so that children may test out the software before making the purchase.

Finally, while these applications have been helpful for us in our therapy sessions, your child may no necessarily enjoy them. Before purchasing, read the ratings and comments. Check out the sample pages to make sure you know what you are purchasing.

Have fun with your applications. We sure do!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: