Saturday, May 25, 2013

I close my eyes: an interactive story

Every where I turn at work, I see another student with autism completely engaged with the interactive story app "I close my eyes."  The story walks us through Bella's imagination as she falls asleep.  On each page, Bella explains different scenarios she acts out in her dreams such as: "I close my eyes and I am flying in the clouds."

Each page has a cartoon that shows the action she describes. In addition, on most pages there is generally a funny action (such as a sneeze, an overly excited elephant or a monster that eats a fridge) that keeps most students coming back for more.
What is great about this app is that it provides a great and motivating way to talk about actions. I developed this communication board to help guide and support students as they talk about what they see as exciting!  

The app costs about $1.99 and creates an engaging opportunity to connect with a student.  There will be plenty to talk about!

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First words sampler

First words sampler was probably one of the first apps that I purchased and used in therapy.  I was almost in disbelief about how easy it was to get my clients to vocalize or use AAC (usually icon supports) to talk about what they saw. 

The app itself is really simple: you drag letters blocks up to the visual match to spell a word. The app reads each letter as you drag it to spell the word out loud. Then, after the word is successfully spelled, the icon spins around. 

I swear on my speech degree, that most kids will do anything (including vocalize, use full sentences to say what they see, expand sentences to include color) to see the icon spin around. 

So, using this app to elicit language is easy! Simply hold the iPad and ask the student what he/she sees. After they state the one word ("cat") or expanded sentence ("I see yellow duck," "It's a blue ship."), then they can drag each letter into the correct spot and squeal with joy as the object spins around!

It's a sure thing, and free!