Most of us, if not all, work with children with autism and other related disabilities. We all know that these children have difficulty managing their own behavior in certain life situations. We teach these children social skills via social stories. Social stories give our the needed information about specific life situations and help them understand and learn crucial social behavior, and what reactions or events that another person may have in a given situation. Social stories are geared towards making an individual more at ease in a life situation and help him/her generate more appropriate responses for it.
While we all have several books and picture plates that contain excellent social stories in our own individual workplaces, not all of them read the words (or describe the action in the picture) out loud. SPeak App found a rare gem in the app Going Places by Model Me Kids.
For an app that has a number of good pictures and sound clips, it is pretty light at 7.9 MB. The main screen has six options / places:
- grocery store
Select a “place,” say, at the hairdresser’s. Each picture has the main scene, a short sentence description of what the child is going to do / is doing or what others are doing, how he felt at that moment, and the appropriate responses he made in each situation. A voice plays and reads out each scene’s sentence. In each scene are 4 buttons:
- home button
- scroll back button
- scroll forward button
- play button (to let the entire story play by itself)
Each story has a little over 10 pictures. Crucial social behavior are constantly pointed out in each place: walking calmly, staying close to one’s parents, keeping one’s hands to himself, waiting for one’s turn, saying thank you and good bye, etc.
What I love about this app:
- easy-to-use interface
- straightforward main screen, making choosing situations easy
- pictures appropriate for each situation, depicts good social behavior
- with option to flip page as needed or to have scenes play automatically
- option to tap character to hear socially-appropriate utterances
- additional situations such as how to behave in school or in places of worship