{App Reviews} Three apps to help kids with Autism: Say It.. Or Not? Social Filter Skills, Fact & Opinion and Conversation Planner: Social Skills Basics for Special Kids

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{App Reviews} Three apps to help kids with Autism: Say It.. Or Not? Social Filter Skills, Fact & Opinion and Conversation Planner: Social Skills Basics for Special Kids

Most of the kids on my caseload have Autism or other similar special needs that make social skills very challenging for them. Do you work with kids who tend to think their opinion is a “fact”, have little to no social filter and struggle with having a conversation? Then I recommend taking a look at these three apps:

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Say It.. Or Not? Social Filter Skills: School Ed. by Janine Toole, https://appsto.re/us/p72kgb.i, $14.99

Say It… Or Not?” teaches children with Autism how to filter their thoughts and provide appropriate responses in awkward or frustrating social situations. Over 100 real-life social situations with more than 400 possible responses provide a wide variety of practice in dealing with challenging situations. Students learn perspective-taking when they consider how someone would feel after hearing a specific response. Students also practice identifying if a specific response is “okay to say”. Finally, learners identify which response choice is best in a given situation. Available in Free-to-try and School Edition.​

I am loving the content in this app! The scenarios provided are diverse and relatable. Although it takes a little longer for the app to load if you toggle on the “voice on” option, I highly suggest doing so. It will add the option for you to tap a speaker button on each item which then reads it to you. The voiceovers are very well done with great tones of voice. I appreciate that the developer included a way for the SLP to unlock all the content and go directly to an area they want to target.

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Fact & Opinion: Reading Comprehension Skills SE by Janine Toole, https://appsto.re/us/mhV86.i, $4.99

Fact or Opinion’ builds an important comprehension skill in a fun, game-like environment. All kids need to know how to interpret what they read — is it a fact, or is it someone’s opinion? This skill is especially important as they reach the age of accessing information from the internet. This vital skill is built incrementally. Early levels focus on thinking about how to prove and fact/opinion and also how to identify the clue words that are indicative of a fact or opinion. Later levels include timers to ensure fluency. Available in Free-to-try and School Edition.​

I am loving the content of this app and how it lays a foundation for how to determine facts vs. opinions and gradually builds in complexity. This app will definitely be getting a lot of use as I help my patients with Autism understand that just because they think something is a certain way doesn’t mean it is a “fact” and that others may hold different “opinions” than they do. The app developer has this app listed with their reading apps but in my world this is very much applicable to social skills.

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Conversation Planner: Social Skills Basics for Special Kids: School Edition by Janine Toole, https://appsto.re/us/ZoDNbb.i, $7.99

Conversation Planner teaches your child a step-by-step method to prepare for any conversation or social situation. Kids learn to think about who they are talking to, what that person will expect, when to know the person is ready for the conversation, etc. Conversation Planner gives your child the tools to complete successful conversations. Available in Free-to-try and School Edition.​

I love the variety of content included in the app. It is very helpful to have the levels labeled on the screen where you can choose a level. This allows the SLP to quickly chose the level they want to use with a particular patient in a session.

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All 3 apps rewards correct answers with coins that can later be spent getting accessories to dress up a character or playing a short reinforcer game (fruit ninja in Conversation Planner and Say It or Not, a penguin skateboarding game in Fact or Opinion). I like having reinforcer options built into the apps and that they are locked until the child has completed a certain number of items.

My thoughts on the reinforcer games… So a “fact” is I was terrible at the penguin game as evidenced by the poor penguin not making it past more than two dangerous plants every time I tried it. But I totally rocked at fruit ninja (which I’ve had tons of practice with outside of these apps). Therefore my “opinion” is that fruit ninja should be offered as a game option in the Fact or Opinion app…. or maybe I will just need more practice at when to tap so the poor penguin doesn’t crash into a prickly cactus or carnivorous plant…. lol!

Each app has a free lite “try before you buy” version. If you like what you see, I always suggest purchasing the full paid version of any app vs. upgrading a lite app via an in-app purchase.

See info about this developer’s entire line of apps on their website: https://www.happyfrogapps.com. Several are also available for Android devices.

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

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