Archive for the ‘Social Skills’ Category

{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
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids:
http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
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Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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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.

{App Reviews} The Zones of Regulation & The Zones of Regulation : Exploring Emotions apps

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{App Reviews} The Zones of Regulation & The Zones of Regulation : Exploring Emotions apps

Most of the patients that I see have Autism or other special needs that make emotional self regulation challenging for them. It’s the main reason that I sought out training in kids yoga several years ago and why I am always looking for additional tools in this area. When kids are experiencing either extreme of the zones, it is very unlikely that they will learn or gain much benefit from anything I may have planned for that session. Here are two new tools that I’ve recently added:

The Zones of Regulation by Selosoft, Inc.
https://appsto.re/us/GzayK.i, $5.99

This older app is a nice overview of the types of emotions, situations, triggers & tools associated with each of the four zones of regulation. I love the inclusion of self regulation breathing techniques (lazy 8 breathing & six sides of breathing) and that you can go directly to each of them. I also like picture studio and the game-like feel to the app. The match the face activity was helpful but also a little frustrating at times since it seemed a bit too rigid on emotions that could really fit in more than one zone. I was excited to see wording about expected vs. unexpected responses and info about “size of the problem” but then was disappointed that there was no way to directly to the “size of the problem” illustration and explanation later. It would be very helpful for this to be added either to this app or to their more recent app since that is a very frequent issue that I have to address with patients. It should also be noted that this original app doesn’t have any voiceovers so a child either needs to be able to read or have an adult read the content to them.

More info about the app: http://www.thezonesofregulation.com/the-zones-of-regulation.html

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The Zones of Regulation : Exploring Emotions by Selosoft, Inc.
https://appsto.re/us/l0CN9.i, $9.99

I really liked this second app as an extension of the concepts introduced in the original app. This newer app has bright graphics, high quality voiceovers, explanations of all aspects of the app, a less rigid interpretation of where certain situations might fit within the zones and often gives examples of how they would fit in multiple zones, the ability to set up multiple users, the option to add or delete tools to fit individual needs, a fun basketball game that can be easily unlocked by playing through other areas of the app, and is full of common situations that kids may encounter and several convey the importance of helping others and feeling empathy. I also liked that you can tap a star in the corner of many scenarios for a reference of where to look for additional information and the ability to graph zones across the day. I especially liked the repeated message that all zones are a natural part of life. A wish for a future app update would be the ability to toggle off the food fight scenario, skip past it or to have it replaced with something else. I also hope they add content regarding “size of the problem” since it was briefly mentioned in the original app and this is a very common issue that I deal with in sessions.

More about the app: http://www.thezonesofregulation.com/the-zones-of-regulation-exploring-emotions—available-now.html
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Since the majority of the patients on my caseload have Autism, the combination of these two apps will be very useful tools in my SLP toolbox. I will be watching closely for future app updates to continue to make these tools even better.

FYI… at the time of this post you can get both apps in a bundle for $12.99: The Zones of Regulation : Complete Bundle by Selosoft, Inc., https://appsto.re/us/YVxaab.i

Learn more about The Zones of Regulation: http://www.thezonesofregulation.com/index.html

Follow them on social media: https://www.facebook.com/pg/zonesofregulation

Teaching tools: http://www.thezonesofregulation.com/teaching-tools.html

I love this post “All the Zones are OK! Tips for Managing the Zones You’re In”: https://www.socialthinking.com/Articles?name=all-the-zones-are-ok

And this one: https://www.crisisprevention.com/Blog/October-2016/emotional-self-regulation
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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
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids:
http://m.me/OMazingKidsYoga
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
YappGuru: http://yappguru.com/user/omazing-kids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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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.

{Free Printable} Soda Pop Head: Things That Help Me Cool Down & Things That Make Me Fizz

Soda Pop Head - free printables on OMazing Kids

 

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Saw this cool idea on Instagram for the book “Soda Pop Head” but couldn’t find any free printables for it so of course I made my own.

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Free 2-page PDF printable: https://omazingkidsyoga.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/soda-pop-head-free-printable-from-omazing-kids.pdf

 

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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
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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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 over 26 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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{please ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}

Adapted Games for Inclusive Play: Candy Land

Adapted Games For Inclusive Play - Candy Land

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Adapted Games for Inclusive Play: Candy Land

I’ve been looking for a way to make the Candy Land game accessible for kids with special needs and found a great solution by combing an app, a specific version of the board game and ideas from an old journal article and a few websites!

Who knew that there has been SO many different versions of this game over the years and that each version has slightly different pictures on the “picture squares” in the game?

Well there has been and I was determined to get the version of the board game that matched up to this app. Could have sworn that I already had the Candy Land board game but looked through my entire stash of materials and couldn’t find it. If I had found it and it wasn’t the right version, my plan was to take screenshots of the pink picture squares from the app and attach them to the game board to make it match.
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After extensive research I finally figured out which version of the Candy Land board game matches this app. I bought “Candy Land – The Kingdom of Sweets Board Game” (2010) on Amazon for $7.49: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00000DMF5 and this app for $.99 (Candy Cards by Panther Technology,  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/candy-cards/id554983778?mt=8 , iOS 3.2 or later, Universal app that works on iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch). I was initially leery of the app since it had not been updated since 2012 but at the price of $.99 decided to try it out. I’m pleased to report that it worked fine on my iPad Air (running iOS 9.3.1) and on my iPhone 5 (running iOS 9.3.2). The only quirky thing I noted when using the app on an iPhone is that the app did not adjust to landscape orientation and had a small black band of dead space at the top and bottom of the screen.

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Check out all the options in this app’s settings area:

Under “Accessibility” settings:

  •  “Safety Time”: For kids who tend to tap repetitively, you can lock the screen for 2, 3, 5 or 10 seconds after drawing each card. That means focus can stay on the game instead of “stimming” on the iPad screen.
  • The “Target” feature can be centered, appear at random places, or even move around the screen if you are wanting to work on “targeted touch”. When “target” is toggled off, you can tap anywhere on the screen to “draw” a card (great for kids with more severe motor impairments).

Under “Play Settings”, you can toggle on/off the background music, the card count, and sound effects and select one of four backgrounds (grey metal, orange, candy stripe and my personal fave… a calming green).

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See more about the app on the developer’s website: http://panthertechnology.com/products/panther-candy-cards/

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So for the bargain price of $8.48 I now have a version of this classic kids game that is more inclusive of kids of a wide range of abilities and needs. I plan on modifying play further when I am in a group or have parents and/or siblings present by playing as “teams” where one teammate’s job is to “draw” the card using the app and the other teammate’s job is to move the game piece. Another option in a 1-on-1 session would be for you and the child to use it as a “cooperative” game and work together as a team to move one of the game pieces to the castle.

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I am also planning on incorporating the ideas for adaptations & task analysis from the journal article “Everyone Can Play!: Adapting the Candy Land Board Game TEACHING Exceptional Children July-August 1996 28: 28-33” (yes I realize the article is 20 years old but the concepts are still valid today). I saved a PDF of the full article out on Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1p1pimgnjmm52wp/Everyone%20Can%20Play%20-%20Adapting%20the%20Candy%20Land%20Board%20Game.pdf?dl=0

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{No Prep SLP Tips: Candy Land} https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/07/28/no-prep-slp-tips-candy-land/

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Additional ideas:

Check out these great Pinterest boards full of game adaptation ideas:

And lots of materials created by SLPs on TPT: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/PreK-12-Subject-Area/Speech-Therapy/Search:candy+land. I especially like this self esteem conversation prompts freebie: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Self-Esteem-Prompts-for-Candy-Land-1152578

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Oooh… just saw this fun idea to combine Candy Land + the Name That Word Game. Love finding new ways to use materials that I already own! I got my copy of that game several years ago at a back-to-school sale at a teacher supply store but saw that it’s available on Amazon.

http://millionsoffingerprints.blogspot.com/2013/05/today-in-speech-therapywe-played-candy.html

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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
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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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 over 26 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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{please ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}

{Four Faves} 4 apps from Virtual Speech Center: Apraxia RainbowBee, Articulation Games, Social Norms & Social Skills with Billy

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{App Review} Circles App: Social Boundaries & Relationships by James Stanfield Co., Inc.

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{App Review} Circles App: Social Boundaries & Relationships by James Stanfield Co., Inc.

The Circles App™ is an innovative way to teach children that the degree of closeness they have with other people and how they touch them, depends on the kind of relationship they have with them. It is an essential tool for social skills learning, especially for kids, teens, and young adults with special needs, intellectual disabilities, and individuals on the autism spectrum. With a colorful, interactive relationship graph, The Circles App™ teaches:

  • appropriate social interactions in relation to TOUCH: who gets a hug, who gets high-fives, who gets fist bumps, and more!
  • intimacy boundaries to help prevent abuse and exploitation
  • how to recognize and practice boundary limits for healthy mutual relationships

I love how this app breaks this concept down into concrete visual sections! It does a good job of showing the difference between community workers in the red circle vs. other strangers in the red stranger space. I also like how it includes fist bumps and bro hugs as current ways that kids greet each other. This will be a fabulous tool in my toolbox as I work with with patients who have difficulty understanding social boundaries and those who are at high risk for being taken advantage of. The app is easy to customize with pictures that are meaningful to that individual. It is designed to be appropriate for a wide range of ages.

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App Store: https://appsto.re/us/6LK58.i, iOS 8.4 or later, iPad only, $24.99

Website: http://circlesapp.com

Tutorial: http://circlesapp.com/circles-app-tutorial/

Download a FREE Circles App User Guide with app instructions, FAQs, and general notes on how you can make the App work for you: http://eepurl.com/bULTWP

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stanfieldcompany
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JSTANFIELDCO
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/stanfieldco/circles-app-intimacy-relationships-social-boundari/
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Disclaimer: I received this app via a promo code from the developer. No compensation was received to review it and my opinions are strictly my own.

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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
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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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 over 26 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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{please ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}

{Awesome Book} “Social Skills Matter!, Grades PK – 2: Social Narrative Mini-Books” by Christine Schwab & Kasandra S. Flora, M.S., CCC-SLP

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Wow! Look what arrived today: “Social Skills Matter!, Grades PK-2: Social Narrative Mini-Books” by Christine Schwab & Kasandra S. Flora, M.S., CCC-SLP.

I’m very impressed with this book full of 84 reproducible social skill mini-books + award certificates. I bought my copy on Amazon for $24.54 with free shipping. That’s a bargain at $.29 per social story. It was co-authored by a SLP and by how well written they are I would guess that she has extensive experience working with kids with Autism. My go-to resources these days are mainly things I can grab and go. Yes I occasionally write my own social stories to fit very specific needs but having a book like this is worth it’s weight in gold for a busy SLP. Can’t wait to use these in OMazing Kids speech-language therapy 🙂

http://www.amazon.com/Social-Skills-Matter-Grades-Mini-Books/dp/1483800156
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See a more extensive peek inside the book on the publisher’s website: http://bit.ly/27igQgh

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Including a few screenshots here from that preview:

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It’s very important to be respectful of kids sensory needs when teaching eye contact. I often teach kids how to approximate eye contact by periodically glancing at anything in the facial region to “check in”. Love this illustration from the book:

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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
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
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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 over 26 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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{please ignore any ads that may appear below. This is a free blog and I don’t have any control over ads nor do I profit from them}