Posts Tagged ‘kids social emotional learning’

Fingertip Sphere Breathing for Self Regulation & Calming

 

Fingertip Sphere Breathing for Self Regulation & Calming

I learned this technique during one of the webinars in the Preschool Mindfulness Summit in January. It was amazing to see how well it worked with one of my patients who has Autism (and possibly OCD and Explosive Disorder). This child has a very short fuse and when he explodes it is painful for everyone including him. We had tried several different strategies to help him learn self regulation and self calming skills with little success. The issue was in that explosive moment he was too out of control to use any strategies.

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During our last session he became obsessed over a particular page in a board book, insisting that he had to “see the page in the middle” and then exploding when I removed the book to prevent it from being damaged. I then closed my eyes, placed my fingertips together and slowly expanded them (like a Hoberman Sphere) as I took a deep breath in through my nose and gently pressed them back together as I blew the breath slowly out of my mouth. After about 3 breaths I heard him calming down and he asked “What you doing?”. As I continued my slow breathing process with my eyes closed, I softly said “Ms. Angela is taking a break. ________ (child’s name) yelling scared Ms. Angela. When I get scared I take deep breaths.”. Then I continued doing the fingertip breathing with my eyes closed. Within a second or two I heard him breathing, peeked and saw him imitating what I was doing. Once he was calm I gently placed a new activity in front of him. He started to re-escalate and obsess over wanting the book again so I closed my eyes and started the breathing again. He again imitated and this time calmed down and was able to maintain that state of calm for the rest of our session. I cannot express what a HUGE moment this was for him. As he took a play break after the session I talked with his mother to make sure she understood what I had done and how powerful it would be for her son to experience the ability to self regulate and calm.

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It is important to note that I did not tell this child to “calm down” or to “take a deep breath”. When I calmed and centered myself and modeled this breathing technique he began to imitate what I was doing and then got to experience the power of self calming.

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Moments like this are exactly why I sought out training in kids yoga and mindfulness seven years ago. When a child is totally disregulated they are not going to learn anything I had planned for that session. So I needed tools in the speechie toolbox to help my patients.

Of course I also make referrals as needed to good pediatric psychological services in our area.

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I have shared several resources for “breathing”, “self regulation”, “calming”, “mindfulness” and “social emotional learning” over the years on my blog. You can find those posts easily by doing a search for those terms. I have also shared additional resources out on my OMazing Kids Facebook page. Many of those posts are saved in the photos/albums area…. so feel free to look through those as well.

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This gif shows a Hoberman Sphere in action for those that may not be familiar with it:

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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 (note: Facebook frequently changes the link to messaging so if this one doesn’t work head over to my page and click on the “Send Message” button)
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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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 28 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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{New “Must Have” Resource} Mindful Kids: 50 Mindfulness Activities for Kindness, Focus and Calm by Whitney Stewart and Mina Braun

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Mindful Kids: 50 Mindfulness Activities for Kindness, Focus and Calm by Whitney Stewart and Mina Braun

Be still my heart! This is the best new kids mindfulness product that I’ve seen in a long time. The boxed card deck includes 50 creative mindfulness games, visualizations and exercises divided into 5 categories to help children feel grounded, find calm, improve focus, practice loving-kindness and relax. Whimsical full-color illustrations on both sides of the cards break down each practice into easy-to-follow steps. Tips on individual cards plus an 8-page instructional booklet show modifications that make these activities inclusive for children of all abilities.

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What I love about these cards:

* Large 5″ X 7″ sturdy cards with a protective coating. The size will be helpful in groups as well as 1-on-1 sessions and the two sided card format is easy to “grab and go”.
* Whimsical colorful illustrations depicting kids of diverse ethnic backgrounds and abilities participating in the activities. The color and style of illustrations are not childish. This makes this card set useable for a wide range of ages (says “ages 4-104” on the front of the storage box)
* The front of each card has a large illustration, activity category with color coded edge, activity title and brief description.
* The back of each card has illustrated step-by-step simple instructions. I love how simple the wording is. Some cards have additional tips or challenges.
* Many of the cards deal with a wide range of emotions…. this set is a perfect addition to any SEL (social emotional learning) program!
* A few cards address “dealing with change”…. this is often difficult for my patients with Autism, OCD and other special needs so I’m especially excited about these cards.
* There are no religious images, words or symbols. This will make this card set usable in a wide range of environments.
* The instructional booklet has simple kid-friendly explanations about mindfulness and the five categories of activities. Also includes tips for modifying activities.
* The cards come in a sturdy storage box with hinged lid covered in whimsical colorful illustrations.

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List of cards included in each category:

Start Your Day: Stay Grounded. Feel strong, focused and confident as you begin each day.
* Mindful Breaths
* Mindful Mood
* Mountain Rising
* Rooted Like a Tree
* Inhaling the Universe
* Cloud Burst
* Mindful Jungle Movement
* Reflection Pond
* Words to Yourself
* Rings of Light

Find Calm: Ride Your Waves. Learn to handle tricky or challenging emotions.
* Shake the Sillies Out
* Balanced Breathing
* Tummy Ride
* Mind Bubbles
* The Power of Blue
* Joyful Jellyfish
* Happy Hum
* Fist Squeeze
* Finding the Pause
* Peaceful Place

Focus: Strengthen Your Mind. Wake up your brain, build concentration and sharpen your sensory awareness.
* Tap and Wiggle
* Finger Fiddle
* Mind Castle
* Wise Old Owl
* Mental Snapshot
* Mind Magic
* Open Ears
* The Nose Knows
* Sharp Eyes
* Mindful Munch

Open Your Heart: Accept Life with Kindness. Feel a sense of self-acceptance and connection to the world.
* Sharing Friendship
* Everything Changes
* Sitting With It
* Name That Feeling
* Finding Feelings
* The Inner Me
* Cooking Up Connections
* Breath by Breath
* Loving-Kindness
* Heart Garden

Rest & Relax: Unwind Your Tangles. Reflect, relax and ease your busy mind.
* Animal Dance
* Swaying Trees
* Figure Eights
* Rain Shower
* Safekeeping
* Rock, Roll and Rest
* Squeeze and Release
* Floating Smiles
* I Am Thankful
* Folding Flower

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More details: https://www.barefootbooks.com/index.php?cID=81724
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See samples of the cards: http://store.barefootbooks.com/mindful-kids.html
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Get a better price on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mindful-Kids-Activities-Focus-Peace/dp/1782853278
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About the author: http://whitneystewart.com
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This card set is highly recommended as a “must have” resource for therapists, teachers, parents & kids yoga teachers! 

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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 (note: Facebook frequently changes the link to messaging so if this one doesn’t work head over to my page and click on the “Send Message” button)
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 28 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 Review} Big Break: The Acting Game by Emote Play Apps Inc.

 

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{App Review} Big Break: The Acting Game by Emote Play Apps Inc.

This app is a fun twist on video modeling for learning and practicing expression of emotions. There are 14 movies to choose from. They are color coded into 4 levels (easy, medium, hard & hardest). The themes currently included are primarily geared towards older kids & teens (Broadway, Sci-Fi, Rock Opera, Comedy, Bollywood, Superhero, Fantasy-Comedy, 50’s Musical, Time Travel, Western Musical, Shakespeare, Fosse Musical, Punk Show & Circus). The app uses the iPad forward facing camera to show the user alongside the video model.

About the app: Big Break Bobby needs actors for his movie production studios. That’s where you come in. Act out lines along with game characters, guess emotions of the characters, and even see yourself in a movie. Earn points based on your acting and observation skills. This game provides a fun way for kids to practice their social communication skills through modules that require listening, watching, acting, and singing.

App video: 

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Wishes for a future app update:

* For the app to rotate when you flip the iPad. I always use my iPad in landscape orientation with the home button to the right. This app is currently upside down if I have my iPad in that orientation.

* Add some even easier movie options with themes suited for younger kids.

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App Store: https://appsto.re/us/cre26.i, iPad only, $5.99

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Website: http://bigbreakgame.com
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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: https://www.facebook.com/messages/174264525957894
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 over 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}

{Book Review} Maggi and Milo Make New Friends by Juli Brenning

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{Book Review} Maggi and Milo Make New Friends by Juli Brenning

I work with lots of kids who struggle with making friends so this new book is sure to become a fave. I love the whimsical illustrations and fun storyline…. especially the scavenger hunt that is filled with great descriptive language and the message of working together.

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About the book: Perfect for fans of Ladybug Girl, this playground adventure about the joy of making new friends continues the story of the plucky girl-and-dog duo from Maggi and Milo. Maggi is an irrepressible girl with an equally awesome best friend: her dog, Milo. So when Mom suggests a day at the park with other kids, Maggi isn’t sure. All she needs is Milo, afer all. But off to the playground they go—only to find that no dogs are allowed! Maggi wants to stay behind, but the other kids are having so much fun that she decides to go in. Before long, she has a whole group of new friends, and all of them want to try walking Milo. But first, they have to find a family of rollie-pollies, complete a treasure hunt, and build a pirate ship. When it’s time to go, Maggi waves goodbye to her new friends—but she knows she’s going home with Milo, her best friend of all.

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Publisher: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/309682/maggi-and-milo-make-new-friends-by-juli-brenning-illustrated-by-priscilla-burris/9780803737761/

Free coloring pages: http://www.maggiandmilo.com
Author’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/julibrenningcom

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Here is a free scavenger hunt printable that I received from the publisher:

Click pic to open 1 page PDF

https://omazingkidsyoga.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/maggi-and-milo-make-new-friends-scavenger-hunt.pdf

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Disclaimer: I received these books from the publisher to review. No compensation was received to review them 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}

{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}