So many blog posts, so little time! I had to make time however to ensure all of you are aware that Choiceworks has dropped in price to only $4.99. I have no idea how long this price drop will be in effect so if you don’t yet have a copy of this Visual Support app, the time to buy it is NOW.
I frequently recommended this app when it was $9.99 – now it’s 50% cheaper it really is a no-brainer to buy.
It can be used as a visual schedule app but it’s not *just* for visual scheduling. Here’s a quick list of the top reasons why I think this app is a winner:
- It’s universal, so it works on all iDevices
- Easy to share boards between devices via iTunes
- So straightforward and fast to use – you can quickly create new boards on the fly
- Comes with a huge library of symbols but it’s simple to also add your own images from your camera roll
- The visual schedule is interactive (drag and drop to indicate ‘all done’) and includes the option to add a timer to certain steps
- In addition to the visual scheduling, the app includes boards to help self-regulation of both feelings and waiting. You can easily use these boards to aid with transitions as well.
Here’s a weekday morning schedule that I put together for Oliver:
Oliver often wants what his brother has which, given Owen’s preferences, is typically a book. We have hundreds of books but Oliver will often forcibly ask for or even snatch away the book that his brother is reading. So I set up a waiting board for him to model what I prefer that he do – he can choose to either read a different book with me while he waits or can play with some preferred toys. I’m gradually increasing his waiting time while he waits his turn for the book.
With respect to self-regulation, we’re also practicing alternatives to pushing and throwing himself on the ground. Note that we’re practicing these regularly through the day when Oliver is calm and happy, not going to them when he’s upset. The goal is to help him learn these alternative strategies so he can remember to fall back on them when he is upset.
Choiceworks also includes three Companion Books – short and straightforward outlines which you can go through with your child so they understand the purpose of the boards that they are using.
The app’s settings are simple and exactly the ones you need – you can prevent editing, turn off audio and choose to not show the help option on a board if you want to keep things simple for your child.
As I mentioned previously, it’s also easy to share boards. You can print them for quick and fast visual reference purposes, email them or if you have multiple devices, copy the boards to other devices very easily via iTunes.
Obviously this app is going to be enormously useful for teachers, parents and therapists involved with special needs children but honestly I think all parents and teachers would find this app useful. Virtually all toddlers and preschoolers respond to visual supports and many typical older children are visual learners – in my opinion this app would be a useful aid for all children in learning self care and self regulation which are fundamental skills to learn on the road towards independence.