Thinking of taking a camping trip this summer?
Our apps can be used for everything from creating social stories about camping (and discussing safety precautions when out in the wilderness) using Scene Speak. Using First Then Visual Schedule HD to giving your camper step by step instruction on what gear to pack, campsite location, preferred objects to pack and bring, and meal items.
Social stories are pretty easy to create, can be as simple or complex as you'd like, and with the addition of audio hotspots and read-along text, the experience can be even more comprehensive for the individual using the app. Each individual page in the story can be an individual VSD, tailored to individual needs, and once each page is completed, they can be added to one big camping "book" within the Scene Speak app. If the individual tends to elope, this can be addressed within the social story as well.
Anything requiring multiple steps can easily be translated to First Then Visual Schedule HD for easy reference, modeling, and to keep the individual on task. Setting up a tent is difficult for most people without some form of instruction. Try finding a step-by-step set of instructions online, then breaking those instructions up into steps. Use images to represent the steps, and pair audio labels if necessary. If there is a particulalrly tricky part of the process (you may want to perform a dry run at home before the trip!), adding a video for reference purposes also works well. This technique works well with just about ANY activity during camping, and can be fully customized to suit the specific needs and capabilities of the individual using the app.
The more structured and well-planned a camping trip can be, the better your loved ones/clients will fare on the trip...which will make for a really amazing experience for everyone involved. Our apps are designed to compliment one another in so many ways when used in conjunction with each other. With adequate support, your loved one/client will be able to be completely included (even if activities/tasks must be adapted) in the group/family trip. We love inclusion here at Good Karma Apps.
These techniques are great for assisting with Inclusive/Adaptive Scouting too!
Scene Speak is one of our most versatile, multi-purpose apps. In addition to creating social stories, digital scrapbooks, etc., it can also be used to teach everyday concepts, like money recognition and management.
If the individual has not mastered basic monetary concepts, you can always begin by creating VSDs to define and identify different types of currency.
You can also combine different types of currency to help the individual learn how to count change, payments, etc.
Once each denomination is mastered, you can show the value in practical settings.
Now, to work on spending wisely!
For an easy, functional activity that encourages both family time and independent living skills, try using our First Then Visual Schedule HD app for recipes.
To do this, find a simple recipe that is concrete and easy to follow, with minimal steps. Take pictures of each step and create a template for the individual to follow along with. At the end, you can either allow the food item itself to be the end reward, or you can choose another small token to encourage participation.
You can develop more complex recipe "schedules" as the individual learns to follow along with the steps and becomes more familiar with cooking tools. Happy eating!!!
More Than A Feeling: Increasing Verbal Reporting and Receptive Recognition of Emotions Using My Choice Board
If you're working on self-awareness and emotional recognition/regulation, try using our My Choice Board app to allow the individual to express how they are feeling. This is beneficial in two ways - it helps increase the individual's ability to self-report feelings and moods while also giving you much-needed insight as to how they are feeling.
Implementation is simple - You can either use images of the individual or find generic images (if the individual is good at generalizing) online to use. Once you have your choice board created with all of your desired images, allow the individual to choose from the field (which can be as large or small as you'd like).
This can be incredibly effective for grumpy morning risers, individuals who have medical/pain issues, and pinpointing environmental triggers/stressors.
Do you have a love one/client that fails to recognize the difference between "stranger" and "friend?"
Everything from inappropriate touching (i.e., hugging strangers, talking to people in public they do not know, etc.) can lead to misunderstandings - and sometimes worse.
To help with this, you can create flashcards/books using our Scene Speak app that address and reiterate who is safe to approach and who should be kept at a safe distance. Mix in familiar people (doctors, teachers, aides, therapists, family members, and friends) with randomized pictures of people the individual has never met before, and pair them with questions (or use language of your choice to describe "stranger danger") in order to establish familiarity with those who are all right to approach while separating them from people who are unknown.
This can also be used for young children, who can benefit from learning the difference between "familiar person" and "stranger."
Will your client/loved one be starting a new placement or program this fall?
Easing anxieties over a new placement, classroom, or program is essential for both short and long term success. Our apps can come in handy in this capacity as well.
Try giving your loved one/client some input over what they will wear, bring for lunch, etc. on the first day of their new program or class by using My Choice Board to offer them the ability to make these choices for themselves. This will give them a feeling of confidence as they enter into the new environment/situation.
If you have access to images of the new placement/classroom or can visit to take pictures yourself, use Scene Speak to create a social story/book of facts about the new program, including information about the teacher/supervisor, staff, classroom/building, and anything you notice that may capture their attention and hold it (if there's a bus yard close by and the individual loves buses, for example). The anticipation of entering into a new environment can become a positive thing if the individual has something interesting to look forward to.
If possible, make sure the schedule for the first day of attendance is iron-clad, to avoid the chaos that can accompany lack of structure. The more clear the individual can be about what will be happening, the easier it will be to accept the new placement/program. First Then Visual Schedule HD is excellent for this purpose, and once the regular structure of the program/classroom is established, Visual Schedule Planner can be used to form a more long-term schedule of daily events and activities.
Also, if any major changes will be occurring (for us, the program is not changing, but the teacher is getting married over the summer, which means her name will be different when school resumes), you can get your client or loved one accustomed to those changes before they return. Concepts like name changes, or even something as small as a haircut/color change can be distressing, and making sure those differences and changes are addressed before the individual goes back to the program/school can make for a smoother re-entry.
Taking a trip this summer? Whether it's a few hours or a few days, we've got apps to help maintain structure and make transitions on vacation much easier.
For example, use Scene Speak to take pictures of car logos, then use the VSDs to create a book of cars to look for on a long road trip...or First Then Visual Schedule HD to create a travel itinerary, complete with stopovers. Our apps are so versatile, the potential uses are only limited by your imagination!
Discussing Levels of Friendship and Bullying:
Scene Speak can be used to create social stories and other exercises that address the issue of bullying. This is an important issue for many of our younger individuals (and adults too, in some situations).
The concept of "levels of friendship" is hard for many individuals to understand. Sometimes the most damaging bullying occurs in less obvious scenarios. Teaching these individuals how to advocate for themselves, when to report a situation to adults/higher authorities, and the difference between "acquaintance," "friend," and "toxic person" can help protect the individual from emotional and/or physical harm in the future.
Summer Trip Survivial Tip:
If you're taking a big trip to a theme park or other large area requiring many transitions this summer, try using our apps to alleviate some of the stress involved in changing activities.
Scene Speak can be used to give your loved one complete visual access to the entire facility/area, and hotspots can be created to allow them to have input over where you go next and what comes next. Simply label the desired area with a hotspot, make several "places" available, and allow the user to touch the space they wish to visit next. This will foster an excitement and involvement in the chosen activity, and give them the power of choice during an activity.
You can also simplify it for an individual who may already be familiar with the vacation spot by using My Choice Board to offer them a choice between activities, rides, etc. To avoid indecision, it may be helpful to offer one preferred and non-preferred place. That way, the individual still feels they are having a "say" in the day's activities, and pictures can be taken and used quickly.
For lunchtime, toileting, and any other shorter activity, First Then Visual Schedule can be used to create a step by step guide for your loved one to know exactly what is coming next within a specific activity. For users who are good at generalizing, you can also use the app to plan out each activity beforehand, and offer choices (or even a video of a rollercoaster or other applicable activity) to further enhance the experience/choice making.
Encouraging Family Time/Recreational Activity Participation:
Every individual in a household or family should feel that they are active participants in the recreational/leisure activities of the house. It's easy to include a loved one, roommate, or client in these activities using our My Choice Board app.
You can create a choice board for each individual activity type (example: board games), or simply have a "Recreation" board, where the field of choice contains several different types of options/activities. The options offered should always include available, tangible items to avoid confusion or disappointment.
These types of activities encourage active participation in family/group activities, and allow for the individual to know that they are just as valuable and important to the family/group as every other member. Having influence over the structure of recreational activities can be empowering for our loved ones/clients and helps include them in meaningful ways. This can also work in a school setting, when it comes to choosing classroom chores, recess games, or any other activity in class where the individual can make a concrete choice and guide the group's activity.
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