Shopping Trips Made Easier:
First Then Visual Schedule HD can be used to create a shopping list, complete with pictures and audio prompts. If there are multiple brands of an item that you use, it is easy to add a choice board to reflect those options as well.
At the store, you can give your loved one/client the device, and allow them to take part in locating the items on their "digital shopping list," checking them off in one of the five available viewing modes before moving onto the next item. This promotes independence when shopping for essential items.
If you have a younger individual, this can also come in handy to keep them engaged when shopping with an adult while also involving them in a routine practice that encourages the development of self help skills and helps them learn how to navigate a routine outing.
Want to maintain academic skills during the summer?
Use First Then Visual Schedule to plan out worksheet time, book reading, writing exercises...there are many ways to use the app creatively in order to promote structured learning activities over the long summer months. With FTVS HD, you can even add in timers, to allocate each subject a set amount of time.
Use the "Choice Board" feature of our First Then Visual Schedule HD app to create a menu of preferred items within a schedule for your restauraunt outing. You can use either preloaded generic graphics, your own camera pics of menu items, or you can find images using the internet search feature of the app.
Our Scene Speak app is also a handy tool for using an image of the entire restaurant menu and adding in hotspots that will "talk" when touched. You can add voice or text to the hotspot so that the user can "order" from the virtual menu by simply tapping within the hotspot on the menu image.
This enagages the user in actively participating in the outing in a meaningful way by giving them a choice in what they wish to eat while promoting expressive language.
Do you need to add in a timed prompt/break between steps in your schedule using First Then Visual Schedule HD?
Try adding a "holding step" between regular steps in your existing schedule, then attaching a timer for the length of time that you desire for the prompting step. You can add in an audio prompt of your choice (voice, etc.) to "alert" the user and remind them to stay on task.
When your schedule plays out, they will have an extra "step" in between regular schedule items to bring them back to the task at hand. This is effective for those individuals may need a small break between steps to redirect them to their schedule.
Teaching Appropriate Dress For Weather:
There are many reasons an individual may not be able to dress themselves appropriately for the weather. Sensory aversion to certain fabrics, lack of body awareness, etc. can all contribute to an individual's inability to properly dress according to the weather outside. Here are a few suggestions that may help - while also teaching the individual how to dress comfortably for hot, cold, and/or inclement weather.
Scene Speak can be used to create social stories about different types of weather. Hotspots can be added with text or speech that further enhance the story. Read along text can also be added to each VSD in order to make the story even more dynamic.
Our My Choice Board app can be used to quickly get images and display them efficiently for the app user to choose their own initial outfit.
For those individuals who already use First Then Visual Schedule (HD) for dressing schedules, adding in a choice board - for example, "Put on shirt" could flip to a field of several choices, long and short sleeved...or "Put on pants" could flip to a choice board containing both shorts and long pants - can afford the individual the opportunity to learn how to gauge what should be worn according to the weather outside. Further prompting can be used to promote the environmental awareness necessary to gauge for themselves what articles of clothing should be worn in different types of weather.
We strive to provide apps that are as multi-dimensional as our hopes and dreams for our loved ones. =)
Fourth of July celebrations can be chaotic and noisy, especially if you have a loved one with sensory issues. To alleviate stress this holiday, try using Scene Speak to create a social story about viewing fireworks and/or entertaining guests. It can be as simple or as complex as you'd like, but social stories help individuals get through unfamiliar or potentially aversive activities, and can ease some of the stressors that accompany such a festive day.
You can also use First Then Visual Schedule to create a "timeline of events" - including visitors as well as celebratory events (try pairing the fireworks step with a short video of fireworks to help prepare/desensitize your loved one) and offering some preferred choices at the end of the schedule. It can be easier to "get through" an unfamiliar event if there is an anticipation of an ending.
Using headphones and soft music on the device during the fireworks portion of the evening can also help decrease some of the stimuli involved with Independence Day celebrations. Holidays are infinitely more fun if everyone can be involved to their level of comfort!
Letters, Numbers, Reading, and Math (oh my!):
If you want to teach an academic concept involving visual recognition and memory to your loved one, try using Scene Speak to make "flashcards" of the information you'd like to teach. This works well in therapeutic settings as well as at school and home. You can use the internet search feature (or your own image library) to create VSDs of individual letters, numbers, colors, emotions...there are endless possibilities. Each can then be placed into a book of their very own, for easy access and organization. You can further enhance the experience and promote independent usage by adding text or hotspots to the VSDs.
Given the versatility of Scene Speak, there are multiple ways to use its functions to promote expressive and receptive language skills. Scene Speak can also be used as an effective tool to encourage literacy, by keeping the individual's favorite books contained in a portable form. For those of you that have a sensory-seeking child who may rip pages out of conventional books, this can be a wonderful way to create a custom version of a favorite book in a digital format. This blog will serve as a "how to" guide to create an interactive storybook using the popular children's book, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" as an example.
If your default bookcase (located within the "Settings" menu) is set to "VSD," then you're ready to begin. If not, simply tap the "VSD Library" icon at the bottom of your screen to begin adding the images you will need for your storybook. Don't worry if your pages are out of order... you can arrange them later when you add them to your book.
Now that you're in your VSD Library, you want to make sure that you are in "Edit Mode" so that you can begin adding in your images. To do this, tap the "Edit Mode" icon in the upper right corner of your screen. The icon in the upper right corner will now read "Playing Mode," and two icons will appear below each image in your VSD Library (an "edit" and "delete" icon). To begin adding the images that will eventually become your book, you can use either of two "Add" methods. In the upper left corner, there is an "Add" button, and at the end of your image library, there is a blank page with a "+" symbol that reads "Touch to Add."
Before you can choose your image, you must first give your image a title. In the field provided at the top of the screen ("Input Name Here"), I have chosen to create the page that will serve as the book cover, simply titled "Brown Bear Cover."
The next step is locating a suitable image. By tapping the "Choose Image" icon at the top of the screen, a drop down menu will appear, prompting you to choose your image source. When creating custom storybooks using existing templates, you can either use your device's camera to take a picture of the book page itself, or use the Internet Search feature. For this example, I will use "Google Search."
The name used to title your image will automatically import into the Google Search field, which should show a variety of options to choose for your image. If the results do not match your desired image, you can use another description in the search field to refine the search. I prefer images that have a higher pixel size (larger dimensions) for easier editing and image clarity. Tap the desired image to bring it into viewing mode.
To select, tap the "Full-Size image" link to the right of the image. This brings the image into Full Size view with a "Use Image" icon underneath. If there is no icon, it is copyright protected. In this case, tap the double arrow at the top of the screen to go back and choose another image.
Once you have the image imported into Scene Speak, you can resize the image to fit the screen by pinching and pulling the image itself. This is especially helpful if you want to maintain the integrity of the original book.
Now that the image is properly imported and resized to your satisfaction, make sure to tap the "back" icon in the upper left hand corner. This will save the image automatically to your VSD Library. Now, you have your book cover!
Using the same process as I did for the "Brown Bear Cover," search and import in each page of the storybook from the Internet, until you have the complete set of images that you want for the story. When you have all of the pages to make your book, your VSD library will look like this:
Now that all of the pages are imported in, you can create your book! From the VSD Library, tap the "My Books" icon at the bottom of the screen. This will bring up all available books in your library. Adding a book involves the same process as adding a VSD - just tap the "Add" icon, which will show the icon for a new book. You cannot add a new book until you choose a title. I chose the traditional title for this book.
Now, select the VSDs that will comprise your book, and you're ready to read!
Creating a "touch to play" feature:
Hotspots can make your storybook come alive. For each VSD that comprises your book, create hotspots with audio recordings of your voice reading the words in the story. That way, when the individual touches the words, the text will be read aloud to them. For anyone who has ever been forced to read "Goodnight Moon" ten times per night, this can be a truly life-changing feature!
Good luck with your own storybook! If you have a creative idea for an interactive storybook using Scene Speak, feel free to leave it in the comments section for other visitors. Sharing is caring!
Trying to teach independent life skills?
Break down the task into simple steps and use First Then Visual Schedule HD to make the skill visual. For instance, a step for each article of clothing in a "Getting Dressed" schedule, coupled with an audio prompt. This can help simplify these tasks by breaking them up into small and easy-to-follow steps. You can add video for those tasks requiring extra visual prompting.
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