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!
If your loved one or client will be attending a new school or program this year, try locating pictures of the campus or building compound (taking your own is ideal, but many can be found online) and use our Scene Speak app to create a virtual "map" for the individual to learn about their new environment. You can include locations of restrooms for those who may need to make frequent trips, drinkingfountains for those who may require extra hydration, and key places like offices, administrative buildings, classrooms (for those in school)...the possibilities are limited only by your imagination!
For those who may be starting middle or high school, this can alleviate much of the stress that comes with trying to navigate class changes (if applicable), learning teacher names (these can be added as captions to the images), and juggling class schedules (which also can be imported into the app and labeled for easy reference).
Start the year off smoothly by incorporating Good Karma Apps into your daily life experiences!
Summer is almost at an end! For those of you not in year round school or day programs, it's likely been a VERY long couple of months - full of the usual day-to-day activities, and maybe some fun day trips and vacations thrown into the mix.
For a fun and interactive way to create a digital "scrapbook," take all of those pictures you've been snapping all summer long and upload them into our SceneSpeak app. From there, you can add text for a more book-like retelling of your summertime adventures, or take it to an interactive level by adding hotspots to your images that come alive when your loved one or client taps them.
This way, the individual can look back upon all of the amazing things they did this summer and recall all of the fun they had. Who knows? It may even become one of their favorite leisure time activities.
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.
Trying to break a loved one or client from engaging in repetitive behavior at inappropriate times? Do they have a passion or fixation that just won't seem to go away? There's a Good Karma App (or two!) for that:
Using Scene Speak to create social stories about when it is appropriate to engage in certain behaviors (this can work for ANY behavior, especially some that may come with puberty) or play with certain toys can be helpful. Rather than focus on why it's inappropriate, try flipping it to validate the function of the behavior (even if we cannot understand, every behavior has a purpose, and it is meaningful to our loved ones), then shape it into something more positive, appropriate, or productive.
It may also be helpful if the individual is permitted to engage in the behavior/play with the toy/etc. in controlled measures of time. This will help them satisfy the need, but also keep the behavior within tangible parameters so that there is anticipation of the event, a set amount of time to engage in the activity, and a closed end to the event. Scheduling in this type of "break" for the individual can help alleviate anxieties for them and save you from constantly redirecting the behavior. Our Visual Schedule Planner app is great in this capacity. Maybe when your loved one/client gets off the bus/arrives home, they can have a 30 minute block of time scheduled in to engage in whatever activity they choose (think VERY unstructured free time!).
We may not always understand the "why" behind a behavior or activity, but there are creative ways to address behaviors that respect the individual's feelings while also maintaining order and focus throughout the rest of the day.
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.
Good Karma Apps
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