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.
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!
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.
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. =)
Taking a long road trip this summer?
Involve your client/student/loved one in any long trip you're taking by taking an image of the area you'll be traveling (for instance, a trip from Northern to Southern California would require a map of California) and using Scene Speak to create hotspots within the image that tell the user where they are on the map. You may want to include rest areas, gas stations, hotels, and any other place that you plan to stop. This helps engage the user in the trip they're on, learn about different places along the way, and will provide them with a point of reference so they can see how far away from home they get each day. Soothing anxieties related to the Unknown during long vacations and trips is essential for a fun, happy, and successful trip!
Will you be traveling to visit family this summer?
For many individuals, it is difficult to remember those family members who may not live within the immediate area. When planning a trip to see extended/unfamiliar family, you can use Scene Speak to create a VSD and place hotspots on a map image (one that includes your ending destination). At the end, you can prompt "grandma's house" or whatever relative you may be visiting, to help the individual learn the concept of being far from home, and to provide a visual basis for the reference. This can help individuals who may be "homebodies" or become homesick easily to alleviate some of the resulting anxiety.
To help with "family member recall," you can also use Scene Speak to create a book of family members, with pictures and audio labels, so that the people you are visiting seem more familiar and less like strangers. This may help your loved one to open up more easily to family members who are likely excited to see them! The VSDs can be individualized (maybe include a personal and relatable detail in text acoss the page, like "Uncle Frank likes to play video games"). The book can have a simple title, like "My Family," and can be engaging on multiple levels. As the individual learns more about their family, they may be motivated to interact more with them, which is good for our loved ones as well as the many people who want to love them!
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!
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