Our much-awaited update for our Visual Schedule Planner app is now in the App Store!!! There have been a few small display changes as well as a host of new features that have been included in this update. We wanted to highlight these new and enhanced features for those of you who currently use or are thinking about purchasing our Visual Schedule Planner app:
This update will allow iPod Touch and iPhone users the ability to use Visual Schedule Planner on their devices. iPad Mini and iPad will continue to be supported (Older devices: Please make sure to check device requirements in iTunes prior to purchase.)
(located in the Settings menu - see Figure 2)
Allows the user to backup and restore their data via iCloud.
MULTIPLE USER PROFILES
(located in the Settings menu- see Figures 2 & 3)
Allows for one Admin and multiple user profiles per copy of the app.
PRINT OUT DAILY CALENDAR
(located in the Settings menu - see Figure 2)
Print hard copies of schedules for home, school, therapy, or travel purposes.
ENHANCED TONE OPTIONS
(located in Add Event Screen - see Figure 4)
More sound options for event reminders.
(location moved - see Figure 1)
Was in upper right corner of the Home screen, now in lower left corner next to Notes and Activity Schedules.
Data from the previous version of Visual Schedule Planner will transfer automatically to the update upon downloading.
Please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns!
Need Assistance Remembering to Pay Monthly Bills?
For some of our clients and loved ones, one of the most difficult things about living independently can be the multiple responsibilities that must be juggled...maintaining the home, cleaning up, paying bills, etc.
To help with this, try using Visual Schedule Planner to import in your loved one/client's bills, letting them know when they are due, how much is owed...any details that will assist them in being able to complete this task as independently as possible. You can even set up reminders to give them an audio prompt that the bill is due and must be paid. It would be a good idea to give as much time/leeway as possible when doing this, and even planning these reminders around pay days to avoid the "overwhelm factor" that can come with having more bills than your income will cover at the time.
Independence is a beautiful thing, no matter how you go about achieving it!
Our Visual Schedule Planner app is great for helping loved ones/clients remember important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. In addition to therapies, doctor appointments, school/day program schedules, routines, etc., it can be used as a tool to mark and remind the user of these dates, so they do not get overlooked.
It might also help us remember too!
Having a hard time getting your loved one/student to study independently?
Try using Visual Schedule Planner to "sandwich" study time between preferred activities. For example, if the individual has a project due at the end of the month, set a specific amount of time each day (or on specific days of the week) that are earmarked specifically for studying/research. To motivate the individual, try placing Study Time after a highly preferred activity (such as free time upon arrival home), and another motivating activity (like a snack, or TV time).
Placing a non-preferred activity between two motivating activities within a schedule can be extremely effective, especially for those individuals who respond well to "First/Then" concepts.
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.
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.
The "Notes" feature of Visual Schedule Planner can be used for parents/caregivers to communicate with therapists, teachers, day program staff, vocational trainers, and anyone else the app user interacts with on a daily basis. This is an excellent way to maintain continuity between programs/therapies, while also opening a daily dialogue between home and school/work/training.
Everything from behaviors to self help successes to toileting can be tracked and shared using this feature of the app, which can provide a comprehensive support and communication mechanism for both caregivers and the individual using the app.
Good Karma Apps
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