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Author Archive

Sensory Story Project – How to Use a Sensory Story at School

How Can I Use a Sensory Story in My School?

Each Sensory Story can be tailored and adapted to suit different levels of needs. Whether you are wanting to demonstrate Joanna’s Sensory Story Projects in a specialist setting or in a mixed-ability class, each story can easily be adapted depending on the intended audience.

What are Sensory Stories?

Photograph of a blue washing basket, filled with a green bobbled bath mat, plastic spider, mortar and pestle, lavender oil and other sensory items.

Joanna shows how easy it can be to source sensory stimuli.

Sensory Stimuli is important for everyone, and each sensory story includes a guide to help you easily source a collection of stimuli from around the house or local market, that will engage children throughout the story telling process. This fantastic new way of delivering stories to children provides excitement and entertainment, but most importantly, allows those with additional needs a way of understating the narrative without having to rely on speech.

Although these wonderful stories are ideal for children of all abilities and ages, Joanna stresses that their origin and designation is specifically for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). It is children with PMLD who will benefit most from the experience, and story telling in mixed-ability groups can be used as a tool for promoting understanding of disabilities.

Techniques for Different Class Settings

Consistency is key when introducing children with additional needs to the sensory stories. Joanna suggests visiting the class setting several times over a number of weeks, and taking time to repeat the story until the children gain familiarity with the experience as a whole.

Joanna also suggests a number of techniques for introducing children with sensory processing difficulties to certain stimuli they may find challenging. This is covered in-depth in Joanna’s information guide “How Can I Use a Sensory Story in My School“.

Sensory Stories in Primary and High School Settings

Sensory Stories are ideal for children of all ages and abilities, especially those of primary school age. Each story promotes engagement and children will be delighted and fascinated by the stimuli you source for each of the stories.

Joanna notes that Sensory Stories are perfect for boosting a child’s interest in creative writing, with scents and sounds creating an opportunity for verbal communication and language development. Allowing children to describe the sounds, sights, tastes and textures they encounter whilst experiencing the Sensory Stories allow them to explore their vocabulary, especially their use of adjectives.

In a secondary school setting Sensory Stories can be used to illustrate discussions based upon difference. Joanna suggests asking students to distil the essence of a story or subject in only 10 sentences. This allows the pupils to recognise the key elements of story telling, and challenge their understanding of the text – which Joanna notes is an ideal thought process for retaining information for revision and study.

 

If you would like to read the full guide Joanna has issued with information about presenting Sensory Stories in a school setting, please click the button below…

Orange button with "Download Guide" written in white

 

This is part one in a series of informative guides about the Sensory Story Project, and we will be publishing further parts later this year.

 

About the Sensory Story Project

The Sensory Story Project is the creation of Joanna Grace. Using her in-depth knowledge, experience and most importantly, passion for sensory education, Joanna has produced a range of sensory story experiences that can be shared with children and adults with multiple and profound learning difficulties.

Joanna’s Sensory Story Project transforms ordinary tales into sensory exploration experiences, including guides to help you source a smorgasbord of stimuli to entertain and delight using visuals, sound, touch, taste and smell.

For further information about Joanna’s fantastic project, to sample free stories and purchase Sensory Story Projects to use at home or school, please visit  http://jo.element42.org

Recommended Apps for Dravet Kids – Part 2

Here we have part 2 of our recommended apps for children with Dravet Syndrome.

Each app is simple and easy to use and most importantly, packed with fun features and interactive games to not only entertain, but educate at the same time.

In our first blog post we covered the pre-school classroom range of educational apps, along with some fun “make it yourself” games and the Splat the Clowns and Peeping Musicians targeting/hand-eye coordination apps.
In this post we will cover a collection of cheery and traditional interactive story books, nursery rhyme apps for rhythm and speech development, and basic flashcard-type apps.

The Kidztory Book Collection

The Kidztory storybook collection includes a number of traditional fairy tales and stories brought to life for the iPad and iPod. These interactive books are a fantastic way to share all the stories you loved as a child with your own children, and each “book” is beautifully illustrated and narrated, to provide a truly joyful experience for your child.

Icon for Little Red Riding Hood App Little Red Riding Hood – A Kidztory Classic animated interactive storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for The Giant Turnip App The Giant Turnip – A Kidztory Classic animated interactive storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for Chicken Little App Chicken Little – Kidztory animated storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for The Little Red Hen App The Little Red Hen – Kidztory animated storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for The Gingerbread Man App The Gingerbread Man – Kidztory interactive animated storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for The Ugly Duckling App The Ugly Duckling – Kidztory animated storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Icon for Goldilocks and the Three Bears App Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Kidztory animated storybook – Stepworks

 

 

 

Grasshopper Learning Apps

Each app in the Grasshopper range provides a fun and educational approach to the basics of pre-school learning. They are also highly-customisable, allowing the parent to change almost every setting and feature in the app through a special settings panel. This allows you to add and remove items such as pictures and words, record your own voice and provide a bespoke learning experience for your child. If you child finds it easier to learn and understand when provided with items and voices familiar to them, then these apps are ideal.

Icon for Counting Bear App Counting Bear – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

Icon for Matching Numbers App Matching Game – My First Numbers – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

Icon for montessori Counting Board App Montessori Counting Board – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

Icon for Rhyming Words App Rhyming Words – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

 

Icon for Toddler Matching Game app Little Matchups – The Matching Game for Toddlers – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

 

Icon for Photo Touch Concepts app Kids Learning – Photo Touch Concepts – GrasshopperApps.com

 

 

 

Special Numbers, Special Words and Special Stories

The “Special” apps created by Special iApps developers all base their design on a straight-forward, uncluttered learning environment, that is immediate to the child and easy to navigate. The Special Numbers, Words and Stories apps cover 3 main learning areas; Special Numbers introduces your child to early number skills through a variety of set activities such as counting, matching, ordering, comparing and selecting.
Special Words is designed to help your child to recognise early vocabulary in written words and will encourage them to vocalise whilst also improving their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Lastly, the Special Stories app allows you and your child to create and share stories with text, sound and pictures / photographs. The simple interface is suitable for children and adults with poor motor skills, hearing impairment and general additional educational needs.

Icon for Special Words App Special Words – Special iApps

 

 

 

Icon for Special Stories Special Stories – Special iApps

 

 

 

Icon for Special Numbers App Special Numbers – Special iApps

 

 

 

Nursery Rhymes and Princess Fairy Tale Maker

The Duck Duck Moose collection of children’s nursery rhyme apps are a fantastic way to help your child with rhythm and speech development through the use of traditional songs and music. Each rhyme app is filled with interactive pages, original illustrations and are sure to thrill and captivate and capture your child’s imagination. There are currently three nursery rhyme interactive story book titles available from Duck Duck Moose; Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, Old MacDonald and Baa Baa Black Sheep.

The Princess Fairy Tale Maker allows your child to make their very own fairy tale using a huge collection of animated backgrounds, animated “stickers” and almost 30 different crayons and colouring pencils. The stickers can be moved about and recorded, to make movies, and your child can add their own voice to create a truly fun fairy tale experience!

Icon for Old MacDonald's Farm App Old MacDonald HD – by Duck Duck Moose – Duck Duck Moose

 

 

 

Icon for Baa Baa Black Sheep App Baa Baa Black Sheep – by Duck Duck Moose – Duck Duck Moose

 

 

 

Icon for Itsy Bitsy Spider App Itsy Bitsy Spider HD – by Duck Duck Moose – Duck Duck Moose

 

 

 

Icon for Princess Fairy Tale Maker App Princess Fairy Tale Maker – by Duck Duck Moose – Duck Duck Moose

 

 

 

Icon for Wheels on the Bus App Wheels on the Bus HD – Duck Duck Moose

 

 

 

Different Roads to Learning Apps

The Different Roads to Learning range of apps are especially designed for children with additional learning needs, such as autism, Downs Syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
They cover many of the basic educational subjects, along with general communication issues and development.
Each app is fully-customisable and also keeps a record and statistics of your child’s usage and achievement within the app. This is a great way to give them independence to play and learn, and allows you to analyse and monitor their progress at a later date in your own time.

Icon for Clean Up: Category Sorting App Clean Up: Category Sorting – Different Roads to Learning, Inc.

 

 

 

Icon for Tell Me About It! App Tell Me About It! – Different Roads to Learning, Inc.

 

 

 

Icon for What Goes Together? App What Goes Together? – Different Roads to Learning, Inc.

 

 

 

 

Icon for What's That Sound? App What’s That Sound? Learning to Listen and Identify Sounds – Different Roads to Learning, Inc.

 

 

 

Toddler Flashcards, Counting and Animals

The iTots range of toddler apps are as simple as you can get, but with this simplicity comes ease of use for little ones with additional learning needs. The interface of each app is clean and clear, and uses bright and fuss-free images of everyday items that your child will immediately recognise.
The Toddler Flashcards game is a basic flashcards app that provides your child with images of everyday items and provides the word written underneath and also verbally. You can also choose from a number of languages, including English.
The Counting and Animals apps are similar to the Flashcards app, and offer endless interactive fun if your child prefers specific subjects (such as numbers or animals). The game will ask your child very simple questions which can be answered via touch screen, and rewards them with every correct answer they give.

Icon for iTots Number Counting App Toddler Counting – iTot Apps, LLC

 

 

 

Icon for iTots Flash Cards App Toddler Flashcards – iTot Apps, LLC

 

 

 

Icon for iTots Toddler Animals Game App Toddler Animals Game – iTot Apps, LLC

 

 

 

Want more? Check out our series of apps recommended by Specialist Education and Technology Trainer Ian Bean.

 

 

Suggested Apps from Dravet Families – Part One

Apps suggested by Dravet Families

Thanks to modern technology, devices such as iPad tablet computers have revolutionised the way we can play with and educate our children. Moreover, touch-screen devices are especially useful for children with additional learning needs, such as those with Dravet Syndrome and autism.

There are so many apps around, and lists of apps(!), it was great to receive this list that was suggested by parents of Dravet children on facebook.

This list from Dravet Syndrome UK which covers some of the best iPad apps available for kids and young adults with Dravet Syndrome. Whether you are looking to strengthen their vocabulary understanding or just let their creative side loose, there’s an app to keep your child entertained and stimulated.

These apps may of course be useful for other children with learning disabilities and autism.

Pre-School Classroom Range

The Pre-School Classroom range of software offer a number of educational titles that cover basic subjects such as maths and English. Each app is created with simplicity in mind, and an added bonus is that none of the apps include any “in-app” purchases – which can become annoying and confusing for little ones using apps.

Icon of a penguin wearing a mortar board - pre-school classroom appPre-School Classroom – The Pre School Apps Academy

 

 

 

Icon of a penguin wearing a mortar board with letter tiles behind it - Pre-school phonics crossword appPre-School Phonic Crosswords – The Pre School Apps Academy

 

 

 

Icon of a penguin wearing a mortar board with a sum written (1+4=5) - Fun Sums AppFun Sums HD – The Pre School Apps Academy

 

 

 

Icon of two children stood upon a maze with the word "maze" underneath - pre-school maze appPre-School Maze – The Pre School Apps Academy

 

 

 

Icon of a penguin wearing a mortar board surrounded by the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 - Pre-school maths class appPre-School Maths Class – The Pre School Apps Academy

 

 

Mr and Mrs Potato Head

These Mr and Mrs Potato Head apps are based on the classic children’s toy we all knew and loved as children ourselves. The app is simple yet fun, allowing your child to decorate and dress Mr or Mrs Potato Head with only the touch of the screen. The ability to change the facial expressions and outfits will hopefully allow your child to learn more about emotional differences and help them to express their own feelings through the app.

Icon of a waving and smiling Mr Potato Head - Mr Potato Head appMr. Potato Head Create & Play – Callaway Digital Arts Inc.

 

 

 

 

Icon of a waving and smiling Mrs Potato Head - Mrs Potato Head AppMrs. Potato Head Create & Play – Callaway Digital Arts Inc.

 

 

Splat the Clowns

Splat the Clown is a simple and amusing target game, involving clowns and… custard pies! The game features a number of settings to change the difficulty and speed of the target, and will help your child develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination whilst having lots of fun. Splat the Clown is switch compatible.

Icon of a smiling clown in a purple hat - Splat the Clown AppSplat The Clowns – Inclusive Technology Ltd

 

 

 

Peeping Musicians

Peeping Musicians is another targeting app that helps children to develop their looking and observation skills. A number of bright and furry characters will hide from the user, and when they “peep” out the child must simply touch them on the screen and they will be rewarded with a centre-stage musical number from the character. This app includes 20 different characters and instruments to find.

Icon of different coloured cats playing a cello - Peeping Musicians AppPeeping Musicians – Inclusive Technology Ltd

 

 

 

Crazy Cats Inc Range of Fun Food Apps

The team at Crazy Cats Inc have created a number of apps which are all based on the same idea, yet each with a different theme. Each app allows children to concoct their own culinary creation – including doughnuts, cookies, pizza, cupcakes and more!
In each app your child can choose from a number of ingredients and colourful (and tasty-looking!) toppings to produce their own dream dish. The basic apps are free, and will involve in-app purchases to provide further toppings and options.

Icon of a chocolate donut with sprinkles - Donut Maker ! AppDonut Maker! – Crazy Cats Inc.

 

 

 

 

Icon of a cookie/biscuit with colourful hearts on top - Cookie Maker ! AppCookie Maker! – Crazy Cats Inc.

 

 

 

 

Icon of a red and white cupcake with strawberries on top - Cupcake Maker ! appCupcake Maker! – Crazy Cats Inc.

 

 

 

 

Icon of a pepperoni pizza - Pizza Maker+ AppPizza Maker+ – Crazy Cats Inc.

 

 

 

My First App Range

The My First App range of games are simple and colourful apps that cover all subjects from matching, building, sorting, music and more.
Each app is super-colourful and easy to use, yet still providing your child with hours of fun and entertainment. The simple touch screen usability and eye-catching animations will capture your child’s imagination whilst teaching them some of the most fundamental learning skills needed for building language and numeracy.

Image of coloured stacking rings - Build It Up AppBuild-it-up – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Image of three circles in red, blue and yellow - Match It Up AppMatch it up 3 – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Image of toys on a wooden shelf - Sort It Out AppSort It Out 1 – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Icon showing opposites - day/night, inverse colours - Opposites AppOpposites 1 – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Icon of a dog with musical notes - First Sounds AppFirst Sounds – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Image of a girl and a boy in chef's hats making a cake - Baby Chef App Baby-Chef – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

Icon of three people holding flowers - Families AppFamilies 1 – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Image of various circles in columns and rows, in various colours - Matrix Match AppMatrixMatch 1 – MyFirstApp.com

 

 

 

Part 2 of our apps suggested by Dravet families can be found on the next post.

We have many more apps aimed at children with special education needs on this blog. There is a click here for a series suggested by Ian Bean an education and technology specialist.

 

 

The Sensory Story Project

Image of silhouette of little girl interracting with a blue light

Sensory exploration helps children with additional needs understand the world around them.

‘Sensory Story’ Project Nears Deadline

We were excited to find a  ‘KickStarter’ project, urgently needing last minute donations, that will help children with disabilities enjoy stories. Joanna Grace is trying to raise money to write ten stories that can made available to children and parents at a lower cost than existing resources. Using Kickstarter is a new way of raising money where the people and organisations who contribute get something tangible in return. See below for the awards at different levels of donation.

Using Multi Sensory Objects in Story Telling

Our own son Joe has used similar resources at his school, where the stories used are from Tac Pac. These are bags of different objects that can help to bring a story to life using the senses, a whistle may be blown for a train for example. We have also encountered ‘Bag Books‘ that are actual books created for children with profound learning disabilities.

Sensory Stories Video

 

The very best explanation of what sensory stories are can be explained by watching Joanne in this video:

With only a few days left Joanne is hoping that a final push will achieve the goal of £5000. Please share this page to help her in her efforts.

Joanne explains the need for Sensory Stories:

The brain needs to receive information from the senses in order to develop. As children we reach out to grab things, turn our heads to watch toys, gurgle in response to music, and as we do these things neural pathways are laid down in the brain. As we repeat the experiences these pathways grow more defined.

Through accessing a variety of sensory experiences connections are created: hand eye coordination is one of these connections and from it stems a whole host of other developmental achievements.

Individuals with profound disabilities and sensory impairments may not be able to access these valuable experiences for themselves. Their senses might not ‘notice’ every day stimuli and so require something more focused. They might not be able to physically access stimuli and so they rely on someone else to facilitate the experiences.

Sensory stories use the five famous senses combined with a distiller narrative to tell a story. Sensory stories are a fun way of providing a range of sensory experiences. They can also be used to: support communication; help individuals express preferences; and to promote socialisation.

Image of Joanna Grace in woodland looking up at the trees.

Joanna Grace has extensive experience in creating sensory stories

The Sensory Story Project aims to create such stories, it only has until the 20th of May to find backers. Backing is a lot of fun as you get to choose a reward in exchange for your good deed: rewards range from sensory stories, to guides on sensory learning or the opportunity to receive a smell in the post!

Sensory stories are fun to share with anyone, but if sharing them with someone with profound and multiple learning disabilities they’re best shared 1:1 and ideally suited to being presented on a Trabasack.

More information is available on the projects page, and we hope you take a look:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sensorystory/sensory-stories

 

Kickstarter Benefits of Donations

Many people are using kickstarter as a new way of raising money because you can pledge different amounts of money and get increasing benefits, gifts or discounts in return.If you are able to contribute to the fundraiser there are benefits for each level of donation:

  • Pledge £1 or more

    9 backers

    A personal thank you email from the author/creator and an electronic guide explaining why sensory stimulation is so important. Your name listed as a backer on my website.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £5 or more

    14 backers

    Your choice of two of the following electronic guides. * What makes great sensory stimuli? * How do I share a sensory story? * How can I use a sensory story in school? * Why is sensory stimulation important? Plus your name on website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £10 or more

    14 backers

    A single smell experience, plus three of the following electronic guides: * What makes great sensory stimuli? * How do I share a sensory story? * How can I use a sensory story in school? * Why is sensory stimulation important? And your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £15 or more

    3 backers

    A random sensory experience accompanying a line from a story, (think of this as an excerpt from a story). Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website, and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £2 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £17 or more

    4 backers

    A Sensory Snout Sensory Story Project mascot. Please see our Facebook page for more information. We have a growing menagerie of mascots,each will be hand made by me and everyone will be different. I hope to give you choices concerning colour and scent – yes scent, the mascots provide a tickly touch experience and are also stuffed with cotton infused with essential oils so they’re a fragrant little experience. I’ll put more details on the Facebook page as the project progresses.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £2 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £20 or more

    12 backers

    A unique contribution on the topic of Sensory Stories for your blog/magazine/newspaper. Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website, and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £25 or more

    6 backers

    A sensory smorgasbord: a set of five sensory experiences. (This is not a whole story, but it will be a lot of fun). Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £2 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £30 or more

    1 backer

    A T-shirt with the unique Sensory Stories logo. The logo is currently under creation but is the word ‘Story’ spelt out with a nose as the S, a hand as the T, an eye as the O, an ear as the R and a tongue as the Y, so great way to share the sensory nature of these stories. I’ll post the logo on the Facebook page as soon as it’s in a suitable state. Colour choices and size options will be sent to backers prior to the rewards being posted. [Note, unfortunately these will not be seamless T-shirts, if you need seemless please get in contact and I’ll try my best].

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £4 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £40 or more

    0 backers

    A Sensory Story with guidance on how to source the supporting stimuli. (This story won’t have the stimuli with it, but they will be easy for you to find, you may even have them at home already and just not have noticed them!) Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £1 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £50 or more

    8 backers

    A boxed (resourced) Sensory Story, or your choice of a previous reward. Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £7 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £60 or more

    1 backer

    2 Sensory Stories with guidance on how to source the supporting stimuli, or your choice of a previous reward. (These stories won’t have stimuli with them, but they will be easy for you to find, you may even have them at home already and just not have noticed them!) Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £2 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £80 or more

    1 backer

    2 boxed (resourced) Sensory Story, or your choice of a previous reward. Plus your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £15 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £100 or more

    2 backers

    Personalisation. The opportunity to have a story personalised with your details or the details of a loved one. The story will be personalised with names and locations of your choice. [You have the option to choose one of the previous rewards instead]. Depending on the story there may also be other opportunities, for example to put in favourite colours, foods or animals. You will receive the story when it is complete, along with guidance on how to source the stimuli. (This story won’t have the stimuli with it, but they will be easy for you to find, you may even have them at home already and just not have noticed them!) You will also receive your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £7 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £150 or more

    0 backers

    A talk about Sensory Stories to an audience of your choice. [Happy to travel to any location but will need transport costs.] You have the option to choose one of the previous rewards instead. Plus a Sensory Story and guidance on how to source the supporting stimuli. (This story won’t have the stimuli with it, but they will be easy for you to find, you may even have them at home already and just not have noticed them!) Plus: your choice of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £200 or more

    2 backers

    The whole caboodle! [You have the option to choose one of the previous rewards instead]. The complete library of boxed Sensory Stories, resourced with stimuli and guidance on delivery, plus a complete set of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
    Add £15 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £400 or more

    0 backers

    A talk about Sensory Stories to an audience of your choosing. Transport included for anywhere within the UK. [You have the option to choose one of the previous rewards instead]. Plus a Sensory Story and guidance on how to source the supporting stimuli, (This story won’t have the stimuli with it, but they will be easy for you to find, you may even have them at home already and just not have noticed them!) You will also get a complete set of electronic guides, your name on the website and a personal thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
  • Pledge £750 or more

    0 backers

    The opportunity to co-author/create a story with the author/creator. You can contribute story ideas, experiment with stimuli, add personalisation including names of loved ones. I am happy to share the authoring experience with anyone of any age and any ability. This reward would particularly suit an individual with PMLD (profound and multiple learning disabilities) You will be credited on the story and will receive a boxed resourced copy of the story once it is complete. Plus all the electronic guides, your name on the website and a thank you email from the author/creator.

    Estimated delivery: Jul 2013

Time is running out!

With only a few days left Joanne is hoping that a final push will achieve the goal of £5000. Please contribute if you can and share this page to help her in her efforts.

Odds and Ends iPad Apps

This is the final post in our series about the fantastic and useful sensory and AAC apps that were collated and showcased by Ian Bean at the 2012 TES Resources show in Manchester, UK.

These last few apps are classified as “Odds and Ends” as they don’t fit into a particular category, but are definitely useful tools that are worth a mention.

Image icon for Smarty Pants iPad App Inclusive Smarty Pants The Smarty Pants app allows children to chose from four characters, which can then be animated to express a series of emotions, to help promote understanding of feelings and encourage imitation. The graphic style is simple yet bold and bright, and this iPad app also supports switch access.

 

 

Image icon for Dragon Dictation iPad App Dragon Dictation is a simple and easy to use voice-to-text iPad app, that utilises voice recognition to allow you or your child to easily dictate anything from emails or text messages to social media posts, such as Twitter tweets or Facebook status updates. This app will instantly display the spoken words in text form, and provides a fantastic communication tool.

 

 

Image icon for Dropbox iPad App Dropbox is an effective file and media organisation tool that uploads any files you save to your Dropbox to your iPhone, iPad and also to your online Dropbox account. This ensures your child’s favourite images, songs, videos or any important documents are always at hand, even without carrying any form of mobile storage (such as a memory stick), as long as you can connect to the internet, you can access your files.

 

 

Boy in wheelchair uses iPad to play sensory game app

The Trabasack lap desk bag can also be used with an iPad mount aid to ensure tablet computers remain steady whilst in use

We hope that you have enjoyed our compendium of sensory iPad app posts, and that they provide your child with fun and useful tools for self-expression, creativity and learning. The Trabasack range of lap tray bags also provide the perfect steady surface for iPad app use, with each bag featuring a built-in lap desk and beanbag cushion which allows children in wheelchairs to safely and comfortably engage in iPad play.

The Trabasack Connect Curve also features a soft, padded ergonomic shape that sits snug around your child’s waist whilst used as a lap desk, and ensures arms and small objects do not get caught underneath. The specially designed “Connect” tray surface can also be used with Velcro to attach switches and iPads securely, minimising unwanted movement.

Each Trabasack iPad bag also comes with a selection of straps and multi D rings attached, meaning the lap desk can be installed on wheelchairs, buggies, car seats and more with speed and ease. Pictured here with our stabilising low -cost  Media Mount accessory for holding toys or ipads securely on the tray surface.

 

Ian Bean, former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

Cognition iPad Apps

Shape, Word and Number Recognition iPad Apps for Children

Here we have a fantastic collection of innovative iPad apps that will help your child to further their understanding of speech and word recognition, whilst at the same time developing their fine motor skills and ultimately, having fun! Each app is an interactive mix of games and puzzles, perfect for keeping little minds busy and happy.

Image icon for Five Sharks Swimming iPad App Five Sharks Swimming is a classic nursery rhyme transformed into a fun, interactive story that promotes numeric comprehension, attention and participation. This simple to use, brightly illustrated app also supports switch access.

 

 

Image icon for Splingo iPad app Splingo’s Language Universe This educational app has been specially designed by Speech and Language therapists to promote listening and language skills. Splingo is a language-loving alien whose simple-to-understand directions will guide your child through a wondrous world of word puzzles and more. With several language development levels on offer, this app offers your child games and puzzles tailored to their ability; learning and understanding verbs, nouns and adjectives has never been so much fun!

 

Image icon for Alien Buddies iPad App Alien Buddies combines simple recognition puzzles with an out-of-this-world alien theme guaranteed to delight and engage. The “Match” feature of this fun app aids children with shape, colour, letter and number recognition by both sight and sound, whilst the “Puzzle” and “Dot to Dot” sections encourage problem solving, sequential counting and fine motor skills. A lovely addition to this app is the “Sticker” section; as children successfully complete tasks, they are rewarded with special interactive stickers that can be used to create unusual and exciting alien artworks.

 

Image icon for Hairy Letters iPad app Hairy Letters is a lively interactive app for promoting understanding of letter shapes and sounds. Using the iPad touch screen, children can trace letters using their fingers and each letter is accompanied by a fun animation and audio phonics, including upper and lower class letter names and sounds.

 

 

Young boy in wheelchair plays games on an iPad

The built-in lap desk of the Trabasack along with its soft, ergonomic shape provides a perfect space for iPad play

These iPad cognition apps are the perfect way to keep your little one entertained and occupied, and when teamed with a Trabasack iPad bag your child has the freedom to learn no matter what the location. Each Trabasack bag has a built-in lap desk, and the Curve Connect model also features an ergonomically designed curved shape to fit snugly around the waist and a soft tray area – where tablet computers, toys, books and more can be secured easily using hooktape. The Trabasack iPad bag offers the ultimate in usability, with large ring pull zips and grab handles for those with limited dexterity, and multi D rings and strap options for fitting the lap tray to all models of wheelchair, buggy and car seat.

We have a new accessory called the Media Mount that helps to keep the iPad and any other switches or tablets in place with velcro. A very low cost alternative to expensive clamps and other mounting systems at under £20!

The iPad apps featured in this blog post were demonstrated at the TES Resources Show by Ian Bean, former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

Stories and Books ~ Apps for the ipad

Promote Empathy and Inspire Creativity Through Storytelling

Engaging your child’s imagination through story telling is a wonderful way of helping them to empathise and understand the feelings of others, whilst also inspiring their creativity. These iPad apps add a whole new digital dimension to the traditional book, offering an interactive and fun learning experience.

Image icon for Peter Pan iPad app AvatarBook PeterPan This iPad app recounts the classic fairy tale of Peter Pan; a story filled with fascinating twists and turns, and now, with the option of adding your child to the story! The Peter Pan app enables children to upload their own photographs of themselves to be used as the face of the main character. This is a fantastic way of personalising an exciting and gripping story, and will help your child to empathise with the events that occur throughout the story.

 

Image icon for Into the Snow iPad app Into the Snow: A Stella and Sam Adventure Into the Snow is a delightfully illustrated interactive story set in a pretty, frosty setting. Children will be immediately taken by the bright and contemporary style of the artwork, and what’s more, the story is made-up of three fun games that prompt the child to interact with the characters and scenery. From drawing pictures in the snow to decorating a snowman; this snowy adventure will truly capture your child’s imagination.

 

Image icon for Toy Story iPad app Toy Story Read-Along The Toy Story films have understandably garnered millions of fans, adult and child alike, and this Readalong iPad app offers your child the chance to relive all the excitement of the films whilst brushing-up on their reading skills. Your child must help the toys in their voyage back to the safety of Andy’s bedroom, with plenty of wonderful interactive games and videos to enjoy along the way. This Toy Story app concentrates on a wonderful tale of friendship that your child will immediately a feel part of.

 

Image icon for Story Maker iPad app Story Maker HD If your child is raring to create their own unique characters to be included in their favourite stories, then the Story Maker app provides the perfect tool for setting their ideas free. This app includes 100s of special items for character creation, with a range of interesting and diverse scenes for your little one to base their story. Once the characters have been carefully created, they will be incorporated into an animation based on one of several classic stories (such as 3 Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood), helping your child to really feel involved in the story telling process.

 

Image of toddler girl playing with iPad on Trabasack Lap Desk bag

The Trabasack Connect Curve lap desk provides a flat and steady surface for iPad play

If your little digital bookworm is looking for a steady and equally modern lectern for their iPad, the Trabasack range of lightweight iPad lap desk bags provide a safe and secure surface for story time, with the iPad mount aid ensuring tablet computers remain in place whilst in use. Ideal for use indoors or on the go, the black PVC leather-look tray can be easily wiped clean, and the bag is both shower proof and machine washable, for extra cleanliness and peace of mind.

These wonderful storytelling apps were recently featured at the TES resources show by Ian Bean, former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

Communication iPad Apps

Useful iPad Apps for Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Child in wheelchair plays with iPad on Trabasack lap desk

The Trabasack iPad mount aid ensures tablet computers remain steady and secure

The art of speech and communication is one of the most difficult tasks for young children to master, and whether your child is struggling with verbal or non-verbal communication; these apps will ease them into expressing themselves whilst still having lots of fun!

To provide a steady work space for your child’s iPad whilst using these great communication apps, the Trabasack iPad lap desk bag and iPad mount aid can be attached to wheelchairs with ease and speed, to allow your child comfort whilst communicating. The Trabasack Curve range of bags are soft, padded and ergonomically designed to hug the natural contours of the waist to ensure your child’s arms do not get caught beneath the bag and no small objects can become trapped between the body and tray. The new product the Media Mount, allows the iPad to be tilted in a good position for child to use, whist keeping it securely held to the trabasack surface

 

 

 

Image icon for Talking Ben the Dog iPad App Talking Ben the Dog Ben the Dog is no ordinary hound; he’s a retired chemistry professor looking for a little bit of peace and quiet, and the only way to rouse him from his newspaper reading is to interact with him! Children will love the reactions that Ben provides; using touch screen gestures, he can be tickled, poked and slapped, and if he’s spoken to, he will repeat. Once Ben has been interacted with he will whisk you away to his laboratory, where there are lots of exciting chemistry experiments to have fun with.

 

Image icon for Scene&Heard iPad App Scene&Heard is an in-depth communication tool that allows parents, caregivers and teachers a platform for creating their own bespoke communication games using personal photographs, audio and video. As each child needs help in different areas of communication, this iPad app is perfect for providing interesting, interactive entertainment specific to your child.

 

 

Image icon for Sounding Board iPad App SoundingBoard offers a “flash card”-like customisable game, pre-installed with lots of AbleNet symbols where audio messages can be “attached” to each image. The Sounding Board iPhone and iPad app also lets the user create cards or boards using their own images; great for communicating items familiar to your child.

 

 

Image icon for Proloquo2Go iPad App Proloquo2Go is another sound board iPad app that also offers a natural-sounding text-to-speech function, automatic conjugations, word prediction and high-resolution up-to-date symbols, providing a useful and easy to use tool for augmentative and alternative communication.

 

 

 

Image icon for Grid Player iPad App Grid Player provides the user with over 12,000 Widgit symbols to allow expansive communication, and the text-to-speech function along with “TouchType” word prediction and symbol prediction help with word recognition and faster communication. Grid Player also includes a “Text Talker” function, that features a high-contrast keyboard, word completion, next word prediction and over 100 instant phrases.

 

 

Communication iPad apps specially chosen by an expert in special education, Ian Bean, author of Big Bang series of computer games for children. Ian Bean is a  former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

This is the fourth in our series of apps for children with special educational needs. The others include Touch skills apps , Video and photo apps, and  apps to help your child make music.

Photo, Video and Animation iPad Apps

Lights! Camera! Action! Video and Art Editing Apps to Encourage Self-Expression.

Due to such fantastic advancements in technology over the past decade, children can utilise media such as video and photography with relative ease, and this collection of quirky art apps will help promote your child’s eye for creativity and nurture their desire for self-expression. Apps and other activities that can encourage children to be creative and express themselves are essential for children with special educational needs or disabilities as they can often experience difficulty expressing their feelings or needs.

This is the third post in our series about apps recommended by ICT special education maestro Ian Bean. Previously we looked at apps to encourage touch skills and apps for making music.

Image icon for the I Look Funny iPad app iLookFunny This photographic iPod app will provide endless fun and laughter, as I Look Funny overlays unusual accessories over the top of a normal snapshot – add funky sunglasses to the family pet, a silly wig and hat to dad or let your child transform themselves into everything from a bunny to a clown; I Look Funny is a fun way to play virtual dress-up.

 

 


jpeg-3 Face Time with Mage Nuttimugs is a fun and interactive iPad app that places your child at the heart of the story! This simple, rhyme-filled interactive book takes a photo of your child’s face and places it on the head of the lead character – and using touch-screen technology, their photo is altered throughout the story to present them with happy, silly and sad faces. There’s also a lovely moral to the story, in that you are perfect just the way you are.

 

 

Image icon for the I Look Funny iPad app Toontastic If your child is particularly taken by cartoons and the art of comic books, then Toontastic is the perfect iPad tool for helping them to create their very own comic-book style art and cartoon animations. This multi-award winning app includes a vast cast of characters (as well as a “draw your own character” feature) and a selection fantastical settings, giving your child an easy and exciting introduction to independent story telling.

 

Image icon for the iMovie iPad App iMovie has become a highly acclaimed industry standard video editor due to its simplicity and straight forward usability, and in turn lends itself perfectly for use by young children. Create short films or movies with just a few multi-touch gestures, and soundtrack each masterpiece with your child’s favourite MP3 or voice over.

Child in wheelchair uses the Trabasack iPad mount aid

The Trabasack iPad mount aid keeps iPads safe and steady

 

 

There’s no doubt that these exciting and creative apps will bring out the artist in your child, and as every artist needs an easel, the Trabasack range of iPad lap desks provide a stable and sturdy play tray with a specially designed iPad mount aid for wheelchair users; the lap desk bags attach to the wheelchair with ease, and the ergonomic shape of the Connect Curve fits snugly around the child’s waist, ensuring comfort whilst in use.

These iPad apps were recently featured at the Manchester TES Resources Show 2012 by Ian Bean, former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

Making Music iPad Apps

Creativity Comes Forth with Musical Sensory iPad Apps

After your child has explored the apps that encourage touch skills, musical ipad apps are a smooth progression. Little ones love to make music; whether it’s a keyboard concerto or simply a percussive performance using your pots and pans, these fantastic iPad apps provide the perfect sensory stimuli whilst allowing your child to sharpen their skills as a mini maestro!
image icon for the Glow Tunes iPad app GlowTunes This unique app combines art and music, by allowing your child to draw a picture using brightly coloured pixels, which is then transformed into an extraordinary tune, using 1 of the 12 high quality instruments on offer. The compositions can then be save and shared amongst friends and family to enjoy.

 

 

image icon for the Virtuoso iPad app Virtuoso Piano Pro Classic This musical app is modern take on the traditional piano, offering 7 octaves of sampled concert piano and a choice of effects, offering a truly authentic piano sound. The Virtuoso also features an adjustable keyboard size, perfect for little or large fingers alike.

 

 

 

image icon for the Songify iPad app Songify Songify is a rather novel yet endlessly entertaining way of producing unique musical tracks; this iPod app records sections of speech and via autotune, and then transforms the recorded words into a bespoke song. There’s many different styles of song included with the basic Songify app, with plenty of others available at an extra cost, so no matter what sort of rhythm rocks the boat of your child, there’s a song style to suit.

 

 

Icon image for Garage Band iPad app GarageBand – Apple If your child is looking to create a full-on and layered musical masterpiece, then Garage Band is the perfect iPad app. The simplicity of on-screen gestures can be used to create magnificent instrumental audio that might be difficult via an ordinary instrument, and the multi-touch keyboard makes tapping out drum beats or melodies as easy as can be. This app can also be used via WiFi or Bluetooth with up to 3 other mobile devices (such as iPad, iPod or iPhone) which is perfect for group musical sessions.

 

Child in wheelchair uses Trabasack lap tray to play with iPad

The Trabasack Curve Connect provides the perfect iPad play space for children in wheelchairs

iPads are a fantastic way for providing your child with a creative outlet, and the Trabasack range of sensory iPad tray bags are the perfect addition to your child’s playtime – each iPad bag features a built-in lap tray with ‘connect’ surface, which allows you to attach electronic devices such as iPads with ease – offering safety and security whilst in use. The Trabasack iPad lap tray bags also fit comfortably on wheelchairs and buggies, providing the ultimate practical play-space on the go.

This creative collection of iPad apps were showcased at the TES Resources show in Manchester by Ian Bean, former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.