Monday, December 2, 2013

iSequences - an app for practicing sequences using social situations and emotions

 


Purpose of App: Allow children to practice sequencing 3-4 pictorial representations of different events. Covers common habits and social situations as well as emotions.

Strengths: Easy interface for the child with straight forward user manual and customization settings for the caregiver. Covers various topics such as daily habits, fun activities, common situations and emotions. Short celebration when correct answer is given, minimal feedback for wrong answers.

Weaknesses: No major weaknesses, but lost 1 point for entertainment value

Suggested Audience: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or who could benefit from practicing sequencing.


Meets Intended Goal: 5
Entertainment: 4
Worth the Price: 5
Ease of Use: 5
Educational Value: 5
Level of Customization: 5

If you would like to purchase iSequence (iPad only), please use the button below to help support Smart Apps for Special Needs.

Full Version for $2.99, contains 100 sequences


Lite Version, FREE, contains 10 sequences
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Links to the developer's Facebook, Twitter and to send email.


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I am just going to go ahead and state that I love this app. Not only does iSequences clearly state what the purpose of the app is, it delivers a few added perks I wasn't expecting. The app is easily customizable and the features are well thought out and descriptive. If you know of anyone that could benefit from practicing sequencing, this app delivers.

Of course every parent and therapist wants the kid to get the answers correct, but when a child does make mistakes, iSequences handles it beautifully in that there is minimal feedback. Whatever part is wrong is removed, and one hint is offered, if available. The great thing about this approach is that kids won't try to get the wrong answer on purpose because it makes a silly noise they find funny.

If the child gets easily distracted or needs a simple prompt to keep them on topic, there is an option for an inactivity alarm. By default, it is turned on to about 20 seconds, but the users can configure the time interval or disable the audible prompt all together.


A stand out part for this app is the variety of sequences, as well as the ability to easily sort and choose which to show. The sequences are divided into "put in the right order," "what will happen next," and "emotions". Each of these categories has a choice of hard and easy. Users can filter out any they do not want and then select from the specific, well labeled sequences listed. With 100 different sequences, almost any situation is available.

If you would like to use this app as a story-telling prompt or work with expressive language, you will want to change "Display image and price sound" selection to "Display when pressing button." This allows the child to complete the sequence and then pause before checking if it's correct or not. The child can then discuss their choices or create a story based on the pictures before moving on to the next sequence.

This is an app where I really struggled between giving it 4.5 stars or the full 5 stars. The ONLY thing that I could come up with to keep it from 5 stars is the entertainment value. It is beyond fantastic as a therapy tool -- either by a therapist, at a school or at home. However, it is most likely not something that a child will pick up and start playing on their own. Possibly, if it contained short, narrated stories about different events listed or allowed children to interact with the celebration screen (pop balloons, blast off the rocket, etc.), children would be more likely to play and continue on their own.

When I was researching this app, I was appreciative of the fact that the developers listen to feedback.  Many of the critiques I read from the initial version were addressed and corrected in the current 2.0 version. On their website, when describing the current version of the app, they stated that they implemented, "new response modes that make easy for children with motor difficulties to use it." It says a lot about an organization that listens to users. They are making sure they are putting out a quality product that benefits the children using it.

All things considered, this is a terrific app. The diversity and applicability of the various scenes are relatable and engaging for children of all ages. If you want to give it a test drive, the free Lite version is a good introduction, but I highly recommend the full version with all 100 sequences.

From iTunes:

iSEQUENCES is an educational app for children with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome that enables them to practice 100 different sequences about everyday situations, such as:

- Autonomous habits like brushing their teeth, washing their hands, getting dressed or going to bed
- Fun activities like going to the beach, to the movies or do sports
- Every day situations like falling down, taking the bus, going the doctor, buying bread or getting wet in the rain
- Emotions like happiness, sadness, surprise or fear

All this is taught by the character Tatus and his friends.

***** WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING *****
- Overall, I think this app is great for making sequencing cards fun and motivating – Speech Time Fun

- The concept of the app is simple enough but the six cheerful cartoon characters used in the sequencing pictures make the presentation fun and engaging for children – The iPhone Mum

***** FEATURES *****
- 100 exercises that introduce a situation to children and they are asked to guess what will happen next
- 60 exercises that display social situations and the children are asked to say how they think the characters in the situation feel
- New options that are highly configurable to better adapt the app to each child
- Selection of the exercises either manual or automatic by level of difficulty and type of exercises
- No ads inside of the app

***** WHO IS IT FOR*****
iSEQUENCES can be used both as a support tool for therapy and at home as an entertainment

***** WHO WE ARE *****
The Planeta Imaginario Foundation is an early intervention centre for children and teenagers with Autism/ASD that operates throughout Spain and in some other European cities.

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Rachel H. loves the illustrations and creative situations in this app so much she actually looked to see if they make books or social stories to download. 

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