This app allows the user to make multiple visual calendars for different children/classes/days. It helps kids count down days to a scheduled event. Kids can see their schedule for the day. You can even add your own photos to create an event! One of my favorite features is that you can print and email the calendars you create. In addition, teachers can set up their iPads to project on their boards to display them for the class at various times in the day. The possibilities are endless for teachers, therapists and parents who may use this app with a variety of children with different needs.
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Key Features ■ Easily create a visual calendar of upcoming events in a few minutes (examples: holidays, when visitors are coming, doctor appointments, vacations, sleepovers, parent returning from a trip or military duty) ■ Image Library preloaded with over 275 images and audio
■ Add your own images using your photo library, camera or use the preloaded image library to record your own audio and edit captions for limitless customizability
■ Create multiple personalized calendars for use with multiple children or in a classroom setting
■ Count Days Until: animated counter for the number of days until an upcoming event (example: How many days until my birthday?)
■ Speaks the daily schedule
■ Built-in visual timer
■ Easily add reoccurring events
■ Notifications and alarms with visual and audio alerts
■ Search and auto-save features
■ Share boards by Email or iTunes File Sharing with other Choiceworks Calendar app users
■ Ability to print month, week or day for offline viewing or save as PDF
Visual supports are a highly effective, proven tool for improving communication between children and caregivers. Calendars are challenging for children to grasp initially due to the abstract concepts of time, months, weeks and days. They are also time consuming for caregivers to setup and maintain. Choiceworks Calendar addresses all these challenges. For the caregivers, it provides a streamlined interface for creating, customizing, sharing and maintaining a calendar of upcoming events. For the child, it provides visual and audio supports that make using the calendar a delightful experience while they learn these abstract concepts of time.
Children gain independence and personal responsibility by seeing helpful information such as which days are school days and which days are not. They also benefit by being informed of upcoming events such as a doctor’s appointment or celebrating a birthday. This clear, simple support provided ahead of time can help a child predict what is going to happen, thereby reducing anxiety. It helps children understand when there is a change in the routine so they can adapt, become more flexible and better behaved. Because the information is always visible on the calendar a child can refer to it as often as needed.
Visuals: Put images on the calendar that describes the most important activities of the day. Again, keep it simple. Only include what is important for the child on the calendar. Start small and gradually increase the amount of information presented as the child begins to understand the passage of time.
Advance: As success with Choiceworks Calendar increases, visually plan out big projects and indicate deadlines for science projects, writing assignments, etc. Chunk larger projects into smaller, manageable steps that the child can complete each day. This will focus attention to the current task and lessen anxiety and distraction to other portions of project.
Have your own tips or ideas? Visit our Facebook page and share it with the Choiceworks community: https://www.facebook.com/ChoiceworksApp
Tamara Kaldor is considering making a visual calendar for her blog posts here at Smart Apps for Special Needs, but fears Heather S. may set the alarm reminder to an earlier time.