Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Great Apps to Create Visual Schedules Plus a Website to Create Free Printables

I have officially been on summer break for almost a week now. Between my work as an Early Intervention speech therapist and planning my kids' birthday party I haven't really had the opportunity to enjoy the unstructured days. For many children with special needs, transitioning from the routine of school to the less structured days of summer can cause stress and anxiety. Visual schedules are a wonderful way to help children organize their days and help them feel more comfortable about what is coming next. I've rounded up five apps that can be used to create visual schedules as well as a wonderful website where you can create and print free visuals.

If you'd like to download any of these apps please show your support for Smart Apps for Special Needs by using the links provided.

Choiceworks by Bee Visual, LLC

The Choiceworks app is an essential learning tool for helping children complete daily routines (morning, day, & night), understand & control their feelings and improve their waiting skills (taking turns and not interrupting). Created with the support of leading hospitals and child development specialists, this app is designed for caregivers to provide clear and consistent support to foster a child’s independence, positive behavior, and emotional regulation at home and in the community. It can also be customized for teachers in a school setting. 

(iPhone/iPad, $6.99)

First Then Visual Schedule by Good Karma Applications, Inc

First-Then visual schedule application is designed for caregivers to provide positive behavior support. For individuals with communication needs, developmental delays, Autism or those who benefit from a structured environment; visual schedules serve to increase independence and lower anxiety during transitions through different activities. 

(iPhone, $9.99)

FTVS HD - First Then Visual Schedule HD by Good Karma

The visual supports you can create and use with First Then Visual Schedule (FTVS) HD have proven to be especially beneficial for the following populations: 
Typically developing children 
Those learning English as a second language 
People with developmental disabilities like Autism and Down Syndrome 
Individuals with learning disabilities like dyslexia 
People affected by anxiety or attention deficits Anyone with language, hearing or auditory processing deficits 
Individuals affected by aphasia after a stroke And many more... 

So, as a parent, teacher, therapist or adult who could benefit from visual supports you want to try them but may be frustrated by how many different apps you seem to need in order to do so? 
 FTVS HD lets you easily and quickly create and use ALL these visual supports in just one app: 
 First Then boards 
Visual schedules 
Task analyses 
Social stories 
Choice boards 
Video models  

(iPhone/iPad, $14.99)

i Get...My Daily Schedule, Recall My Day and Learn Calendar Concepts by I Get It, LLC

Description i Get... My Daily Schedule, Recall My Day and Learn Calendar Concepts is an application providing a photo story for individuals that need support in understanding the steps that will occur/have occurred during their day. Fifty-seven icons with real picture images are used to illustrate the events of a day. Text statements can be individualized for each picture allowing app to be used for a variety of purposes, including receptive identification and expressive labeling. Personal photos can be added by the user with a camera ready Apple device or imported from the user’s camera roll.

(iPhone/iPad, $4.99)


Picture Me Calm - A visual schedule tool for children with special needs by Awesometistic, LLC

Picture Me Calm is an easy to use picture schedule system for children on the autism spectrum (ASD) or that have special needs. 
✩ Create unlimited picture cards and schedules 
✩ Relieve anxiety and provide positive support for your child 

Fidgety Fingers 
Children are explorers. They like to touch and interact with everything. With this in mind, we designed Picture Me Calm to reduce the amount issues that can arise from 'fidgety fingers'. The only interaction children can perform is changing the current schedule, completing tasks by flipping picture cards and selecting a sticker reward at the end of the completed schedule. 

Designed with Love 
Picture Me Calm was designed as a visual picture schedule for our daughter who has high functioning autism. As it turned out, it worked exceptionally well for our typical children as well. Each child can have one or more visual schedules tailored to their needs and abilities with pictures of themselves performing the tasks.  

(iPhone/iPad, $2.99)

If you are looking to create visuals outside of the iPad, check out This site is designed for individuals with a developmental disability and their support network. The visuals engine can be accessed here. Funded by a grant from Ronald McDonald Charities, this tool allows you to create, save and print choice boards, rule cards, schedules, first/then cards and more. The picture symbols used are from Boardmaker and are property of Mayer-Johnson. They can be used for non-commercial, personal and educational purposes. This is a wonderful resources for schools and families!


Sarah's twins will officially be teenagers this week and she is feeling nostalgic.

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