Thursday, February 26, 2015

Best apps for special needs: iDo Hygiene teaches activities of daily living


Bottom Line: A wonderful app that teaches activities of daily living in a step-by-step process illustrated through both photos and video. Highly customizable, and useful for any special needs individual, adult or child. Try the first two lessons for free!

If you'd like to download iDo Hygiene (iPad only, FREE with in-app purchases),  please use this handy link so they'll know who sent you:

App-Warning-Buttons-NO-ADS-(100x100) App-Warning-Buttons-EX-LINKS-(100x100) App-Warning-Buttons-IN-APP-(100x100)No ads. External links in protected parent section.
What's free: Two lessons (shampooing and face-washing)
What's not free: Ten additional lessons, $1.99 each or all for $9.99
I get up every day and shower, wash my hair, brush my teeth and more without a great deal of thought. IMG_0196You probably do too. But it's easy to imagine the challenge in teaching these activities to a person with special needs. What seems simple to many of us presents an obstacle to someone with learning or motor disabilities, those with autism, or those with other kinds of cognitive issues.

That's where developer Snapps and the iDo Hygiene app come in. In a series of 12 lessons, iDo Hygiene offers step-by-step instructions on how to do everything from taking a shower to applying deodorant to styling hair. Videos and sequential photos let users see exactly what each step looks like, and games allow the user to practice getting each step in the right order.

IMG_0197The app is free with in-app purchases for ten of the 12 lessons, which means the whole thing will run you $9.99. That's a bit steep for most apps, but those for special needs tend to run higher, and if this approach works for your kiddo, it would be worth every penny. The best part is that you can try out the first two lessons for free to see if they meet your needs before buying anything else. And of course, if your kid doesn't need to know about using an electric shaver or making a ponytail, you can skip purchasing those lessons and stick to those applicable in your family.

Videos and photos in the app feature teenagers of all ethnicities, and they break each activity down into easy-to-understand steps. If watching a stranger doesn't appeal to your kid, you can replace the generic video and photos with ones featuring your kid, or even you, if that works better for your situation. The app's customizability (is that a word?) is its greatest strength.

Each step is described verbally as well as in writing, allowing for different learning styles. The videos and photos aren't childish at all, making this app useful even for adults with special needs.
In addition to the lessons themselves, the app also contains games that reinforce the lessons. The board IMG_0198game allows for one or two players and gives users the chance to practice each activity as well as taking turns with an opponent. The missing picture game lets users practice getting the steps of each activity in the right order.

The app's biggest downfall is that all the photos and video take some time to load, which makes each activity, lesson or game a bit slow to get started. If your kiddo is impatient, this could present a problem.
iDo Hygiene is one of a series of ADL apps. iDo Getting Dressed is also available. If you have a young one (or a not-so-young one) with special needs who could use some help in this area, I recommend giving iDo Hygiene a try.

150735_10205330672367942_3410405949553834350_nEmilie needs a shower right now, as a matter of fact. was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.

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