Social communication is a critical area of need for many children. Social skills are often difficult to teach, and even harder for students to initiate and follow through. I’m always on the lookout for another tool to add in my ‘social skills toolbox.’ One app people have been requesting to see a review of is The Social Express. The developers gave me a copy of the app to test it out for you! The Social Express is software designed to teach management of social situations using video models and interactive choices. It’s available as an app and also for Macs/PCs, meaning it works for all SLP’s! You open the Social Express and meet the main characters. Max is the driver who leads you through the app. He introduced some sweet characters, including my favorite, Sunny, the pup! You can add multiple users – which is great! First, students work through each lesson to ‘unlock’ them. Once you have passed the lessons the first time, you can go back to individual lessons as needed for review and instruction. There are 2 levels of instruction, based on similar skills with increased difficulty at level 2. At the introduction of a skill the ‘Hidden Social Key’ is explicitly stated. There are teaching tips that you can turn on or off throughout the lessons. Social concepts targeted include: proximity and body language, eye contact, identifying feelings, coping strategies, conversational skills and figurative language.
My favorite part of the program is the part of the program where students answer questions to unlock the clubhouse! Student are presented with two video sessions and then they choose the one that demonstrates the skill. I love it as a wrap up for the lessons to check comprehension of the skills. One of the things I love about the app is that the carryover and generalization activities are included! I especially loved these coping strategies! If you have a printer set up, you just print and go! **Update: I spoke with Mary Anne, the SLP who developed the app. I asked her if there was anything else she’s like to point out to SLP’s considering purchasing the software/app. Mary Anne said,” An added bonus, in my opinion is the shots of the locations at the beginning of each of the activities, they are still shots of the locations which provide an opportunity to discuss the context….the who what when and other aspects of the location. It is based on Carol Gray’s social context concepts. Also I use it as a a supplement to the other materials/curriculm that I use when working with kids with social learning challenges.” Pros: -Video modeling is engaging to students. -Two skill levels are included, making the app appropriate for children k-5 -Provides modeling of both positive and negative outcomes. -It allows for multiple answer choices – providing opportunity to let students choose the correct response as well as the incorrect response to work through. -Allows for pausing to give the therapist time to give instruction -Available for the ipad, PC computers, MAC computers -Printables are included! Cons: -The price tag hurts, meaning it may be out of reach for many therapist! I imagine it cost a lot to develop the app with animation, and you can tell a lot of work went into it! -It includes a limited set of lessons, and I hope they will expand with updates! Checkout the Lite version of the app for free here. The full version is here. Through the end of March you can now purchase The Social Express full version for $44.99 which is 50% off our introductory price of $89.99 The founder of The Social Express, Marc, has generously offered 2 giveaways for Speech Room News followers! He is going to give away one copy of the program for PC computer and one copy for Mac users. These versions are good for computers only – not the ipad version! To enter the giveaway: 1. Like Speech Room News on Facebook 2. Like The Social Express Interactive Software on Facebook 3. Comment on the SRN thread on facebook with your name, email and preference for mac/pc
Goodluck! Contest ends on Saturday! This contest is now closed.
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