Friday, May 25, 2012

Giveaway for Touch and Write by FizzBrain

Touch and Write by FizzBrain

"Touch and Write" is a new ipad writing app that allows children to use shaving cream, jello and other textures to practice writing. David, a teacher and the developer, developed this app at the request of some of his co-teachers - Special Education teachers and an Occupational Therapist. They asked if he could create an app that would allow parents and teachers to create their own individualized name and word lists in order to meet IEP writing goals. The app engages children by allowing them to write with 16 different textures, such as shaving cream, ketchup, chocolate frosting and more. There are also 28 different papers to write on. His OT friend remarked, "I love the variety - it keeps my students from getting bored."

Check it out on YouTube:

View it in the app store:

Or search iTunes for "fizzbrain" or "Touch and Write."

Enter through the SASK giveaways tab on our Facebook Page:!/SpecialAppsSpecialKids/app_208195102528120

Friday, May 18, 2012

iPad Resources: Some Places to Start

Some Places to Start/ Online Special Needs & App Resources       
Discussion Groups & Pages:

Special Needs/Unspecified
E.A.T. (Educational App Talk) (parents welcome)
Raising and Teaching Individuals with Severe Disabilities
iTeach Special Education
SLPs Talk Apps (for SLPs, SLPTs and SLPAs)
PEN (Parent Education Network)
Autism Daddy (Parent Perspective)

Karla's ASD page (autistic perspective)
Apps For Apraxia- KIDS
Little Bear Sees
Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory Processing Disorder Support and Awareness
Sensory Parents!/groups/sensoryparents/
Other Resources:
Webinars /Education
PEN (Parent Education Network) Webinars - (this site has excellent free webinar videos on IEP and special need topics to view)

App Deals/Giveaways & More:
iHeartthisApp Tech in Ed
Smart Apps For Kids
Welcome to their World Apps
the iMums

A Byte of This N That
Lauren S. Enders, MA, CCC-SLP- Pinterest list (awesome pins on FREE apps for special needs here)
Review sites: (video reviews) (from a therapist perspective)
Grants & Help with funding of iPads:
Cookie for iPads (OHIO residents only)
Research Program & Resources for iPads/Autism:
The Remle Project

Assistive Technology & AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) Resources:

General info

AT Network government org. for Assistive Tech; equipment exchange, loaning of devices)

Help with getting AT and AAC devices into the IEP
PEN Webinar: Including Assistive Technology in the IEP
Books on iPads & Apps
Getting Started: iPads For Special Needs by Sami Rahman

Apps For Autism: An Essential Guide to Over 200 Effective Apps for Improving Communication, Behavior, Social Skills and More! by Lois Jean Brady )


Learn about iOS AAC apps  (extensive list of AAC apps and their features)  (compare AAC apps by features) (FREE &Lite AAC apps)


iPad/iPhone/iPod case info:

wearable devices:

CHAT Bag (a stretchy lightweight wearable iPad case with straps!

Gab'N'Go Harness (hands free device with speaker system, for iphone/iPod touch)

protective cases:

For Android devices, see information here: 

Want More? Consonantly Speaking has compiled a SUPER LINK with many of the above links and a whole lot more:
If you have a resource you would like added, please email at

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Apps for Data Collection

There are quite a few apps for collecting data on behaviors, several of which are highlighted below. At the bottom I have included some apps for collecting language data as well.

Apps for Autism and/or Behavior Data:

My Autism Day

This is a good choice for a parent and allows for tracking for multiple children. It also has a place to store contact information for various caregivers, has a calendar view (alas no reminder feature) and lots of built in areas to fill in your observations about your child on a daily basis- including what they've eaten, the activities they have done, their behaviors, and sleep patterns etc.  I really like how this gives you a framework to look at when looking for patterns in behavior- for example do tantrums always occur after a specific activity, or are they more frequent on days with the least amount of sleep?
See a full review here: My Autism Day review by SASK

Behavior Tracker Pro (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, $29.99)

Track behaviors down to every last detail! This is great for a school setting and allows for video recording and tracking of ABCs (Antecedents, Behaviors, Consequences) etc.  In the past I've had stability issues with this app but it hasn't been a problem recently.  However, there is no way to enter a PAST event/behavior.  So this is not useful for filling in information about behaviors or events AFTER they have happened- like when I come home for the day and my husband fills me in on what my son ate, any problems he had and what set him off.
I would love to see a Parent version to address this shortcoming.

FYI, Behavior Tracker Pro is also available for the Android Platform.  I also appreciate that is universal and looks fantastic on either the iPod or iPad.  Free training at

School Psychology Tools (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, $34.99)

Again, very thorough tracking down to every last detail, and similar features to Behavior Tracker Pro. What sets it apart from BTP is that is designed with school pyschologists in mind and has a feature to include assessment and report dates and so on within the app. Just like with Behavior Tracker Pro, filling in incidents after the fact this is a no-go.  I appreciate the interface and ability to add photo icons for each child. If you need very detailed information about multiple behaviors, frequency and duration, antecededents and consequences- both School Psychology Tools and Behavior Tracker Pro will do this.


This has so much potential but I find myself frustrated with it. There needs to be a way to enter whether a behavior is positive or negative. It is confusing when you are measuring something like hyperactivity with a 0% to 100% scale- with the slider bar showing more and more green the closer it gets to 100%.   Also each goal says 0% (least desirable) under the slider bar. If I am measuring a negative behavior, I want the slider bar to show red as the behavior increases in intensity.

BehaviorLENS (iPad only, $29.99)
Full Review here:

My new favorite for data tracking with students!  Simple (as in straightforward) yet powerful.  The charts are visually appealing and easy to understand.  I could also see this working for most parents who are interested in focusing on a few main behaviors to track- say for example the same behaviors set in your child's Behavior Plan at school.  For those of us tracking special diets/allergies and a zillion possibly related specific behaviors or symptoms, this will not be the best fit.  The decision to allow tracking of a small number of key behaviors instead of unlimited behaviors was a very conscious one- this focus is clear when you start the app and are able to effortlessly navigate, add students and school sites, begin an observation, view data, send a report- all within a few minutes.  

On the wish list:

Autism Tracker Pro: Track, analyze and share ASD daily  ( iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, $9.99)
I can't say much as I haven't tried it out, but I like how you can track as many behaviors or symptoms as you want. 

Apps for collecting Speech and Language Data:

Super Duper Data Tracker (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, $1.99)

An inexpensive way to track speech and language goals- I really appreciate the update allowing us to record an "approximate" response, in addition to correct or incorrect. 

Vocabulary Tracker (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, 99 cents)

 This allows a parent to easily account for the vocabulary his/her child is using. An awesome update has accounted for the fact that parents often have multiple children - up to 5 kids can be tracked!

Vocabulary Tracker Pro (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, $8.99) *
* Disclosure- I provided some help/feedback in the development of the pro version

As an educator providing speech therapy services to multiple special needs children, I had some needs not met by Vocabulary Tracker and asked the developer if some additions could be made.  Vocabulary Tracker Pro was born.  Beyond keeping an inventory of  a child's expressive vocabulary (unlimited children actually), this app lets me record sentence/utterance length, and percentage of mispronounced and unintelligible words. All data, word lists and utterances can be emailed and printed out!

Another great thing about this app is that when a copy is purchased $1 goes toward helping a child with special needs secure an iPad for communicative or educational needs through iHelp SN Kids.

My Autism Day

My Autism Day by Little App Helpers

This is a good choice for a parent wanting a comprehensive view of their child's daily life (multiple children can be tracked too!), with places to put food intake, medicines, goals and progress towards them, and more. There are 5 main modes (with puzzle piece icons) that you can easily swipe through and tap to view and add daily information: activities, behavior, school, eye contact, goals, health. Below this a calendar is displayed. I love having the calendar- but I'd LOVE to see this go one step further with a reminder system- then I could have my son's doctor's and therapy appointments in the app as well!

There is a Charts section you can view with tabs for Goals, Health, Behavior, and Eye Contact. Under the Goals section you can see your custom goals and see progress over the course of a week, a month, or whatever custom length of time you want to specify. Under the Health section you can view data you entered on appetite level, hours slept, and time to fall asleep. It doesn't seem like I can view my custom health information here, and I'm not sure why. I would like to view whether my son ate something that he was allergic to here, for example, and what his behavior notes for those days were. I CAN however do this elsewhere in the app- through the Analysis tab. This allows comparison of any of the following elements: mood, behavior, sensory, tantrum, nutrition, sleep, Rx, exclusive behavior, and/or eye contact.

Back to the Charts section- the Behavior tab allows you to look at auditory sensitivity, visual sensitivity, tactile sensitivity, proprioceptive seeking, vestibular seeking, happiness, stress, tantrum average length, and number of tantrums per day. The Eye Contact chart shows eye contact frequency per minute, eye contact average duration per minute, eye contact longest duration, or average duration vs. longest duration. You can also send reports through email and Hurray!- you can add events that happened in the past- so that means you can call Grandma to get filled in, and then add the necessary information to this app!

I would like the interface to be a little more integrated- I would like to tap directly on a note in a report for example, and be able to edit it there if I noticed an error, instead of having to go back in through the modes wheel to change it. Also, when entering data, I'd like the option for commonly entered items to automatically pop up as a suggestion. As it stands now, this is more time intensive than it has to be! This would be so helpful for items that my son eats often, the activities he engages in, or areas of motivation and interests (often anything military, or involving a computer game or iPad). There is also a Facebook feature that you can use if you want, but I have not yet used this feature. Nab this while it is cheap- $9.99. I already find this useful, but if this gets updated with more customizable features and the option to store commonly used terms, this will be golden!

My Autism Day has been updated! 

From App Store Description:

What's New in Version 1.2.1

Per popular demand, auto-complete option has been added for most of the fields in the app:
All nutrition fields will have auto-complete once the first letter is entered in the field.
The following fields will support auto-complete :

Activities - All Text Fields have been updated.
Daily Log/Behavior - Exclusive behavior section. The notes section will remain with free text.
Daily Log/School - All Text Fields have been update.
Health/Rx - All Text Fields have been updated
Health/Treatment - All Text Fields have been updated