App Review: The Social Express

5/23/2013 12:00:00 AM

The Social Express™, only $29.99 for the month of May, is an award-winning app for children and young adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  A lot of educational thought went into preparing this app.  Carol Gray’s concept of Social Stories as well as Michell Garcia Winner’s curriculum on Social Thinking® are incorporated.

Lessons within the app provide the skill level, hidden social key, goal, lesson summary and follow-up activities.  For those  teaching social skills as part of their curriculum, this is a nice way to set up your weekly schedule.

First create a profile and then choose a skill level. The app contains 16 interactive lessons with 30 different scenes.  The characters are life-like and discuss everyday topics from reading non-verbal cues, learning how to start conversations to how to be a part of a group and stay on topic when having a conversation.

"Teacher tips" are provided and can be turned off in the Lesson Menu. As the app proceeds there is continual reinforcement to help students stay on task.  When a lesson is completed, you can print achievement certificates for younger students.

The app has a website that includes The Clubhouse, a social networking feature for students who use The Social Express app, which allows students to make friends across the globe.

This app uses real situations that all children face and can be a great help to students with ASD to help them with everyday skills.  Teachers and other staff who work in the classroom will benefit from using this app as a teaching tool for social skill groups that take place in and out of the classroom.

Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South and the founder of  the website App-oplexy, which reviews iPad apps for special-needs users.

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