If you work with children on the spectrum, you know what a great addition the social story apps have been to the iTunes App Store. Social Stories are a way to help children on the spectrum learn behavior through stories that are created by caretakers, teachers and speech therapists to help the student better understand social cues and behaviors in a variety of typical situations.
The developers of the great toy box app Injini have returned under a new start-up name, Locomotive Labs, which developedKid in Story ($6.99). Kid in Story has a beautiful interface that looks like a bookshelf. But instead of buying more books, you create books that are related to the needs of your student. The app includes "How to Make a Story for Teachers and Parents" and "Faces I Make.In addition the app has eight templates to help the story creator choose a topic such as "A Day at the Movies" or "At the Playground." If the templates are not what you are looking for choose the blank template and begin making your story.
Stories are created from your camera roll. The app has a unique image detection technology to superimpose the child into the story. This is especially important for children who do not respond to abstract figures, such as cartoon or generic children. You just outline the child and they are placed in the story with one of the premade templates or one you create. Add your own text and narration and there is your social story. Children can go to the bookshelf and take down the story as they need it. For example, if a child has difficulty starting his or her day in school, use a school background and drop in a few photos of the child. Then use the book before the school day begins.
This app helps students with not only their social skills, but also their literacy skills. All in all, Kid in Story is creative, allows student participation and is a beautiful and thoughtful app at a great price.
Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South.