The developers over at Virtual Speech Center has just released a brand new app, Social Norms. They were generous as always and provided me with a copy of the app to try out so I can share with all of you! Remember, the thoughts and opinions are all mine!
Like all of Virtual Speech Center's apps, you can access the “settings” options from the main screen. See below how you can decide whether or not to show text and/or enable audio. I like to leave both on as a “default” since most speech and language students can benefit from a multi-sensory approach and have visual/auditory cues/presentation of information.
You can also see that you can “add stories.” When you click that option, you are brought to a new menu. You can click the “arrow” next to the title “behavior stories” to view other categories: behavior stories, community stories, home stories, school stories, manners stories, safety stories, and hygiene and health. Since I work in the schools, let's click “school stories.” Then, when you click “add stories” you can create your own story for this app! This is great if you are someone like me that says, “I wish I could add a story like ____!” You can create a story title and add an image (from your photos, which you can always grab an image from Google Images and save it into your photos and easily transfer it into your app, you can also take pictures of people/places in your student(s) environment and incorporate it into the app!). LOVE THIS FEATURE! I love the ability to create your own story.
Don't want to use your own story? Not that creative? Would rather start with what the app comes with? OK!! I hear ya! Just hit “start” to begin! Here, you can select a story from the same categories mentioned above! Since I have a student currently having issues with touching others' hair, let's view that one! Just click which story you want and hit next to begin.
Students are presented with a social story on the topic/category/situation you selected. It uses images and basic sentences per page to present the social story. You can decide when to turn onto the next page, if you want to replay the audio on each page, and see how many pages are left. You can always click “finish” if you run out of time or if you need to stop abruptly. I like that you can select the pace! I like to ask questions after each sentence to check for understanding/listening. “Why did they pull hair?” “What did they pull?” I also like that you cannot click “next” until the whole page is presented. This is great if you have a student that might try and click it impulsively!
Not only does this app teach the kids what not to do, it helps demonstrate what behaviors they can do in replace of the negative behaviors.
Things to note about this app:
- No data collection since it is just a collection of social stories and ability to create social stories and save them in one spot
- Since no data collection, you don't need to input student names. You can use the stories with a group and have them all listen to one if it applies to all students in the group, of use individually since that story will only pertain to one student.
- Allows time to ask questions, check for understanding, and can elicit conversation regarding the topic/situations.
- Easy sentences and graphics used to help students easily comprehend.
- App comes with common situations/scenarios most students we work with face with daily in their school/home environments.
- LOVE LOVE the ability the create own social stories. I love that you can categorize these stories as well. Makes it easy to find, teach, and reuse. This feature is also great if you work with older students and want to use real pictures rather than the cute graphics used in the social stories included. You can easily take the same ideas from the social stories included, add your own pictures, and DONE!
- This is just one piece of the social skills puzzle! Use this app to introduce the social stories. You will then need to work with that student to make sure they know how to transfer that social skill into their everyday lives.
- This app is easy to use and navigate!