iPad App Review: Letter School

Letter School iPad App Helps Children with Autism Learn How to Write Letters and Numbers
Letter School iPad App Helps Children with Autism Develop Writing Skills

Looking for an iPad app that combines writing, letters, numbers, phonics, and counting?  Then look no further than the Letter School iPad app.  This intelligently designed app will captivate the iPad user through entertaining animations and an easy to navigate interface.  The iPad app brilliantly teaches how to write each letter and number through simple guided steps, with each step becoming increasingly difficult.  Best of all, this is done in a manner that is both entertaining and fun!

Name of iPad App:

Letter School by Boreaal

Price:

$2.99

Overview of Letter School iPad App:

Letter School is one of the best designed iPad apps available to teach children how to write letters and numbers.  It also teaches basic phonics and counting.  This is all accomplished through an amazingly interactive design.  Each time a letter or number is written a different animation helps reinforce the correct manner to write.

The basic template for each letter or number consists of 3 steps.  The first step involves touching the letter or number at key dots or points.  These points must be touched in the correct order as if the letter or number were being written.  Once the correct dot is touched the portion of the letter or number that corresponds to the dot springs to life with animation.  The animation is designed to demonstrate the proper motion used to write.  Once all the key points have been touched the animation continues to show the proper motion used to write the letter or number.  If the dot is not touched within a reasonable amount of time it bounces up to help the user find the correct point.

Letter School iPad App Teaches Child with Autism to Trace Letters or Numbers in the Correct Order
Second Step in Letter School iPad App Allows Child to Trace the Letter or Number

The second phase of the writing process builds upon the first.  The same dots or points used in step 1 are also found in step 2.  However, the user must draw the correct motion to create the letter or number.  Animations are once again used to encourage the proper motion for writing.  If the letter or number is not drawn correctly or not drawn in a sufficient amount of time the app will provide a hint to the user.  Once the complete letter or number has been drawn it springs to life with more animation.

The third phase of the writing process becomes even more difficult.  The key points or dots found in steps 1 and 2 are used to help start the writing process.  However, once the first point is touched they all disappear.  The iPad app user must then draw the letter or number on his own.  If the correct motion is not used the line disappears and the process must be started again.  After a couple of unsuccessful attempts the app will once again provide a hint to help with the writing process.

The best part about the brilliant learning process outlined above is the animations that entertain the user along the way.  There are several different animations provided that keep the Letter School iPad app exciting and engaging.  Some of the different animations that occur as the letters or numbers are being written include:

  • A caterpillar stretching along the path of the letter
  • A fuse burning along the number path and then exploding as it gets to the end of a segment
  • A jewel necklace stretching along the letter path
  • A dirt path that sprouts into a flower bed once the correct letter or number segment has been written
  • Railroad track and a train that stretch along each portion of the letter
  • A spaceship that flies along the writing path of the letter or number
  • A spring that bounces into the correct shape of the number
  • And many, many more!

Once every letter or number has been successfully written the app advances to an even more difficult level.  The same 3 step process is followed but this level utilizes free form writing on the 3rd step.  Once written correctly the free form version created by the user replaces the letter or number found on the menu.  Thus, the menu eventually becomes a customized menu as the iPad user creates each letter or number through free form writing.  This level also features unique animations compared to the less difficult level.

Video Demo of Letter School:

Settings:

  • Select between 3 different player profiles
  • Select between capital letters, lowercase letters, or numbers
  • Select between 3 different writing styles or typefaces:
  1. D’Nealian Style
  2. HWT Style
  3. Zaner-Bloser Style
  • Reset scores (this feature can be locked)
Letter School iPad App Provides Hints to Help Autistic Child Write the Letter or Number
Hints on Letter School App Remind iPad User of the Correct Motion to Draw the Letter or Number

iPad App Designed to Teach:

  • Correct writing skills
  • Uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Numbers and counting
  • Letter sounds

May Help Children with Autism:

  • Develop fine motor skills
  • Improve hand-eye coordination
  • Learn cause and effect
  • Improve handwriting skills

*Note: Letter School iPad app screenshots are copyrighted and are used with the permission of their owner.

Additional Resources for Letter School iPad App:

 

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iPad App Review: Little Patterns-Animals

Screenshot of Little Patterns-Animals iPad App
Little Patterns-Animals iPad App Review

Little Patterns-Animals is an app that brings a set of applied behavior analysis (ABA) goals to the iPad.  The interactive nature of the iPad may help children with autism learn and master ABA goals dealing with pattern recognition and pattern completion more quickly than traditional methods.  The efficient design of Little Patterns-Animals allows even young users the ability to perform the required patterns, while the adjustable settings ensure that older children will be challenged by the more advanced pattern sequences.

Name of iPad App:

Little Patterns-Animals by GrasshopperApps.com

Price:

$0.99

Overview of iPad App:

This is a simple, yet efficiently designed iPad app designed to help young children recognize and complete patterns.  It may also help children gain greater critical thinking and reasoning skills.  The best part is that Little Patterns-Animals is simple enough for infants as young as 9 months old to use, yet highly adjustable to become more difficult for older children.

Little Patterns-iPad App Screenshot Showing Pattern Sequence
Select the Appropriate Tile to Complete the Pattern Sequence in Little Patterns-Animals iPad App

The iPad app uses a basic template of 6 objects per pattern sequence.  The user is required to complete the pattern sequence by placing either 1 or 2 animal tiles into the proper place.  Extra tiles of animals are found below the pattern sequence and the user must drag the correct animal into the proper location.  If the trick tiles setting is on the user must select from several different animal tiles to place in the correct pattern sequence.

When the correct animal and location in the pattern sequence are selected the user receives positive reinforcement by means of verbal praise.  The iPad app then proceeds to the next pattern.   If the wrong animal or location is selected a short noise is made and the wrong animal tile drops back to the bottom of the iPad screen with the other animal tile options.

One great feature of the Little Patterns-Animals iPad app is its ability to adapt to the performance of the user.  If 3 patterns are completed correctly the iPad app automatically adjusts the difficulty level up to the next level.  However, if the user misses the first attempt on 2 patterns in a row the iPad app automatically adjusts lower to the previous difficulty level.

Settings:

  • Sound: On or Off
  • Audio Hints: On or Off
  • Trick Tiles: On or Off
  • Starting Difficulty: Easy, Medium, or Hard
  • Number of Patterns: 1, 2, or 3 Rows
  • Customize Items: Record Custom Audio for Each Animal
  • Customize Games Sounds: Record Custom Audio for Different Prompts, Questions, and Commands
  • Library: Includes or Excludes Objects if More than 1 Little Patterns App is Purchased (i.e. If Little Patterns-ABC was also purchased the user could selectively turn animals and/or ABC’s on or off.)

Animals in Little Patterns-Animals iPad App:

Screenshot Showing Increased Difficulty of Pattern Sequence on Little Patterns-Animals iPad App
Customization Allows Increased Difficulty Level of Pattern Sequence in Little Patterns-Animals iPad App

Includes the following 22 animals:

  • Bird, cat, cheetah, cow, dog, dolphin, elephant, fish, fox, giraffe, horse, koala, lion, monkey, panda, rhinoceros, rooster, squirrel, starfish, tiger, turtle, and wolf

iPad App Designed to Improve:

  • Critical Thinking and Mental Reasoning
  • Problem Solving
  • Motor Skills
  • Coordination
  • Confidence

May Help Children with Autism:

  • Pattern Recognition
  • Achieve Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Pattern Goals
  • Improve Fine Motor Skills
  • Learn Cause and Effect
  • Improve Labeling and Generalization Skills
  • Learn Names of Animals

*Note: Little Patterns-Animals iPad app screenshots are copyrighted and are used with the permission of their owner.

Additional Resources for Little Patterns-Animals:

 

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iPad App Review: Tally Tots

Introducing an iPad app that may help your child with autism learn to count from 1 to 20!  Tally Tots is a highly interactive iPad app designed to help children learn to count.  Every number is associated with a unique activity that will reinforce the meaning of the number while engaging the child in the learning process.  Tally Tots may also help your autistic child generalize the meaning of each number to everyday counting situations.

Name of iPad App:

Tally Tots by Spinlight Studios

Price:

$2.99

Tally Tots iPad App Review
iPad App Review of Tally Tots

Overview of iPad App:

This iPad app is designed to help young children learn to count from 1 to 20.  The learning process is facilitated by unique activities associated with each number to help reinforce the meaning of each number.  The app begins by presenting a menu with the option to choose any number between 1 and 20.  Once a number is chosen the app counts to that number utilizing both video and audio reinforcement.  Then the child engages in an activity designed to associate that number with its meaning.  The child receives positive reinforcement once the task is completed.

The child can navigate to any other number at any time by selecting a back arrow that will take the user back to the opening menu.  The child can also choose any of the 20 numbers by selecting a tab that is visible during each activity.  The tabs are designed to prevent unintended selection by requiring the user to hold the number tab for approximately 3 seconds.  If the tab is not pressed for that time period it will stay on the current page.  The third way in which a new number can be selected is by pressing tabs corresponding to the number before and after the current number selected.  However, these tabs do not appear until the current task has been completed.

There is also a catchy song that counts from 1 to 20.  As the song progresses, the screenshots review the activities for each number.  This helps reinforce the tasks associated with each number.

Video Demo of Tally Tots iPad App:

Settings:

  • No adjustable settings

Activity Associated with Each Number:

Task Associated with the Number 4 on Tally Tots iPad App
Activity Associated with 4 on Tally Tots iPad App
  1. Make 1 light bulb glow
  2. Race 2 cars around a race track
  3. Make 3 mice run
  4. Place 4 batteries in a portable TV
  5. Water 5 plants to make them grow
  6. Make 6 different colors of bubbles
  7. Make a 7 layer sandwich
  8. Play a tune using 8 different bottles
  9. Make 9 puffer fish expand
  10. Place 10 different shapes in their proper place
  11. Roll 11 marbles down a track
  12. Put away 12 toys into a toy chest
  13. Hatch baby chicks from 13 different eggs
  14. Use a magnifying glass to examine 14 different cupcakes
  15. Help a frog eat 15 flies
  16. Pick 16 apples from a tree and place them in a wagon
  17. Place 17 pennies in a piggy bank
  18. Knock over 18 dominoes
  19. Feed a chipmunk 19 acorns
  20. Make 20 fireflies glow

iPad App Designed to:

  • Teach children to count from 1 to 20
  • Prepare young children for math

May Help Autistic Children:

Task Associated with the Number 16 on Tally Tots iPad App
  • Follow verbal prompts/commands
  • Learn numbers
  • Learn to count from 1 to 20
  • Generalize the meaning of each number to possible everyday activities
  • Learn cause and effect
  • Improve fine motor skills

Awards and Recognitions:

  • Apple Staff Favorite
  • 2011 Top 50 Apps by Babble.com
  • Mile High Mama – Best Math Apps
  • Apple What’s Hot
  • Apple New and Noteworthy
  • Apple Education What’s Hot
  • #3 on Apple Education Top 10
  • One of the Top 100 Paid iPad Apps in the App Store

*Note: Tally Tots iPad app screenshots are copyrighted and are used with the permission of their owner.

Additional Resources for Tally Tots iPad App:

 

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