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App Review: Socially Speaking: A Social Skills Assessment Protocol

Socially Speaking Main PageLately I have been compiling materials for assessment of social skills of younger children in preparation for an article on this topic. That is why I was excited to get the opportunity to review “Socially Speaking ” an app developed by Penina Rybak.  Penina is an Educational Technology Consultant and an Autism Specialist, who has been a practicing SLP for almost 2 decades. “Socially Speaking” is Penina’s Social Skills Assessment Protocol, which assesses social skills development in young children with Autism and special needs.

The app was created with the following purposes in mind:

  • Screening: To identify young children at risk for language, behavior, and social skills difficulties
  • InterventionTo determine starting points for remediation of social/behavioral challenges in young children, using play-based and cognitive based communication skills
  • Goal Planning: To create specific customized IEP goals to improve  self regulation and social skills in young children with complex disabilities (ASD, Down Syndrome, intellectual disabilities, etc)
  • Teamwork: To improve multidisciplinary collaboration in the areas of behavior management and social emotional function for these children

You can find a more comprehensive description of the app HERE on Penina’s website.

When you first open the app, you are offered 5 choices at the bottom of the screen:

  • About us
    • Provides developer contact information
  • Management Plan
    • This is the portion of the app intended for multidisciplinary collaborative team who are asked to fill out the form regarding the child’s:
      •  Name
      • DOB
      • Date of Plan
      • Name of the Person Filling out the Form
      • Names of team Members
      • Behaviors to Modify
      • Long Term Goals
      • Short Term Goals
      • Materials to be Used* (from this box on there are options to take photos)
      • Visual Format/ Learning Style Addressed
      • Structured vs. Elicited in Play
      • Food Based Reinforcements
      • Toy Based Reinforcements
      • School Based Reinforcements
      • Judging Performance/ Determining Progress
        • How many trials will be presented and counted?
        • When to consider a skill achieved?
        • How many repeated cycles are you planning to teach the skill?
      • The final section of the management plan deals with Facilitating  Carryover/Generalization to other Environments

Socially Speaking Social Skills Management Plan

  • Preschool Assessment
    • Is a 20 question checklist focused on the child’s problem solving and social language development
    • Respond with “Rarely”, “Sometimes”, or “Usually” regarding how often the child performs each behavior

Socially Speaking Social Skill Checklist Preschool

  • EI Assessment
    • Is a 20 question checklist focused on the child’s play and social awareness
    • Respond with “Rarely”, “Sometimes”, or “Usually” regarding how often the child performs each behavior

  • Preview PDF
    • Summarizes findings and allows information to be emailed

Socially Speaking Preview PDF

 App Strengths:

  • The developmental progression/hierarchy of questions regarding social behaviors
  • Quick and Efficient Checklist Administration
  • A snapshop of the child’s present abilities and needs
  • Use of  photos
  • Collaborative process in coming up with a management plan for the child which involves parental input
  • The fact that this report can be mailed to self and others

The deal: Until 7/5/13 Socially Speaking is available at 50% off for $4.99 in itunes in honor of its 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY. 

Disclosure: Smart Speech Therapy LLC received a copy of the app for review purposes only.


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