Today I am reviewing Let’s Be Social is a new app from Everyday Speech, which targets basic social pragmatic language skills through 25 interactive lessons on the topics of recognizing emotions, solving problems, friendships, as well as making predictions.
As someone who specializes in assessment and treatment of social pragmatic language abilities I have many materials, including a variety of apps to target various nuances of social language instruction in school aged children. However, what I specifically liked about this app is that it could be used to target social skills in low functioning children including children with psychiatric, behavioral and well as social emotional deficits in conjunction with significant developmental and learning disabilities.
One great advantage of working with this app is that it’s very easy to use. All you need to do is got through the initial registration and then you are ready to choose a lesson on the main screen to target the child’s social skills which could use some improvement.
Each lesson has a short (5-7 sentences story) supported by a visual and then followed by some questions.
Let’s look at the one entitled “Making Inappropriate Noises”.
After reading the story, the child gets to answer several factual questions pertaining to story contents.
When a child answers incorrectly a pop-up appears on the screen and offers for the child to review the question to correct his/her response or to move on to the next question.
The lessons in the app are great for targeting social skills of younger children (pre-K through 1-2 grade). They are also good for older children with developmental disabilities who have significantly impaired social pragmatic language skills, also known as Severely Impaired Perspective Takers (SIPT) (Winner, 2007, Thinking About You, Thinking About Me, pp 4-6). Another benefit of this app is that the user can also target the child’s auditory memory and listening comprehension abilities as well as target emotion and mood recognition.
However, should the SLP desire to increase the lesson complexity, the app allows you to create your own lessons complete with your own visuals. To add a lesson in a specific category, tap on the “add lesson” icon on the first screen and create the lesson you’d want to add.
Here’s a quick lesson I created on the topic of using appropriate table manners.
The app-customization was the part I definitely appreciated because now I was able to create a story using real-life photos and increase the complexity of my story to a significant degree, making this app relevant not just to young children but also more socially savvy students from elementary age all the way through high-school.
What I liked:
- Social stories geared to younger kids using simple language
- Short targeted lessons with not too many questions
- Relevant targets for many simple pragmatic goals
- Intuitive easy to navigate display
- App-customization which allows for creation of your own more sophisticated stories using relevant photos, as well as vocabulary and social concepts
Future Suggested Improvements:
- Data collection component
- Multiple user component for group therapy
- Creation of Levels of complexity
- Level one can offer multiple choice questions
- Level two can offer open-ended questions
- Creation of more sophisticated stories for older children
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