Social Norms by Virtual Speech Center is an app created by a speech and language pathologist specifically for children with autism. It contains over 50 stories that teach life skills (i.e. hygiene) and appropriate behavior whether at home, at school, or out in the community.
The stories in this app are short and to the point, making it perfect even for those with short attention spans. You can choose one or several stories at a time to read with your child. If you select more than one story, they will play in the order they were selected. By default, the stories will show text and be narrated. If you want your child to read by himself, you can disable the audio via the settings option in the main menu. You can also remove the text, and I found that disabling both text and narration provided not only a way to teach my child about social norms, but also a way to elicit speech and language by asking him to tell me what he thinks is happening in the picture.
Since each child is different, Social Norms also allows you to create stories specifically for your child. You can add text, audio, and pictures (from the camera roll) to your story. You cannot save your stories to edit or continue them later on, so you need to be prepared to finish it all in one sitting. I would like to have a save and edit button so that, if need be, I can finish my stories at a later time or make changes in text, audio, or pictures. I would like the title to be editable as well so that changes and corrections can be made as necessary.
I am very excited about this app because next weekend my family will be going on a mini getaway. My son who has autism can have a very difficult time adjusting to new situations and I am going to create a story that will help prepare him for what he can typically expect when going to a theme park and staying at a hotel. From experience, I know that that while it may not completely make him feel at ease or behave as we would like him to; it does make it a lot easier for him when he knows ahead of time what is going on.
Social Norms is a great app for teaching children appropriate social behavior. It is also helpful in preparing them for something unfamiliar or new to them such as going on a movie theater, flying on an airplane, or having a new sibling. It is an excellent tool to have for speech therapy and I certainly wish I had this when I was a student clinician. Although it was specifically made for children with autism, I believe it is useful even for those without autism. I recommend it to both speech therapists and parents.
by Virtual Speech Center Inc.
Price: $9.99 USD
****I really liked this app. With lots of stories already pre-made it saves me a lot of time and means that I can access stories for my kids right away.(Maureen, M.S.CCC-SLP)****
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Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.