Autism Core Skills: A curriculum to teach academic, social, and communication skills by Infiniteach Inc – Review
Core Skills by Infiniteach Inc is an educational iPad only app built by autism experts who have worked with children on the Autism Spectrum. The app is designed for those with autism or other developmental delays to help them reach their fullest potential. The app offers materials ranging from preschool through first grade level lessons in academics, social and communication domains based on Common Core Learning Standards. Infiniteach is an autism edteach company which is dedicated to developing educational iPad apps for students on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Christopher Flit, the Founder and Chief Creative Officer was a special education teacher who trained over 12,000 parents and teachers in Illinois and across the United States about best practice autism strategies. Katie, a co-founder is a former Special Education Teacher and has a brother on the Autism Spectrum. Lally, a co-founder, is a behavioral therapist who works with children and adults who have ASD. The company was formed when the three came together with the shared believe that unlimited access to proven teaching strategies can help children with autism and developmental delays increase independence and create meaningful relationships.
It includes a number of features, which are highlighted below that allow children with developmental delays or ASD to work on social and communication skills either with another adult such as a parent or therapist or a peer. The app collects and saves data from all lessons and can be used on two iPads. Infiniteach Inc. also offers a one week trial so you can determine if the app is a good fit for your child/situation.
Features/Games included within the app
- Skill building: The academic lessons include foundational lessons for preschool (color concepts, big/ little, shapes, picture match, etc.), math (counting, grouping, addition, etc), and reading (lower and uppercase find, sight words, rhyming, main ideas and details, etc.).
- Social and Communication Lessons: The social interaction lessons provide two-player games that teach cooperative play and the importance of turn taking, such as following rules and sharing. The communication lessons help students express themselves and build conversation skills while working with a partner. This section can be adapted where the user asks questions and the other person types it in (which is great to practice listening skills!) as well as used to practice turn taking.
- Themes: range from animals, trains, sports, food and many more which engage kids and after the successfully finish a lesson they are rewarded with brief video. The video aligns with the theme in the lesson. You can turn on and off specific themes depending on your child’s interest.
- Data Collection: dashboard where data on lessons is recorded and displayed in charts and graphs which can be shared and printed. As each student completes their lessons, data is automatically collected, stored, and graphed which can be shared or printed.
- Printable Materials: There are also off iPad activities available (printable worksheets/curriculum) that parents or teachers can print and then manually add results to the data graphs which allows for continued data collection. The worksheets help take lessons learned within the app and move them to a more concrete “real world” application. Once they are completed, they can be kept and used as sample work in a portfolio or discarded.
- Frustration Free Learning: Lessons adjust in difficulty to ensure children are always learning at relevant levels of proficiency. The app also includes visual lists and errorless learning (for example – if the child starts to make mistakes, then the lesson gets easier) or vice versa which ensures your child stays on task and engaged with the app.
- Collaboration: With a paid account, you get a free collaborator account which helps ensure continuity of learning – this could be a teacher, parent or even a therapist and data is synced between the accounts. The child can practice with the collaborator on their iPad in the same room at the same time.
- Customized profiles: The customized profile allows you to enter and save information about your child including interests, attention span, specific themes, making this great for small classroom and home usage.
I loved the amount of material contained within the app. I have spent hours exploring it, and have found lots of great lessons which I tested out with my son. I liked how you could choose specific themes for the app – so if trains or the ocean was a particular favorite it was easy to get specific themed lessons around that. Gathering the data was helpful too – and once your child starts a lesson they are “locked” into it where the parent has to enter a passcode for them to exit. This means that they will focus on the app – and hopefully complete the activities successfully. You can change the pin number, so kids don’t get to know what it is even if they see you enter it. I liked also that the app encouraged not only learning material, but applying it both on and off device as well as the ability to ask questions. The keyboard and social skills games were a bit confusing for my son. I love how the content is customized and that it gets easier or harder depending on how your child does – then you can track it over time to see if a pattern emerges. I liked the turn taking activities – and my son did too once he understood “why” the screen flipped. The images within the app helped my son remember better than just words on the screen which appeals to those that may learn in a variety of different ways. The support experience is fast – and they are working to develop more support for parents and children who are using the app. The app also moves from printed or physical materials which have to be designed, used and then finally stored when not in use. Now you can just launch an app on your device, customize the content to them and have it ready in moments and on the fly rather than having to plan it out to be ready for a therapy session.
In terms of enhancements, the keyboard and social skills games were a bit confusing for my son. He didn’t understand why typing on the keyboard was “upside down” from the way that the words printed on the screen. I kept trying to explain to him that it wasn’t upside down, and he was meant to be sitting across from me but since he’s used to the dynamic keyboard on the iPad which flips when it is oriented he was bothered by it. The app is used in portrait mode – and it does not automatically flip when you re-orient the iPad – which isn’t a problem per se but does require some explaining for kids. I would love to see a way where the collaborator and student during turn taking games could collaborate even if they were not in the same room. Right now, I’ve only been able to figure out how to do it when both people are in the room and can press the arrow. The login portion of the app was a bit cumbersome and the developer recently changed it so you can do an in-app purchase to unlock additional content rather than having to use their website. I’d also like to have the ability to have printables specific to the curriculum you are working on emailed so I didn’t have to login to another location.
Overall, I felt that this app had a huge amount of content included for the price and could be a great supplement to be used at home during therapy sessions, to reinforce learning at school as well as making sure they stayed on task. The reporting, customized content and information help to provide a comprehensive set of materials for late preschool through early elementary school to ensure that consistency is measured along with the material learned. By using images, touch screen and manipulation of content students move from passive learners to those immersed in their education and are likely to retain more content.
The app has In-App Purchases for the material after the one week trial.
- $99.99/USD annually for one student profile (home use)
- $139.99/USD annually for up to 5 student profiles (Medium)
- $189.99/USD annually for up to 10 student profiles (Premium)
Autism Core Skills - Academic, Communication, and Social Skills Plus Databy Infiniteach Inc
Category: Education, Medical
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular
Size: 153.48 MB
Screenshots for iPad(Click to enlarge)
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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