Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Apps for OTs | Behaviors with Friends

The following is a sponsored post for teach2talk, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for your continued support of this blog and it's sponsors!

Behaviors with Friends is an iPad app that uses targeted video modeling to help teach children how to navigate and problem solve a variety of social situations. Created by Speech Language Pathologist, Sarah Clifford Scheflen, M.S., CCC-SLP, Behaviors with Friends focuses on common situations that children encounter, such as sharing toys and taking turns, and the common behaviors that often go along with these situations, like tantrums and name calling.

Here's how it works:

Watch videos of real children (not cartoons!) engaging in a variety of social situations. Throughout each video, the narrator stops to ask your child a question (e.g. "What do you think Jesse's friends are thinking when Jesse makes this choice?").

Correct answers are rewarded with a "sticker" for your child's virtual sticker book. Incorrect answers are explained and your child is given another chance to answer. It's really as simple as that!

As an OT, these are the things I love about the Behaviors with Friends app:

  • Addresses executive functioning skills. Executive function skills include the ability to stop, think, plan, and then act; the ability to think flexibly; and the ability to manage emotions. By using video modeling of a variety of social situations, Behaviors with Friends shows children how to think through these situations while managing their emotions.
  • Narrator encourages perspective taking. I love how the narrator pops up throughout the videos to ask the user questions. And the questions are good! The questions encourage the user to think about how each child in the video is feeling. Perspective taking is something that so many children struggle with, and Behaviors with Friends does a really nice job of encouraging the user to consider what other children are thinking.
  • Uses interactive videos of real children. Not only does Behaviors with Friends use video modeling of real children, rather than cartoons, they are interactive videos. As I said above, the narrator pops in at just the right time and asks the user thought provoking questions. The child is really encouraged to think about the situation shown in the video and then choose the correct answer. This is a much better format than simply watching a video.


App Information:

Name of App: Behaviors with Friends
Publisher: Teach2Talk
Compatible with: iPad; requires iOS 6.0 or later
Price: $4.99

About Teach2Talk, LLC:

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teach2talk™ produces educational resources for children, which target core speech and language, play and social skills using techniques including video modeling. Our products are created by a practicing speech language pathologist based on her clinical experience and her review of the peer–reviewed research of others, but are designed to be used by parents on their own without outside assistance.

teach2talk™ strives to introduce new and innovative products and to improve existing products based on the latest developments in scientific research and on feedback from the parents, teachers, therapists and other professionals who use our products.

Co-Founder Sarah Clifford Scheflen, M.S., CCC-SLP is a pediatric clinical speech–language pathologist who specializes in working with children with autism and other developmental disorders. Sarah is the founder of Scheflen Speech–Language Pathology, Inc., her private practice in Santa Monica, California, and she is also the senior speech–language pathologist on staff at an intensive partial–hospitalization program located at a major public research university in Los Angeles, California. She is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer, and her research focus is on teaching play and social skills through video modeling.

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by teach2talk. All writing and opinions are my own. Information was correct at the time of publication, but is subject to change, so please confirm prior to downloading. Links to iTunes are affiliate links.

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