Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Great App for Social Cognition!

Hi all! It's hard to believe that I haven't posted in a week, but with the holiday and a busy family (oh yeah, and a full time job :-), time has gotten away from me!
Tonight I wanted to write a post about an app that I've been using for a while. It's called Ladybird Classic Me Books. Here's a screenshot from the app store:

I found this app about a year ago and bought a bunch of the books when they were on sale. I LOVE this app for working on social cognition, and here's why:
Do you see the directions on the left page? Those directions tell you how to make audio "hotspots" within the book. Basically what the app developer has done is upload a bunch of traditional tales like The Gingerbread Man, The Little Red Hen, The Three Little Pigs, etc. and added audio to the story and pictures when the "hotspots" are touched. The app is developed by a British company, so the narrators have an accent. That's not a problem for Americans (or anyone else) though, because you can simply create a new audio "hotspot" to record your own voice (or a client's) over the narrator! 
Here's why this app is so great for social cognition: INNER VOICE. What do I mean? Look at the picture below from The Gingerbread Man.... 
Do you see how the gingerbread man is trusting the fox to help him? As adults with intact social cognition, we can infer that the fox is tricking the gingerbread man into trusting him...many of our clients do not have that skill. With this app, you can record an audio hotspot on the characters' heads (because that's where their thoughts are) that tells what they are thinking! For example, on this page, I recorded the gingerbread man thinking, "Oh, I'm so glad this fox is going to help me escape!", and the fox thinking, "Now I've got him! I can't wait to eat him up!"
The first time I used this book with a student she was amazed that the fox might appear to be helping when his motives (via his inner monologue) did not match his language. It was quite an "AHA!" moment for my student. Here's another page from the book:
The audio hotspots on this page reveal the thoughts, "I'm so glad I'm staying safe and dry up here!" and "You're getting closer to my mouth!". Again, there are several great books for working on this. I love using The Little Red Hen to reveal her thoughts versus the lazy pig, goose, cat, etc. This is a great way to work on PERSPECTIVE. 
Here's a shot of part of my bookshelf:
I do have most of their books. The only drawback to this app (in my opinion) is that the books are older versions... with older pictures (they look like 1950s) and varied endings to the stories. In most of the tales, the main character does not have a happy ending (e.g., the gingerbread man is eaten by the fox, two of the little pigs get eaten, Chicken Little and her friends get eaten, and the troll dies at the end of The Three Billy-Goats Gruff). I haven't used these books with a student who has been overly-sensitive to the plight of the characters, but some younger students might find the endings upsetting (just a warning).
Overall, I tend to use this app with 3rd grade and up, and I haven't had an issue.
What are your thoughts? Do you use this app? I really love that you can add the thoughts of the characters, and haven't found another app that allows that audio customization of pictures in storybooks...do you know of any others?
Please let me know your thoughts, and have a great night!
Rebecca-SLP :-)
PS- Watch for another TPT product later this week ;)



1 comment:

  1. I am just reading this now for the first time and I think it is fantastic!

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