Thursday, September 29, 2011

APP review time

Please note the best reviews are by far the ones from A4CWSN and I take these with the most weight. They are narrated well and take you through the app most comprehensively. Unfortunately not all apps have been reviewed by Gary and this is when I use other APP Videos.


So if anyone was going to purchase any app for their child who has SPD. This would be the one that you have to purchase and I totally mean this. This app has some fantastic functions. It has been written by Occupational therapists. The two main parts of this game that I love is the writing component and the crab game. For a lot of kids with SPD writing can be an issue due to lack of fine motor skills in this app they have an opportunity to practice writing, numbers and letters. My son loves this part and will do it over and over again. The most fun part of this app is the crab game, it is a lot of fun, both my boys play it over and over again and it really tests and develops their fine motor skills, coordination and visual tracking.

ABC Pocket Phonics

This app has not been reviewed by A4cwsn as yet but I find it to be just fantastic. What is by far the best feature is the word game. It sounds out letters and then gets the learner to pick the sound unlike other apps it is not just letters it is clusters of letters to help the user to understand the sound such as ai, igh which is really helpful as well as including the letters as normal. It has a cute animation to follow as a reward. I would imagine for kids with SPD and CAPD this would be helpful in training the ear to listen to sounds and for reading. This app begins by letter sounds and writing where the sounds that need practising can be chosen and you are able to practice writing. I love the way it breaks down the sounds in this game into something that makes it easier to understand while still training the ear to listen for each sound and correctly identify it.

Food Fight

For the sensory child who has issues with anything related to food, this app would be totally awesome. Personally I have not used this but I checked out the lite version. I found it well narrated (with a clear aussie accent) and it highlighted the text when read. This app is supporting A4CWSN - Australia and is a app made by a Aussie developer. So please support this home grown app.

Chore Pad HD

ChorePad from on Vimeo.

Please click on this link to access this video on Youtube

One of the most noticeable features I have noticed about SPD is the fact that sometimes they can be slightly disorganised. That is an understatement so this app is fantastic in helping with motivation and on there good days. You can add all types of therapy stuff in there as well as the day to day things they need to do. A good idea is to try and mix in some sensory type activities as part of their daily life to help your child deal with things better.

Home Routines

Unfortunately I couldn't find any video reviews of this app, so please check out their website for further information. The benefit of this app is simple, any child with SPD does or can struggle with visual clutter. So a messy house is kind of an issue and the same goes with their bedroom. As a self confessed struggler in this area I know the benefits of having a tidy house and how it can help but I do struggle in actually accomplishing it. Through another online system I discovered this app and I do love it. You can set routines for just about anything, usually morning, afternoon, bedtime that type of thing. I am using it very soon to set up routines for my son for when I have my next baby as he needs to know what he should be doing and when. He has daily therapy activities that he does. The benefit of this is you can print it up it can be used o the iPad (they can read it) and simple enough for others to use it. Check this one out I can highly recommend it!!!

Introducing A4CWSN and the benefits of the iPad

In July this year when we received some funds to assist Josiah with his disability we made the choice to get him a iPad. I had investigated some of the apps and heard of the benefits for non verbal children so I believed it would be a good investment to assist us with his therapy. You are most likely thinking so how will this benefit a child who has sensory processing issues. In a short list here are some of the things that you could use the benefit your child:

- fine motor skills
- writing, drawing
- auditory processing, such as identifying noises, desensitisation

This is just the beginning and there is so much more that your child could use the iPad for to help with their therapy. The reason why I am discussing the iPad and apps today is to introduce A4CWSN. I first discovered A4CWSN when I was searching for some instructional/review videos on itunes about apps and what there was available. I found the podcasts that Gary James were making and then found out about their facebook community.

Since then it has become a great support for me, and I have had a lot of fun along the way. Not only do you get the benefit of knowing what apps are best to purchase, some times you even get the chance to actually win free codes along the way. What more can you want? There is much more so.. this weekened there is a special party called an APP Party so if you have any apple device make sure you get yourself onto the following pages, as there will be reduced prices on apps the whole weekend and code giveaways spread over the whole weekend, so head on over to the following sites (depending on your area)

If you want to check out the website which contains the videos check out these sites:

Please check out my next post as I will be showing what apps I have been using for my son for any of his sensory processing issues.

WATCH THIS SPACE: This is where I will list the apps that are sensory related that are involved in the APP Party. Not to be Missed!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Diagnosis Confusion

During the week when I was at an appointment I had a think about the assumptions that we can make or that professionals or teachers can make about our children by their behaviour. This appointment I had a bad experience and the therapy assistant seemed quite frustrated with different aspects of my son's behaviour (please note this was inappropriate frustration). All of which could be easily understood if one has an understanding of SPD. Now my son's behaviour was quite mild, but it was very interesting the therapy assistant commented on the way he sat, was upset that he scratched his nails on the mat, that he didn't sit still on the floor, found it hard to concentrate, then he was instructed on how to hold his pencil (and so was I) then he struggled with understanding the questions, got distracted by other noises. All of which the cause can be pinpointed back to his diagnosis of SPD. Imagine if the symptoms were not mild what type of assumptions could be made about my child and most likely has by other children.

Carol Stock Kranowitz author of 'Out of Sync Child' and a renowned expect on Sensory Processing Issues makes an comparison between SPD and ADHD. Carol defines SPD as "the inefficient neurological processing of information received through the sense, causing problems with learning, development and behaviour". What is noted is that some of the dominant symptoms of SPD can be inattention, impulsivity and fidgety movement. These symptoms can sound similar because they are also used to describe ADHD. However the difference is huge, ADHD is defined as a neurological syndrome characterized by serious and persistent inattention and impulsivity. When constant, fidgety movement (hyperactivity) is an additional characteristic, the syndrome is called Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD)." One can be mislead into believing that a child has ADHD or ADD when it is not the case and unfortunately be treated incorrectly including the use of medication.

My experience with the therapy assistant convinced me of a view things, we can not afford to be too serious with children instead we must have fun, it sounds so simple doesn't it. One must think do I need to mention this, is this a real issue? Or is this what I am here for? Then what was more scary, what assumptions can a therapist, teacher, parent make that can lead to incorrect treatment and a delay in future progress. What bothered me the most is that by simply knowing that SPD is an issue (which should have been communicated the therapists and the OT work in the same department and use the same file), then accommodations can be made that will lead to better outcomes and a happier experience for all.

For those who want some light reading, please check out this short essay where I got some of my information from for this article. Sensory Processing Disorder vs. Attention Deficit Disorder by Carol S Kranowitz.