I am a big fan of Michelle Garcia, Social Thinking materials and the therapeutic strategy of video modeling. This app titled You Are a Social Detective Beginner App has 3 different levels with tons of videos and various questions related to the videos. The app was based off of the book, You Are a Social Detective. The book can be an excellent tool in conjunction with the app. You are a Social Detective is ideal for children ages 7-12 but can definitely be used with children younger or older depending on their cognitive and language abilities.
I used this app with my own children over three mealtime periods. There are three sections that each include a pretest and 16 videos with questions. If you do not pass the pretest, you can not advance to the next section. I think this is smart because you need to have a particular foundation with each concept before moving on to the questions. If a child is not able to pass the pretest, it will be an excellent opportunity to work on specific concepts.
You Are a Social Detective Beginner App is also interactive and helps teach children with Autism, Asperger’s and other special needs on how to be functionally appropriate within everyday situations. I think the app can also be helpful for children who are typical because all children have situations where they may have acted inappropriately and need cues or modeling from a caregiver, therapist, etc.
All of the videos include situations that highly occurring for a variety of children (e.g. a child not wanting to take a turn, a child speaking out of turn, cafeteria scenes, classroom scenes, etc). When you begin the app, you choose an avatar and then have the opportunity to learn about social smarts. When you are done with the pretest, each video is presented with a question. For example, one questions in the first pretest for expected and unexpected behavior, there are two children who are too close together. The question asks “Is this expected or unexpected behavior?” This can be an ideal opportunity to talk about “giving people space” and how a person might feel if you are too close to them.
The following social concepts are targeted in this app:
1. Understanding Others’ Expected and Unexpected Behavior
2. Understanding Others’ Comfortable and Uncomfortable Thoughts
3. Learning to Use Your Social Tool Box Items (Eyes, Ears and Brain)
4. Learning how to make Smart Guesses from you social tool box items
1. Use with your own children at mealtime.
2. Use in a therapeutic setting with one child.
3. Use in a therapeutic setting with a group of two children taking turns.
4. Use the videos to teach unexpected and expected behavior.
5. Use the videos to have important discussions with regard to particular situations (e.g. child running in the parking lot)
6. Have a child recall situations that occur in the video.
7. Have a child answer “wh” questions about the video (e.g. in the picture above, “Why is the boy running away?”, “How would the mom after seeing him run away?”, etc)
8. Use with the You are a Social Detective Book
9. Build vocabulary.
10. Add your own!
To purchase this app, click here.