In My APPinion: I Can Have Conversations With You

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Disclaimer: A copy of this app was provided to me by the creator, however, all opinions expressed in this review are mine. 
Appy Wednesday! Technology has become a huge part of our therapy lives. There are apps out there to help us work on almost every kid of skill with our students from grammar to math! I was recently contacted by Karen, creator of the app, I Can Have Conversations With You.  This app was created specifically for those with autism, PDD, and Asperger's syndrome who are 6 years or older, can read, and are talking in sentences. The goal of this app is to help these students become independent communicators. As Karen's website states, this is "much more than just an app." Boy is she right! This app is very comprehensive and really digs deep into conversations, interactions, what others are thinking, and how others feel while communicating. 
The lessons begin as soon as the app is opened. Instructions are given along the way, so students can use this app independently. This app is ideal to use with one student at a time. In fact, it would be perfect to load onto an iPad that belongs to a student so he/she could work with this app frequently, both at school and at home. The app is easy to follow and will remember where the student stopped so he/she can pick back up right where they left off.
The app includes many videos of conversational partners interacting. 
Above is a screen shot of one of the videos included. 
After the video is over, the student is prompted with a variety of questions to help him/her truly understand what happened and how to hold a conversation about experiences. For example, in one video, a little girl visits her grandfather for the day. After the video is over, the student was taken through a conversation between the little girl and her father about her day. The student identifies conversational partners, relationships, how they feel, and what the partners want to say.
This app targets feelings, correct/incorrect responses, on/off topic responses, and more. In addition, the student is also able to record themselves as if they were part of the conversation. 
After each question, the child is reinforced with "that was a good try" for an incorrect response, or a stimulating picture and music for a correct response. 
As you can see below, Karen is also very encouraging along the way!
When the modules are completed, the student is rewarded with a certificate. An evaluation of the student's progress is also provided along with recommendations for future modules to add on to the app. 
As stated before, this app is very comprehensive and includes a great one on one experience for students to dive deep into conversations. I love that this app does not require adult instruction. Students can jump right into the app and start working because it is guided along the way. This app wouldn't necessarily work with group therapy because it keeps track of the student's responses to create an individual report at the end. It would be a great purchase for families or private therapists to make for their child/student. Conversations are a part of our daily lives no matter if we are at school, work, walking down the grocery isle, or talking to a grandparent on the phone. The skill of communicating with a partner can be difficult to teach. Thank you Karen for creating this in depth app to help our students that struggle with social communication!
To learn more about this app or to download a copy of the app, visit the iTunes store here!

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