Monday, September 20, 2010

Review for Model Me Going Places App

The App is by Model Me Kids, a company that specializes in social skills training videos for Autistic children, and is free on iTunes. 

I downloaded the App, as it was a suggestion in the ASD iPod Touch Project Apps (.pdf) and since it was free, decided to take a look at an App designed for children, and see how it is as an Autistic adult.

First off, it's based on the Model Me Going Places video kit, which is designed for ages 2-8, and focuses primarily on what is considered socially appropriate, like keeping still at all times.  It covers six very common activities, such as going to the doctor, the hair dresser, the playground and grocery shopping.

The narration is from a boy's perspective, so this may make it less appealing to female children.  Also, it does not cover such things like sensory input which can affect a person's ability to tolerate various settings.  For example, for someone with long hair, often a hairdresser will wash their hair, or that scissors cutting hair can be uncomfortable and not at all pleasant.  Also, it assumes that all activities are "fun" and pleasant, when this may not be case for all Autistics.

While excellent at demonstrating what to do at various locations, I find it too general to be very efficient for specific persons and events, and definitely not appropriate for older, more mature Autistics. 

Conclusion: maybe good for select young children in order to prepare for going to places.  I recommend using with other pre-visit preparation, like going to the places ahead of time so that the location becomes familiar.
Not suitable for Autistic adults and children over 8 years old, and those with specific sensory issues regarding touch, sounds and crowds.

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