A Modern Day Fairy Tale: First Then Visual Schedule HD App {Review}

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

First Then Visual Schedule HD App {Review}

**I received product for this review.**

When it comes to raising a child with Autism, there are a lot of great tools available to help our little ones learn and adjust. Visual aids such as schedules, first/then charts and choice boards are among some of these great tools. Personally, for my son, visual schedules and first/then charts have proven to be extremely effective when dealing with transitions-something my little man, like many on the spectrum, does not handle well. The First Then Visual Schedule HD App from Good Karma Applications takes these techniques and combines them into one easy to use app!

For this review, I was given a free download of the First Then Visual Schedule HD App to try out with my son, and to share our experience with all of you. There is so much going on with this app, so to make this easier to follow, I will break it down by my personal favorite features.

Easy To Use: First of all, let me start off by saying that I am NOT iPhone/iPad/iTunes savvy...in fact, I had to ask my husband to help me download the app because I didn't have the slightest idea what I was doing. (Sad, but true!) Needless to say, for me to really use them, apps must be user friendly...and after taking some time to play around with it a bit, I was able to figure it out very quickly! A definite plus for the busy moms! 

Portability/Convenience: The trouble with many of these types of picture schedules/choice boards, etc is that they can be a little inconvenient. For changeable schedules, you have to have a large selection of pictures which can take a lot of time to collect, not to mention a lot of space. (See the picture below to see what I mean.) When you want to use it on the go, you have to collect all the pictures needed and pack them along. Most of us usually carry at least our iPhone, if not an iPad or other iDevice, with us when we're on the go anyway so there really is no need to pack anything extra. Even in the home, it's much easier than having multiple schedules in each room...just take the iPad where needed! You can also save all your commonly used schedules, and create as many as needed...no need to remove pictures and start from scratch, it's all there for you!!

Unlimited Pictures: Again another problem with traditional visual schedules is finding all the pictures needed...and then printing, laminating, etc...it can be a lot of work!! The First/Then App has several preloaded images for common tasks (food, clothing, school, etc), and on top of those you can also download more, search Google or even take your own! You can also add choice boards, or attach videos to your schedule as well. (We did not use the video feature yet ourselves, but this can be an extremely useful tool when modeling appropriate behavior!!)

Customization: Perhaps the single best feature of this app is that is is completely customize-able! I've already mentioned the picture options, videos and choice boards. Aside from that there are also 5 different viewing options. You can view one image at a time, two images in a first/then format, a checklist, drag and drop columns or drag and drop in an envelope. Personally, we prefer the first/then or checklist options as those tend to work best for Shaun, but because each child is different, I love that there are many options available so you can choose which works best for your little one! If necessary, you can also add timers to your schedules- either for the whole schedule or individual steps. With all these wonderful features, you can truly customize a one of a kind schedule that is perfect for your child and their needs.

Price: At just $9.99, the First Then Visual Schedule HD is extremely affordable...especially when you consider all that it does!! It's certainly cheaper than multiple apps for each separate function. It's also much more cost effective than printing, laminating and creating visual schedules that way! Over time, ink and paper prices will add up greatly! And if it makes life easier for your child and your family, it's worth every penny!

Overall, I absolutely love this app! It has been extremely useful for my son (and know it will be even more useful once we make the transition back into the school year!). If you have a child with Autism who could benefit from first/then or visual schedules of any kind, this is a great app to look into. But, the First Then Visual Schedule HD is NOT just for individuals on the spectrum. According to their website, the app can also be benefical for:
*Typically developing children  *Those learning English as a second language *People with developmental disabilities like Autism and Down Syndrome *Individuals with learning disabilities like dyslexia *People affected by anxiety or attention deficits *Anyone with language, hearing or auditory processing deficits *Individuals affected by aphasia after a stroke...and many more...

If you think your child might benefit from this wonderful app, you can learn more and download it in iTunes here. If you know of anyone who could use this app, please spread the word to them as well...I would love for this post to reach as many who could benefit as possible, it's that great an app!!

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**Disclosure: I received a free download of the app mentioned above in exchange for this review. All thoughts are 100% my own. Your experiences may vary.

1 comment:

  1. My son will benefit with this app, thank you for the chance to win!


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