For individuals with special needs, sometimes completing activities of daily living (ADLs) can be a challenge. ChoiceWorks is an excellent learning tool for teaching children about daily routines and completing them.
Based on the ChoiceWorks Visual Support System, the program teaches skills such as getting ready for bed, going to the doctor’s office, taking turns, making choices, and managing emotions. The app is designed to help foster a child’s independence, positive behavior, and emotional regulation, both at home and at school and other environments.
The ChoiceWorks app features three boards, each of which focuses on a group of particular tasks.
- The Schedule Board makes task completion a fun and interactive process. The user can choose up to five steps for each task, and the steps can be reordered as necessary. An “all done” column allows the user to check off each step as it is completed, and the user receives audio and visual confirmation when a task is finished. You can save any number of schedules, and each schedule is automatically saved once it is created.
- The Waiting Board is an ideal tool to teach waiting and taking turns. A companion book entitled “When Do I Have to Wait?” explains to a child the reasons why people have to wait. A picture at the top of the Waiting Board will show a child the reason why he must wait, and a timer can be set to show how much time the child must wait.
- The Feelings Board helps children understand and express emotions. The companion book to this board explains how to recognize an emotion, and the board itself offers a variety of emotions from which to select. The child can express how he feels by choosing one of the options. The board also includes coping strategies and activities to select that might help the child feel better.
ChoiceWorks uses auditory and visual stimuli, which is both rewarding and motivating for children. The image library comes with over 165 images from the developers, Bee Visual, and each image also includes professionally recorded audio. The app also allows the user to upload his own images and record audio.
Designed by hospitals and child development specialists, the ChoiceWorks app is simple yet sophisticated, and it can help with a range of tasks. It is ideal for individuals with autism who might need that extra motivator to help them complete tasks or express their feelings, and it is also helpful for any individual who needs some help with activities of daily living.
ChoiceWorks is one winner of the Wynsum Arts Apps of Distinction Award. It is available for iPhone and iPad and costs $14.99.