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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Crazy Hair Studio


Crazy Hair Studio by Portegno Apps is a fun let your hair down (no pun intended) kind of app. You can use it on any of your devises wither or not you have a camera. You can either take a photo on the spot or upload from your library.  When you first open up the app the screen will have several buttons. Take a picture, choose photo, unlock more features (coming soon), how to use and hairstyle editor. Decide if you will use a photo from your library or take a picture. Once you choose a picture it will give you the option to resize or move your photo. Do not worry if you cannot get your picture to line up just right. You can fix that later. Next is choosing a hairstyle. Again it will give you options with pictures so the nonreaders will understand. Your choices here will be male, female, web gallery or famous. Pick a hairstyle and you are ready to go. Next it places the style you chose onto the picture you chose. Remember how I told you if it does not match don’t worry. You get to adjust the hair to your picture. Simply touch the screen and scale your hair to match your picture.  This is great for fine motor skills. Now you are ready to style that beautiful hair of yours. You can brush, cut, color, curl, buzz, or grow your hair out. Just in case you are sitting there thinking this all sounds complicated they have made it simple for you by adding little pop up boxes. What these boxes do is offer simple instructions on how to use each feature of the app. Hours of fun just waiting to be had. You can save your new hairstyle to your library or post it to Facebook. I have already tortured one of my siblings with a new style. I have also recommended the app to a friend who instantly gave her cat a new doo. Something I would never have thought of doing. For the parents out there with a child like mine who due to sensory issue do not like to get haircuts this app is great for getting them used to the things that will happen in a salon setting. I look forward to many hair colors and styles in my immediate future.

My son before his make over.

My son after his makeover.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Super Duper Non Apps :)

Super Duper Publications offer many apps that I have reviewed previously but what some from the app community might not realize is that they sell many more different things for the special needs community. I have purchased many items from them and have shared over a few different things on my facebook page in the past. Today I'm going to talk about a few of those items :)

Webber® Interactive "WH" Questions CD-ROM
This computer game focuses on "WH" questions. I find that sometimes I like the computer better then the iPad for some things because all my kids can use it at once or they can get some individual time working with a mouse and keyboard. I found the pictures to be bright, fun, and inviting with this game. This is also wonderful for teachers as it is smart board compatible. My children use the smart board at school in each of their classrooms everyday. This one is for ages Pre-K and up. All my children have used this and are doing very well with it. :)

Webber® Pronouns CD-ROM
This is another computer game from Super Duper. This one focuses on pronouns and is for ages Pre-K to 5th grade. I love this one for my 7yr old son and have also started using it on my 5yr old as well. Both my boys have a really hard time with pronoun usage and this cd-rom is really helping them out with it. I love it because I can make it somewhat competitive by having it on the computer by who can answer it fastest and correctly lol. They really seem to take to the computer version and are working very hard with it. Here's what's included straight from Super Dupers web page:
Fun Decks include:

Webber® Basic Story Comprehension
Ok by now you can tell I'm really loving their computer version games. They really do make learning fun and enjoyable with their computer games. This one is for basic story comprehension for grade K-6th. I am using this one only with my daughter so far as my 7yr old is still learning the basics of words themselves. My daughter is needing a lot of extra help with reading and comprehending. This cd-rom is a wonderful addition to our collection to give her an extra helping hand. The computer is a special treat for my kids even over the iPad so it makes them work even harder. This app helps with: summarizing the main idea, predicting what will happen next, recalling key details, and choosing an appropriate title for a story. The cd-rom comes with 4 fun decks :

This series is called the HearBuilder Series and is awesome!. There is a professional version for schools and therapy and a home version. The home version covers most families easily. I have the home version of these. There is four different ones to build the series. The four are: Following directions,  Phonological Awareness, Auditory Memory, and Sequencing. I have been able to use this series to help my children a lot! I use these constantly and have found them to be very top notch when it comes to working on these skills.

"I Have Autism"
Must have for any family with a child with Autism or for all classrooms. This set comes with one main book with reproducible sheets that you can personalize and then also 5 additional books. It also comes with a cd-rom which allows you to reproduce the resource guide as well. These books help you talk to children about Autism including your own child with Autism. One thing I hear from parents often is: How do I tell my child about Autism?, How do I explain Autism to my child's friend?, ect. This book will help with that. Love love love this :)

Fun Decks
I have numerous Fun Decks. I'm not going to sit here talking about each one as I've already throwing a lot of info at you in one night but I can't stop recommending these. I have ones from sensory diet, fine motor, oral motor, large motor, WH, pronouns, ect. These are wonderful for home, school, on the go, ect. Some of the fine motor ones even come with a marker and wipe-off cards to work on the skills. You can build a sensory diet with the sensory diet cards or find large motor activities to get your children moving. Find cards that your child may need :)

I have many many more things from Super Duper Publications. I can't recommend them enough for apps, games, ect. Please stop by and check them out!!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fun and Function

Fun and Function has many wonderful items to help your special needs child. I have purchased many different items from them and have loved each and everyone of them. Please remember not all products that work for my children may not work for yours. Their prices are great and the quality is even better. I have had to speak to their customer service and was wonderfully surprised at how nice and courteous they were. There facebook page is also very helpful and they try to answer any and all questions promptly. They have a program also available on their site that you can refer three friends to fun and function and you will receive a one time percentage off your order. They also have many sales throughout the year that makes all their wonderful products even more reasonable. They come out regularly with new items and the new items to come in 2013 look amazing. I am patiently waiting for them to be released. Right now I will tell you about some of the items I have purchased. I have either purchased these items or won them on my own. I will tell you exactly what I think of each item including the good, the bad, and the ugly :)

***Please remember if you have an O.T. always talk to them before using any of these products to make sure they will work for your child and are safe for your child***


First up is their faux fur weighted vest. This vest is amazing. I can not say more. The quality is wonderful and the fit is fantastic. Please do remember when purchasing these items to measure your child as they are meant to fit your child. I have two of these vest for each of my boys and they love the texture and that they zip up. They don't make them look out of place when wearing them and they look like everyday clothing wear. The zipper is well done and has not caught or snagged once yet. This vest comes with two shoulder weights as well which is another wonderful part of this vest that separates it from your typical weighted vest. All weights are easily removed when needed including the shoulder weights which just Velcro on. I really have found nothing wrong with this vest and believe the price, quality, and design are fantastic! HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended :)

Next up is the PINK! weighted vest. This vest is the one I use on my daughter. It is a cheap simple design that works. I have not had any problems with this vest it's just not as fancy as the other. It comes with the fun and function logo on the front of the vest and Velcros up instead of a zipper. There is weights included but does not have shoulder weights. The cloth is simple but strong, sturdy, and lightweight. This vest works very well in the summer or for a child that over heats easily. My daughter of course loves the color. You can purchase additional weights as needed for your child. For the price of this vest you can't beat it. I have not seen a lower price weighted vest around and the quality is well above it's asking price. The stitching and Velcro seem to be holding well. The fabric is lightweight and comfortable. I would highly highly highly recommend this vest :)

The pressure mesh vest is up next. This vest is not weighted but uses pressure instead. First off I want to say my child really does seem to like the vest. He's a little unsure of the Velcro in the back but was adjusting to it ok after a while. This vest is very very lightweight and is absolutely perfect for summer time fun. Ok first time you hear the bad/ugly. The very first day of my son wearing this vest the stitching did tear right by the Velcro :(. I fixed it and hope it will not tear again. This really doesn't surprise me that this happened as it seems to happen on a lot of items made with mesh material and include Velcro. This is NOT just a problem with Fun and Function items I've had it happen with many many items made that include strong Velcro on lightweight mesh material. My only suggestion to them is maybe beef up the material where the Velcro is so the mesh doesn't tear next to it when opening the Velcro up. This item Velcro's behind your child to bring a tight hug constantly to your child while wearing the vest. Unlike weight you can leave the vest on for more then 20min at a time which means this vest is perfect for outside time or an area where your child may need constant nonstop pressure. I would even with the little mishap highly highly recommend this vest :)

Next up is original Sens-ational tees. My children have two different kinds of these shirts. They have the long sleeve and a short sleeve like shown above. My boys love these shirts. The material is silky like and stretchy. These shirts are meant to fit tightly so don't over buy the size but also don't under buy the size. I personally do think they are still a little short at the bottom even though they are said to be longer but I also think my boys have a longer trunk then they have legs lol. These shirts bring a calming pressure throughout their day and the material is great for my children's sensory needs. They come in many different sizes, designs, and even tightness. You must pick what you think your child will enjoy. They do have plain colors as well with no designs on them. The prices are great as many of them are currently on sale as I'm typing. I would highly highly highly recommend trying one of these and seeing if they would be helpful to your child :)

Next is the chewy wristband. This comes as a set of two wristbands. These wristbands are completely machine washable. Adult supervision is recommended as with anything your child maybe chewing on. These bands help your sensory child with the chewing on items especially clothing. My children are chewers and my youngest is one of the worst. By putting these on his wrists it helps curb his chewing need of other things such as his shirt. These wristbands don't make your child stand out like some other chewy items and they are not hard but like a stretchy clothing like material. My kids did not like the chewy tubes or P's and Q's as they were hard and not cloth like. They really needed something that could be washed and would be soft like their clothes. This is perfect for all those needs. It has seemed to hold up to my children. When I notice them chewing I will put these on or give them one of their bands which I will talk about next :). Highly highly highly recommended :)

Next up bite bands. These things are a major clothing saver. They are made of a terry cloth material and are very absorbent. These bands are completely washable and hold up to all the biting. My children find these to be their absolute favourite chewy. They are very long and can be worn like a necklace. I would defiantly recommend supervising your child with these as they do not just detach if caught on something or grabbed by another child. I only let my children use these at home and in my sight. I love them as they are so strong and my kids don't even think of chewing on anything else when they have these on but I do wish they would find a way to attach a quick release snap at the back just in case. These bands are extremely reasonably priced for what you get. You receive 6 bite bands of different colors and all are washable so you don't have to worry about not having one around. With my kids they each get two colors and they are washed frequently but I try to always have one ready for them as needed. I would highly highly highly recommend these bands if you have a chewer in the home :)

Last up for today is stainless steel straws. I purchased the 6inch straw for my 7yr old son. Before these straws my son would bite right threw every straw I would give him. These straws wash up very well. I do wish that they came with a cleaner but you can purchase cleaners very cheaply. These straws help with that oral motor needs of your child and help curb the need to chew on the straw. If your child chews on these straws they will not break. They can be washed in your dishwasher. I would highly highly highly recommend these straws :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sanoen apps

Sanoen makes two different children's book apps. There stories are wonderful and also include learning right within the stories. I will be telling you about their two different stories now.

To the farm! is a wonderful story that comes in text and audio for 6 different languages! The story helps build many different skills all within the story itself. This story is wonderful for ages 0-4+. The different reading modes are: BITS mode which is for ages 0-3. This mode is auto play. It will play the story for the child and the images and text change every 1.5sec. It is used to stimulate the brain. The next level is reading words mode where your child can touch any word and it will be read aloud to them. The next is easy spelling mode for ages appx 3-4. The next is spelling mode for 4+ which is just a little harder then the mode before. The last one is sentence reading mode where your child learns with the illustrations and sequence. This app has so much to do within it. The illustrations are wonderfully done and the story and music are great. All my children love using this app with their own levels. My children liked the app so of course so did I. Some think that the story should be more animated with more moving items such as the farm animals and that. There is a lot to learn in the app and I think for this one that's the important part. The extra languages is also helpful for those learning a new language. I really like that there is 6 different ones included for this reason. I really think high school students can use apps that have multiple languages to help them build on their language skills that they might be learning in school such as Spanish, french, or any other. I would highly highly recommend this app :)

Sarah little fairy and grandma: This app is about little Sarah and her family. Her grandma Mary has Alzheimer's disease. They are going to visit her but Sarah really doesn't understand what Alzheimer's is. Fairy Mina to the rescue to show Sarah about Alzheimer's and teach her what she needs to know to help and understand her grandma better. This app helps a child understand Alzheimer's better. I personally don't know anyone with Alzheimer's but I did like sharing this story with my children. It shows them that people are different and teaches them that others can adjust and learn about what differences some may have. I feel this is important lesson for my children since they have autism and other disorders themselves. I want them to know that others can learn to accept them and be there friend. This story may not have been meant for this but I was able to use it to fit to my family. It also taught them about something they didn't know about. Books are a wonderful teaching tool for children and I have found when put on an iPad it becomes almost magical for them. I really hope to see more stories like this about different things to help children understand things they may have a hard time understanding :). I would highly highly recommend this :)


Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Tensebuilder by Mobile Education Store is a wonderful app for teaching and identifying correct tense forms in video format. There is 36 video lessons included and more will be added soon. Your child will also be able to work on expressive speech by having to record their sentences to improve expressive and receptive speech skills. The video's I have seen are cute and engaging to children. My children have enjoyed this app quite a bit already and find it fun to try to come up with what will happen next. There is two levels of play included in the app and you can choose your tense (future, present, past, or all) and your verbs (regular, irregular, or all) for your child. There is also two lesson styles included long and short. The app also keeps track of your performance that can be emailed as needed also. If you record a sentence you can save it and play it back latter under the archive. There is also the nice feature of the hide buttons so when you are working with your child and you don't want them to be able to pause the picture you can press it to hide the button. The spoken part of the app is very clear and understandable. Level one is where your child can decide what the sentence is saying or what is going to happen or what has happened depending on what is asked. In level two your child must place the correct verb in the sentence out of the choices given. The verbs are read aloud as your child drags them up to the sentence but the sentence is not read aloud to your child so some reading is required. I would like to see the sentence read aloud either before the word is placed minus the missing word or after your child has placed it so they can hear why it may be wrong. This app like all the others from this developer is wonderful. I love how they are so far advanced from other apps and I love the addition of the videos. I would highly highly highly recommend this app and all others from this developer :)