Price: Product not found
Autism Core Skills is a comprehensive academic and social skills practice system designed for students with autism. The app employs best educational practices to provide scaffolded learning experiences in math, reading and social skills for autistic students of any age working on preschool through first grade level skills.
- Comprehensive skills practice available
- Detailed record keeping system suitable for monitoring IEP progress
- Capability to sync with a mentor’s device for continuity of learning
- Effective, scaffolded learning experiences
- Automatic or manual task assignments
Infiniteach: Autism Core Skills is a high quality app. The system is extraordinarily complex and detailed, and developers included many features to make the app useful to educators and parents, including the capability to choose the student’s age and developmental level, the ability to designate a mentor who can access the subscription from another device, and a system to automatically or manually assign learning tasks. The app would benefit from a more detailed usage tutorial, however, as some parts are not clearly explained, and the whole system is very complex. This would help users, particularly non-professionals, get the most from the app.
One fairly large concern is that the app seems to have several glitches that may make it a bit frustrating to use. It crashed several times at various places when I was testing it, which would be challenging if I were to be working with a real student. I found no apparent pattern with timing or activity within the app; the crashes appeared to be random to my eye. It’s possible they were even related to instability in my internet connection, but I have no way to test that theory. I just know that as I was playing different student activities I was dropped completely out of the app, and twice in the adult dashboard, it hung up and had to be closed down and restarted to proceed. There are problems with the graphics in the sports section on the numeral matching activity where the billiard balls being used for illustration do not show up, leaving the user to try to guess which of the X’s contain the correct number. The app is so large and complex that I do not know if there are similar graphics problems elsewhere, but developers would be wise to give it a thorough going-over to find out for sure.
Educationally speaking, Autism Core Skills is a real find. The app is designed for use by professionals or those with a detailed knowledge of the student’s current functioning level in reading, math and social skills. Setting up a student’s profile requires some fairly detailed information, but the end result is well worth the effort. The app is capable of automatically assigning Common Core based tasks from Preschool through Grade 1 that gradually increase in complexity and will keep most students challenged. It adjusts for the student’s attention span. It has a no-fail system, where students are gently guided into selecting the correct response if needed, and the app is adaptive in that it presents just the right level of complexity of task based on the student’s performance. There is a wealth of subtopics available in each area, and it is possible to accommodate a student with an unequal set of strengths and skill deficits. There are dozens of skills covered in the three areas, with supplemental printable activities available to subscribers.
Perhaps one of the most unusual features of the app is the capability to designate a mentor for the student. This second adult can use the app on another device under the same subscription, and the activities will sync between sessions no matter who was using it. This would allow teachers to use the same program as parents or tutors, and make the experience remarkably consistent for the student.
The app also keeps extensive data on student usage and performance. The data can be aggregated and presented in a number of different ways suitable for varying purposes, not the least of which would be data collection for monitoring IEP goal progress. This feature alone makes this app incredibly useful.
Autism Core Skills does an outstanding job of being engaging and entertaining for a population that frequently has difficulties with attention and focus. Adults can choose favorite themes to connect the motivational and reward sequences to each student’s preferences. Themes include animals, farms, foods, ocean, pirates, school, sports, toys, trains and vehicles, and users can choose multiple thematic preferences. The themes are used to design the work tasks to add motivation. For example, a sports theme uses a sports photograph as a background for many tasks, and/or uses sporting equipment as the focus of the activity. The sports themed number matching exercises, for instance, used billiard balls with numbers to match to the target number. The animal-themed beginning sounds exercise required the student to match the correct animal picture to the target sound.
In addition to customizing the exercises with the themes, the app also offers a reward sequence after the student completes enough exercises to finish a set. These are highly motivational animated sequences or even video clips related to the chosen theme. The sports theme, for example, shows clips of football and basketball games. The toys theme shows playing cards doing an animated flip across the screen. These are overlaid with motivational messages, such as “Great Work!” The one suggestion here would be to voice the motivational messages, as many of the students in the younger age ranges and developmental levels may not have the reading skills to enjoy them.
Autism Core Skills offers a free one week trial where a teacher or parent can try the app with a single student. It is free to download in the App Store. There are three subscription plans available, suitable for different situations, but all outstanding value. The Basic plan is $99.99 annually and allows for usage by one student. This may be most appropriate for a parent or the teacher of an inclusion student in the regular classroom. The Medium plan costs $139.99 annually and allows for use by five students. Developers suggest this plan for teachers or therapists with a small caseload. The Premium plan costs $189.99 annually and allows the app to be used for up to 10 students. All levels offer the mentor feature, where another adult can use the same subscription on a different device and sync student performance data.
Developers did an outstanding job of making this app child-friendly for the population. It is designed to be used with close adult supervision, and the social skills activities are designed to be used by an adult and child interacting in the prescribed manner. The adult dashboard gives outstanding control over the function of the app. Once the adult pushes “Play Lessons,” the app shifts into a student mode that makes all other functions of the device unavailable. The app can be turned off using the device’s home button, but there are no other methods to do anything other than the assigned tasks. Adults can return to either the student or the adult dashboard using a pre-arranged exit code that can be entered after holding the upper right corner of the screen for a few seconds.
- Protected parent area (contains external link to email)
- NO social media
- NO 3rd party ads
- YES in-app purchase for subscription accessible only from adult dashboard”more apps”
Autism Core Skills is an outstanding app that provides a wealth of effective, targeted, scaffolded practice for students with autism working to master Common Core skills at the preschool through grade 1 levels. It makes good use of research-based best practices for education, and keeps extensive data suitable for managing IEP goals.