Trudy Goes to the Beach Trudy is taking a beach trip with her family. Can she make expected choices when her sensory system is overloaded and she’s on a different schedule? What if things don’t go her way? She needs your help to make smart and safe choices!
With storysmart™, our innovative suite of animated story apps, your child can learn important social language skills. Blending clinical expertise with clutter-free design, storysmart™ apps were developed by a husband and wife team who have a daughter with high-functioning autism. The combined passions of an experienced speech language pathologist and an award-winning designer come together to support communication skills for this ever-growing population of children.
For a short video of storysmart™ in action, go here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYRFK5WLupg
USE YOUR SOCIAL SMARTS! storysmart™ users engage in a real-life story -- a day in the life of our quirky, adorable characters, but they have to help our characters solve problems, comprehend the setting, and use their social smarts to resolve the story and get positive feedback. The primary goal of the storysmart™ apps is to raise the user's awareness of social expectations and to stimulate critical thinking skills to achieve the best outcomes in those settings.
"Finally, there's an app that helps children with HFA learn about social expectations! The founders of rubycube have perfectly blended design for visual thinkers and clinical expertise to create a solid product that addresses the core deficit of children on the spectrum." Dr. Gary Mesibov - Former Director TEACCH, UNC Chapel Hill
- PERSONALIZED AUDIO FEEDBACK Users' own sounds are played as feedback after each choice is made – both positive and negative. This provides a humorous and personal auditory reinforcement of the choices the user makes.
- MULTI-SENSORY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT storysmart™ presents a learning environment whereby the user can actively modify parts of the story – the character's words, actions and behaviors – to correct what's unexpected and achieve the best possible outcomes.
- MORE THAN ONE SOLUTION, JUST LIKE REAL LIFE storysmart™ gives the user multiple paths by which they can appropriately resolve social situations instead of providing a single solution. Like real life, there is more than one way to achieve the expected outcome!
- ACTIONS, WORDS AND BEHAVIORS DEMONSTRATED storysmart™ provides a variety of familiar social scenarios in which hundreds of unexpected choices occur, each one visually demonstrated to reinforce the consequences of those choices. As the user freely modifies each choice, the visuals change to reflect and provide context for the new choice. They can literally see the effects of their choices.
- RECORD YOUR OWN VOICE WHILE YOU READ To aid with reading fluency, users can record their own voice while they read and then play it back to check their accuracy.
- NUANCED CHOICES HELP TO PROMPT CONTEXTUAL AWARENESS storysmart™ provides a menu of phrases which the user can modify with existing phrases. Some phrases will seem appropriate, but may be out of context with that situation. The user needs to attend to contextual cues in order to interpret those choices and select one that best fits. The app also provides controls to adjust the level of challenge for the user.
- ENGAGING BUT NOT OVERSTIMULATING Stories are accompanied by animated graphics which reinforce the context of each setting and are designed not to visually overwhelm the user. The music is designed to have a calming effect and to keep the user engaged in the activity.
- CLUTTER-FREE INTERFACE FOR VISUAL THINKERS The storysmart™ interface is specifically designed to facilitate the learning experience by minimizing clutter on the screen. App controls and navigation can be hidden during use to keep the user focused on the content.
I am a pediatric occupational therapist who runs a private therapy clinic and sees a great deal of children with sensory processing challenges, autism spectrum disorders, and ADHD. I have been using the two available rubycube apps with my clients for the past few weeks and love them!
These apps are the perfect marriage of design and content. They are very well thought out with multiple helpful features such as: the ability to hide or show hints, the ability to record oneself reading the story and play it back, and tips that you can access on each page. With a little exploration these are easy to navigate even for a technology newbie such as myself.
Children read (or listen) to the story and make choices regarding what the characters should do or say. The stories (Trudy Goes to the Beach and Casey's Big Day) are excellent tools to support reading comprehension and social thinking concepts such as being part of the group, expected/unexpected behavior, perspective taking, size of the problem, being flexible, and the social filter. The characters in the stories are also faced with sensory processing challenges and children help make choices about how they might handle uncomfortable sensory experiences. The stories provide a context for discussing various sensory, environmental and cognitive strategies which may support self regulation.
Though valuable learning tools, these apps are also fun! The kids really enjoy recording their own happy and unhappy sounds which are incorporated into the story depending on which choices are made. The pictures are clear, entertaining and change depending on the choices. The humor of the unexpected choices both in the written and picture form, has elicited quite a few giggles and children are more likely to recognize the social oops in the situations presented as a result. The fun, engaging and interactive approach to these apps can lower defenses and open the door for children to talk about their own social thinking weaknesses.
There are so many ways that these apps can be used with children such as practicing making good choices and providing a springboard for discussions. I am looking forward to future stories! Keep up the good work rubycube team!
I enjoyed sharing this story with my daughter. I liked seeing the choices and having the pictures change. This was both a visual clue and auditory clue to help her make good decisions. She was engaged with the story and it was a topic she could relate to experiencing. Great job!
This app is wonderful. I have three kids who are at three different levels of reading ability and all of them love it. I have one child who has struggled with reading. He can tap on the word to hear it or he can have the whole thing read to him. My other child is just learning how to read. She has repeatedly used the record and play back feature. She loves to hear herself read and she loves to her herself read well. My third child likes to pick the options in the story and hear positive feedback that she got it right. The stories are engaging and relative The illustrations are sweet and not obnoxious. I love that all the stories involve making the right and appropriate choice in a variety of situations. Lastly I wish that all apps had the ? On the page. It is so helpful. You tap on it and all the things that you can do are displayed. This is an educational and fun app!