Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Oh "Appy" Day: Tech on Tuesday-Calm Counter App

I am constantly on the look out for calming tools.  I have stress balls and sensory bins galore in my room, but this app adds a unique and engaging piece to my collection of calming tools that may just help the kids that love technology.  It is motivating and easy to use, even for the youngest student!
Calm Counter is an app that is used as a visual to teach students how to regain their composure and to become calm again.  (PS...this works great as a technique/strategy to use with the Zones of Regulation curriculum that I love so much)
When a student becomes upset, we often use the strategy of counting to ten and taking deep breaths to help a student become calm.  However, some students need help doing this.  Some students just count and really do not connect the counting or deep breathing as a way to become calm.  This app helps to teach this concept.  The student keeps an iPad, iTouch, or other app enabled device at his/her desk.  When the student becomes upset, the student touches the screen that says, "I need a break."  The app begins counting down from 10.  The student touches the app each time he/she is ready to count down to the next number.  The face changes from red and upset on number 10 to a smiling face and a calmer color on face 1.  The final step is a deep breath and one more touch brings you to "All Done."   Visual and verbal cues are used on each screen, but verbal cues can be turned off in the app settings.  The app also includes a social narrative about anger and how to handle anger.
Screenshot of the changing faces in the app
The app costs $2.99 and is made by Touch Autism.

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