Autism and ASDFor SLPs and EducatorsSchool Based Speech TherapyTechnology: Apps and itherapy

Working4: App for Reinforcing Behavior & Motivating Kids with Autism

By April 23, 2012One Comment

April is Autism Awareness Month!  Here is my review of a fun app by Pyramid called ‘Working4’!
I love the iPad because of the many great apps that are available through the iTunes store to use as part of my therapy sessions.  I use apps for two purposes.  I use some apps for reinforcement and motivation.  These types of apps are usually games.

I will also use the iPad as part of my actually therapy when I find an app that appropriately addresses our speech goals.  I’m always on the look out for apps that I can use with my kids with Autism.  I recently came across a great app by Pyramid, the makers of the PECS program, called Working4!
Working4 is an interactive, behavior reinforcement app for kids who need more concrete and immediate reinforcers.  I have used it with my kids who have Autism and who benefit from this visual and concrete way of staying on task while they work for a preferred item or activity.  Parents can also easily use this app at home to help reinforce target behaviors or task completion.  The app is a “token economy” which is a very effective system for reinforcing good behaviors in children with Autism.  If you don’t know what a token economy is click here for more information!
How to Use the app Working4
1.  Select the number of tokens (1-5) that you want your child to earn before they will get the item or activity they are working for.  On the screen shot below, you can see that I selected 5 tokens.

2.  After selecting then number tokens, you select the item or activity your child is “working for.”  They have a bunch of great picture cards to choose from.  You are able to choose up to 6 different choice cards at a time.  You can also use the camera on your iPhone or iPad to take a picture of a unique activity specific to your child’s environment.  Using real pictures is also very beneficial for kids with Autism, but picture cards will work well too.  You can see here that I selected stickers and train. (Selected pictures are highlighted in blue).

3.  After choosing the pictures you will use for your student’s choice board, you will be taken to this screen.  Here my student completed 4 out of 5 tasks towards getting to pick stickers.  Just tap the star and it moves up to the white circle.  When all the stars have been selected, you can tap the “cash in” button!  It makes a fun “cha-ching!” sound and the picture card flashes!  The kids love this.

Why I Think This App is Great
The child can easily see how many stars they must get before they can play a preferred game or eat a favorite snack, they can see how many stars they still need to get along the way, and finally, they love “cashing in” their stars once they have earned all tokens! It is great for all students and students who are on the Austism Spectrum.
I highly recommended this app to parents, therapists, and educators!  Hope you find this review helpful! Let me know if you try it with your child and how they respond!
heather 🙂

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