One of the many benefits of writing for Autism Daily Newscast is being able to review products. Part 1 provides an overview to the app. Here is my review of Feed Maxi by Speak Eazy Apps. I have a son 5 who has ASD.
I downloaded the app onto the IPad and waited for my son to notice it. He does not usually like new things on his IPad so I was interested to find out what his reaction would be. He soon spotted Feed Maxi and said ‘monkey’ while proceeding to open the app.
My son quickly navigated his way through the instructions and started to play. The colourful graphics and Maxi seemed to grab his attention and I observed him starting to interact with Maxi. He easily clicked on the appropriate food and gave it to him and surprisingly did not become upset when he gave him the wrong food item. The actions were simple for him to perform meaning less frustration and a calm learning experience.
The app is extremely interactive, I particularly like the way that Maxi asks for a high five and that you have to physically give him a high five. We do this action with Tom when he has achieved something and is a way for us to congratulate him so the action for him is very natural. What I also like is that the food item is displayed also as a word on the screen, so when Maxi says, “give me waffles”; you see the word ‘waffles’ on the screen. I also like the choice of food items in that they are children friendly, such as chicken nuggets and yogurt.
What I found when watching Tom was that he was learning to sound out words, through both hearing them and seeing them on screen and having fun while doing so. He also stayed playing the app for 20 minutes and did not become distracted. Tom is only just startling to read books as he has made the progression from simple phonic books towards simple story books and as I watched him I could clearly see him following the words and trying to sound them out. This feature very much impressed me and together with the verbal prompts I am sure that Tom will continue to make progress.
What I particularly like about the app is the option to track data about your child’s progress so that you can visually see their leaning and you can do this for multiple children, so I could also set up a separate account for my other son. As well as this option you can also choose whether to have sound effects on or off, if you want words to be displayed on screen and you can choose the level of difficulty.
The app is available to download from the Apple App Store and costs $2.99 US. It is only available for the IPad. More information can be found on the Speak Eazy Apps website
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