Turn Taker Review
Win this app on Facebook Oct, 2014!
We offer free copies of apps we review on Facebook, Enter the giveaway here.
Does your child struggle with taking turns or sharing their toys? Trust me, you are not alone. As a parent myself, I have struggled to teach the importance of this skill to my kids. It can be a challenging skill to approach. That is why I am excited about Turn Taker. Turn Taker was built right here at Touch Autism by a BCBA. After developing the app for her clients and seeing a lot of success, she released it for everyone to benefit from. It is an app that encourages and facilitates the child to practice taking turns and sharing in order to develop appropriate play skills. The app includes a timer with visual and audible cues as well as a social story. It is very simple to use and well designed. It is great for all children who are having a hard time with taking turns but can be especially helpful for children with Autism, or Down Syndrome who are known to struggle a little more with social skills.
When breaking down the features in this app you should know that this app really has one purpose, which is to teach turn taking. The social story and timer focus solely on learning and developing that one skill and while you could use the timer for other purposes, it fits really well with back and forth turn taking. It is a great starting point for teaching the basics of sharing but can also be helpful for the child who has a hard time losing a game and acts out or gets upset because of that.
When you reach the main menu for this app, you will have multiple options for setting the timer. You can create different intervals for both the caregiver and the child. Making each interval different allows you to give the child a longer time frame to start their turn with and you can still keep a shorter one. You individualize the turn taking process so that the child is not overwhelmed. Over time, you can decrease the interval for the child as they master the skill. Another option when setting the timer is to put it into “game mode” which takes away the individual intervals and focuses on a overall game interval or timer. Once the child is finished with his turn, he will touch the “All Finished” button on the screen and it will go to the next persons turn. The child and parent would continue the back and forth cues until the game is over.
The Pointing Finger
While the timer is in use, The finger will point in the direction of whomever’s turn it is at that time. It gives the child a visual prompt as well as an auditory prompt to understand and prepare as much as possible for giving up their turn. You will need to place the iPad in a position next to the child so that the finger will point towards them and in the correct direction as you play. One thing that I love is that it not only gives the child a visual reminder of whose turn it is but while the finger points, it will repeat “Your Turn” or “My Turn”. This can help ease the worry of change but it can also help them understand pronouns, which can be tricky.
The Social Story
The Social Story is beautifully written and has colorful illustrations. It discusses the emotions that a child might feel when they have to share or take turns during a game. It discusses empathy and how the other player might be feeling as well. The story talks about winning and losing in a game. The term, “bad sport” and “good sport” is discussed. The social story is best suited for teaching a child to play a game versus to share with their toys but it is really well written, well designed, and includes audio.
What’s Great About This App
Turn Taker is a great app for any child who struggles to take turns and also for the child that is needing to know how to react to winning, losing, and playing a sit down game with another player. I love the design and simplicity. This app, specifically the timer, will likely require help from an adult or caretaker in order to facilitate taking turns correctly at first but I believe it can be a very beneficial tool for guiding and developing that skill and behavior. Sometimes it can be tricky for the iPad to be in the correct direction so that to the finger can point to the child. Overall, I was very impressed overall with the app. I would recommend it for children between the ages of 3-10.
The Touch Autism website has other apps and resources for Autism, Social Stories, and Behavioral Strategies. At the time of writing this review Turn Taker retailed for $2.99.