Kids Learning:Photo Touch Concepts


Submitted by: Susan Whitworth, Temple University TR Student

Kids Learning-Photo Touch Concepts is an educational iPhone and iPad application.  The overall goal of the application is to educate the user on important life concepts by sight, sound, and touch. A picture will display on the screen with directions and the user must touch the correct answer. For example, three strawberries are displayed on the screen and the direction is to “touch the strawberry on the left”. The application covers a variety of concepts including color identification, spatial recognition, identifying the opposite, differing before and after, and animal education. Questions vary from “Find the animal that can sing” to “Touch the matching item”. The pros of the application are that the game covers a variety of concepts, therefore this one application can work for a variety of clients needs. Another positive is that the directions are written on the screen and is verbally stated, using two forms of communication. The only con of the application is that it is designed with childlike pictures. This limits the population that the application could be used for. Also the application is not free, however, only costs $.99. The application is designed for infant to kindergarten. Modifications can be made to customize the application to each individual’s needs. The different concepts can be turned on or off to introduce on concept at a time or focus on different areas. An additional feature is that voice can be recorded to have verbal encouragement from a parent, friend, or therapist.

 Additional helpful comments:

  • Kids Learning-Photo Touch Concepts is a application. The website gives detailed reviews of each application. The applications are all educational and categorized based on areas of education.
  • The application can be used for age appropriate children, individuals with autism, developmental or intellectual disabilities, and TBI.

 Additional web resource:

 Primary Intervention Area Suggestions

Physical Functioning Sensory Functioning

 Fine Motor Control



Visual scanning (pursuit, tracking)





Spatial or visual-spatial organization


 Cognitive Functioning
 Attention ( Sustained)

 Cause and effect/anticipation


 Direction following




 Processing ( Auditory, Visual,  Speed)

 Problem  Identification

 Recognition (Gender,  Color,  Letter,  Number, Shape, Sound, Symbol)


 Understanding parts of a whole (e.g., slice of a pizza)


 Memory ( Long term)




Online Webinars

Do you work with individuals with visual impairments and want to use the iPad?  How about autism?  Learn about recommended apps for individuals with visual impairment and autism by participating in the webinars attached below…

SMART Goals!

A selection of screen shots from the SMART goals application

Goal setting can be hard! Wait… actually achieving goals is even more difficult! A very common strategy to setting goals is to set SMART goals. SMART goals stands for Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. The SMART Goals – Goal setting application uses these areas to help individuals set, track, and achieve goals.

The user can select common categories such as health/fitness, lifestyle, personal development, career, etc… or develop individualized categories. Beyond just identifying a goal, the user also identifies milestones with dates to track progress. As milestones are achieved, the status bar “fills” to show your individual progress towards the goal.  The goals can be synced to your iCal so milestones become incorporated into your regular schedule.

While there are many goal setting apps out there, this one is nice, particularly if you talk to clients about using SMART goals. This would be a great way to work with individuals during discharge planning! Or for individuals working in agency environments where clients have action steps they are working towards outside of treatment hours.

Intervention Application: Goal setting, individual goal tracking

The Internet is not required to use the app; iPad and iPhone apps available.

Cost: $1.99 (sale), regularly $2.99

Deals on Apps!

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Download this free app and get 1 daily push notification on a variety of apps that are being offered free or at a significant reduction in cost!  This is a very easy way to get apps that you could not otherwise have the funds to purchase. The deals only last for 24 hours, so make sure you check everyday!

I have a tablet, but how do I decide which apps to purchase????

While the abundance of apps can be positive for all of the options and opportunities they provide for all people, deciding which ones to download or purchase can seem overwhelming.  Check out the advice provided by a parent contributor to the National Center for Learning Disabilities website.

There’s an App for that! But is it right for you?

Doodle Balance

Doodle Balance 

Doodle Balance

Contributed By: Nannette Vliet, Temple University

Description: This app is a game in which you are challenged to keep two balls from falling into a cup of coffee.   The lower balance beam is almost the width of the screen with a larger ball that rolls on it. The 2nd, upper, balance beam floats above the larger one but is only about two inches wide.  By controlling direction with a finger swipe at the bottom of the screen, the user must keep the small bouncing ball in the air using the upper balance beam, while also keeping the larger ball on the lower balance beam from sliding into the cup of coffee. The challenge is that both balance beams move with a finger swipe, but in opposite directions, requiring planning to keep the balls from landing in the coffee cup.

 Intervention Application:

Cognitive Functioning Physical Functioning Sensory Functioning
◘ sustained attention◘ cause and effect

◘ problem solving

◘ concentration

◘ directionality & distance estimation

◘ hand-eye coordination◘ fine motor control

◘ speed/reaction time


◘ visual scanning & tracking 

 Despite the name of the app, successful engagement requires as much cognitive skill as physical skill. Users must divide their visual attention to 2 portions of the screen, while also coordinating their motor movement.

Cut the Rope

Cut the Rope 

Cut the Rope

Contributed by: Nannette Vliet, Temple University

Description: Cut the Rope is an application that challenges the user to cut ropes (via a finger swipe), collect stars, and avoid obstacles to deliver candy to a very cute, yet ever-hungry, little monster (called Om Nom). The candy hangs from a rope or web of ropes. When the rope is cut the candy falls. The movement of the candy is further manipulated by the obstacles it encounters in the fall (bubbles, rockets, air cushions, spikes). The goal is to collect stars as the candy moves through the game screen and ultimately get the candy to Om Nom. A score is given when Om Nom gets the candy and is based on the number of stars collected and the amount of time it took the user to get the candy to Om Nom.

 Intervention Application:

Cognitive Functioning Physical Functioning Psychological Functioning
◘ sustained attention◘ cause and effect

◘ problem solving

◘ decision making/strategy

◘ planning, logic,& reasoning

◘ sequencing

◘ hand-eye coordination◘ fine motor control

◘ speed/reaction time


◘ expression of emotions in response to success (competence) or failure (frustration) 

 The game is full of physic sensitive properties effecting the movement of the candy (e.g., speed, timing, frequency) and challenges the user to utilize problem solving, logic, and sequencing skills to get the desired results (e.g., cutting the rope faster, cutting the rope at a different time, cutting the ropes in a particular sequence, popping the bubble when it is higher on the screen so that is falls faster, etc).

 This application is very user friendly and includes simple written directions at the beginning of the game (e.g., “slide your finger to cut the rope”, “Deliver candy to Om Nom”) and provides helpful hints when new objects are introduced (e.g., “Tap the air cushion to blow the objects”).

 The user has a choice in which level of difficulty to attempt…with each increase in level comes an increase in difficulty.  The trial version (Cute the Rope Lite) includes 2 boxes each containing 9 levels…the full version contains 10 boxes with 25 levels in each box (250 levels in all). At the time of this writing, the full version was available for .99 cents. The app also comes in different themed versions.