Professor Kim, by appp media UG, is a challenging visual scanning and discrimination game for preschoolers and early elementary children. You can play alone or against another, which really ups the fun factor. I have been using this game clinically, since early 2013, and it has never been off my iPad despite frequent rotation of other apps. Most kids respond immediately to its bright graphics and easy game play. It’s wonderful for teachers who may have kids that have difficulty translating what’s on the board to paper, or being able to sustain attention when visually following one target to another, as in contrast and comparison tasks. These are the kids who have difficulty finding anything in their desks or in the classrooms, may be clumsy and bump into objects inside, and are soooo tired when presented with demands. Once outside however, they are balls of energy and run and run, but never seem to explore the equipment. If you look closely, you may notice they keep their heads in one plane – they are always looking straight ahead – not so much up, down or around. Therapists can use this app to work on coordinating head and neck control with vision and overall postural stability. I may play it first when positioned on our bellies…(and constantly move the iPad to cross midline or to just look and find it), then move up to kneeling or sitting, and finally play I-spy games from around the room. This helps to just bring in the element of following auditory directions too.
The goal of the game is to find the object that is missing from the view of the sea in comparison to the items on the bottom of the screen. There are 6 different levels ranging from choosing between 4 objects up to eight. A game is over in 5 trials, so you can use this as a warm up, or continue play in short bursts. I love how the little fish jump on screen to the right, marking a correct answer. This sudden movement excites or alerts the visual system without over-stimulation. Because it’s fun, it helps guarantee future success by reinforcing play. The sixth level, as illustrated on the left, shows darkened images. This refines the ability to discriminate to what is known as form constancy. Knowing that something is the same, whether it is an outline, colored in or upside down, is what we need to bring a sense of peace and order to our world.
In summary this app is an excellent source for early learners needing to learn how to visually scan, discriminate and be able to target looking from one point to another. These are essential skills needed to be able to function within the classroom and manage oneself within a social environment. Gameplay is easy to learn and not overwhelming, and when played with a partner, it opens up opportunities for social play.
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years, and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play everyday; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.