iDo by C.E.T (The Center for Educational Technology) is a brand new series for teaching and learning about activities of daily living. Currently, there are 5 iDo Apps: Hygiene, Getting Dressed, Food/Dining Skills, Community Activities, and Chores. To say they are comprehensive is an understatement, and each one is a valuable asset for any teacher or parent in the teaching of life skills. Each app contains a variety of lessons relating to the topic, and games to reinforce the lessons. What makes this series so outstanding is the amount of detail contained in each lesson, as well as the ability to customize a lesson for a specific child. One of the things that I love about the apps is that they are made with the utmost respect and preserve the dignity of all kids using them. They are also suitable for use in adult rehab or vocational training. Independence with self-care builds both confidence and competence, and the skills learned can be generalized to other tasks within and outside an educational setting, i.e. general body awareness and motor planning, visual attention, working memory to sequence steps to a task, etc. A parent and teachers section found under a secured computational question contains videos to get the most use from the app, and a list of frequently asked questions - including how to make picture sequences and videos as well as lock created content. Because of the memory needed to download the apps, options have been set to either view the units online or to download them. There is also flexibility to load/reload sections if it looks like your iPad is filling up, which is a very considerate feature from this developer. We will be looking at 1 of the apps in detail, so you can get a feel for how the series looks and flows.
iDo Getting Dressed – Learn the Routine of wearing clothes, for individuals with special needs. (Full version) contains nine units. It covers getting dressed or undressed, preparing your clothes for the am, and getting ready for bed. Some of the units are focused on seasonal dressing – a bonus for kids that have difficulty transitioning seasons, and units for gender specific dressing that addresses unique clothing items for a girl or boy.
- A video displaying the steps to the particular lesson
- Picture sequence
- The opportunity for making a personalized video or sequence
- And 2 games “The Right Sequence” and “Find the Picture”
I love the fact that the app also addresses privacy, boundaries, and what that means in terms of functionally sequencing each step… “Get dressed only in a private place. Your room is a private place.
Close the door before getting dressed.” In Picture sequence, one can make tic marks with mastering a certain step, which is great for data keeping. Making a personalized video or sequence help some kids identify with the need for them to do it, and can jump start those with difficulty motor planning by giving them a picture of what THEY need to do. Getting dressed is not so abstract, but concrete and very real. The games are also fabulous for seeing if the child has integrated the material on a cognitive level or if they have indeed mapped the sequence so that it is easier to retrieve later. The board game on the bottom of the lessons incorporates a classic board game with identifying items, matching, and sorting activities. It allows you to tap in and see if a child is still retaining relevant details after they have moved through the lessons.
In the world of Pediatric Occupational Therapy, these apps have created quite a buzz, and are now firmly placed on an OT's essential list. Special Ed, Behaviorists, 1:1's or other therapists will all benefit by using these apps with kids needing to teach independence in daily routines. Recommending them to parents will ensure follow through and take the stress off kids who experience overload with perceived incessant demands from adults. Here kids can learn at their own pace, review independently, or play as they are performing a certain task. With their level of detail, easy customization, and thoughtful and respectful content; iDo apps are a certainty for a TWAs Top Pick.