Review by Ericka D, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2017

Autism Core Skills School Edition: Academic, Communication, and Social Skills Plus Data

Robust app combines high-quality lessons with handy quantitative data

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Grades
Pre-K-10 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Tons of content with automated progress reports helps guide instruction.

Cons: Some in-app games can be a bit confusing.

Bottom Line: Academic and social lessons are worth the purchase price for the amount of depth and data produced.

Consider using Autism Core Skills as an addition to lessons to help students achieve individualized education program goals. Teachers can use this as formative assessment to guide instruction and also help practice newly learned concepts. Students can practice a skill until they reach mastery.

Teachers could also use the app as part of learning centers, either with small groups of two or three students or with individual students. For students who prefer individual work, teachers can help select visual images that serve as high reinforcers for sustained effort. Finally, teachers can easily print out progress reports to send home to parents.

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Autism Core Skills begins by allowing teachers to set up student profiles with pictures and high-interest items to engage students. Teachers can adjust ability levels of their students and begin with academic or social lessons. In-app games have tutorials and instructions displayed on the bottom of the screen with helpful reminders for both staff and students. After each lesson, a visually appealing reinforcer appears to encourage student interest and motivation.

A dashboard screen displays student progress data from a variety of topics, such as color identification, sharing, and consonant-vowel-consonant combinations. Line graphs and charts display student progress and mastery of each concept.

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This adaptive app acts more like a comprehensive database than your typical educational tablet game; teachers can create their own lessons and ways to track mastery level data. The developer also offers additional lessons and printable sheets to extend learning. Families can log on to the developer's website and find a community of forums and activities.

Since Autism Core Skills includes academic and social learning, students can remain engaged by switching from content that focuses on sight words to a fun activity that focuses on sharing. Team-based activities encourage positive social interactions that are built into the app experience. While some games can be a bit confusing without teacher support, students could easily navigate the activities independently with some prior guidance.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Visual reinforcers and vivid graphics reel kids in and help keep them motivated.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

Adaptive content helps ensure high levels of learning, and concepts (such as turn taking) are built into the rules of games.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
4

The onboarding tutorial and additional resources from the developer make this an easy-to-understand app.


Common Sense Reviewer
Ericka D Counselor, psychologist, or social worker