R. is actually bored with both of these apps, but she used them quite a bit for the first couple of weeks with the ipad. I think they helped her learn how different apps work and the fact that they are simple to do made her feel confident enough to stick with it.
This review is for the Lite/free version. There is an advertisement bar at the bottom of the screen during play. It does not seem to get in the way.
When the app loads it says tap screen to begin. This means R. can easily launch the program herself. There are no ads on the opening page.
The description of the app says that they are using the Montessori bead stair concept. There are ten red circles on the left hand side. Each circle is moved individually to the bar across the top of the screen. The app is somewhat forgiving, and will pull the circle into the correct spot when you are close. You can also bounce the circles off the opposite side and they will bounce into the correct spot. The circle makes a popping sound when you remove a circle, and a slight swishing sound if you fling it. It makes a clicking sound when the circle is put into place. The red circle turns a different color once it is in place and is labeled with the next number and the program says each number out loud. Once all ten spots are filled a button pops up offering play again. It is a bit tricky, but you can select more than one circle and count by twos or whatever. R. is not interested in that yet.
I think learning how to move the circles helped teach R. how to manipulate the ipad. There are really no wrong answers or moves, so it provides errorless learning. The music turned her off initially, but once I learned how to turn it off (press the i in the upper left hand corner) she was interested in the numbers and was able to do it herself after a while. You can also turn off the sound effects each circle makes, and the speaking of the numbers.
This is a free app. There are no ads. On the first page there is a button in the lower right corner that says play. R. tired of this app before she learned how to use the button.
Grasshopper Apps, who wrote the app, says that you can learn with sight, sound and touch. A letter is spoken for each colored letter when moved, and it can only be placed in the correct spot. When attempting to place the letter in the wrong spot the letter bounces back and a bouncing sound is heard. The number of letters that appear each time vary, and can be customized in the settings. You can select a minimum and a maximum number of letters to appear from one up to six.
The authors must know all about children with autism, because there are many ways to customize this app. There is a settings button on the front page. You can record your own voice and customize all the game sounds -including turning them off. There are separate settings for the intro music (we turned it off) and success sounds.
R. took to this app immediately, it was one of the first ones she could really do independently. Sometimes she would just play with the letters to hear the sounds. She figured out that if you try to move more than one at a time it makes strange echo-ish letter sounds.