Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Special Guest Blog Marc Zimmerman & The Social Express

                       Be sure to read all the way to the end. We have a special giveaway
                       from The Social Express!

Marc Zimmerman is the founder and CEO of The Language Express, makers of The Social ExpressTM.

The Social Express™ is engaging, educational software for children and young adults
with social learning challenges.The software is designed to teach users how to think
about and manage 
social situations, helping them to develop meaningful social
relationships and 
succeed in life.   

We asked Marc to tell us about how The Social Express helps people with special needs.
 Marc also gave us five tips about how to use iPads effectively with our kids.

Q.) How does The Social Express help special needs kids?

A.) The Social Express™ targets core deficit areas that stand in the way of school, social, and life success for children and young adults with social learning challenges. Children with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and other social learning challenges do not learn the skills needed to be effective adults in the same way that their neurotypical peers do. They require direct instruction, with each facet of every skill broken down into small pieces. The Social Express addresses these areas of need by providing a highly interactive and visual presentation utilizing relatable original characters, Hollywood quality animation and offline activities which allows for the generalization of skills outside of the teaching environment.

How do you help your child when he or she has difficulty learning to make and keep eyecontact with others? Or help them to learn how to stay with the group? Or to talk about what the group is talking about?

The Social Express features 16 interactive lessons featuring 30 scenes that are divided into two skill levels. Skill Level 1 targets younger users and/or those who have more difficulty understanding social situations. Skill Level 2 targets users who are aware of social rules  but have difficulty using them in real-world settings. Each skill level ends with an interactive review of the Hidden Social Keys that have been learned during the preceding lessons.

Q) What tips do you have for parents to use iPads effectively with their special needs children?

A.) It’s just great to see how many special needs kids respond so well to using iPads! We
saw that with our twins immediately when the iPad was introduced.
Here are my tips for making the iPad work effectively with their special needs kids:

1. Choose apps for your special needs child with a specific goal in mind. Whether your
child’s goal is how to express themselves better, understanding feelings or learning vocabulary words. Check out the age group for each app when you’re reviewing it. 
Read the goals for each app before buying it.

2. Adjust the iPad settings based on your child’s needs. The iPad’s rotating screen can be confusing for some kids. Go to the settings and lock the screen. That keeps it in one position, no matter how your child turns it. Also, make sure the sound volume is soothing to your child and not overly loud.

3. Change the apps on your iPad. Don’t let your child play too long with one particular app.
If he or she has improved the skill, find another app to work on a different goal.

4. Monitor how long your child uses the iPad. It’s a tool for improving your child’s skills. Avoid letting them constantly play with the iPad. Alternate with other learning tools like books, board games or flash cards.

5. Select apps that you can use along with your child. A good learning program is designed so that you can interact with your child. Look for teachable moments while you’re working on the app with your child. Pause the app and talk about the specific skill. Ask your child what he or she thinks is the right answer.

The iPad has been a game changer for many families and people with special needs. 
The high quality graphics, mobility and ease of use make this device a very popular tool for parents and professionals. It’s just so flexible based on whatever your child’s special needs are.

Thanks iHelpSNKids Team for asking me to post on your blog. It was fun! Join The SocialExpress on our Facebook page, by clicking here: The Social Express Interactive.
Or you can go to our website for more information here The Social Express Webite

Marc Zimmerman
The Social Express

Please note : The first two entries are Mandatory . This unlocks other options for you to gain more entries in this Rafflecopter Competition. Good Luck ! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reviewed by Natalie DeAngelis


  1. I really love the Toca Boca apps for my daughter as she is able to really relate to them better than some other apps!

  2. First off thank you Marc Zimmerman & The Social Express. Secondly, my most used app is Smarty Ears Custom Boards becuase it allows me to quickly modify a lesson needing aided during our homeshcooling program. My favorite app would require a list of apps :) My favorite and most used catagorie of apps are graphic's, speech therapy and social skills apps.

  3. The iPad has become a great tool in situations that used to cause meltdowns or were too distracting and cause behavior issues. Dr. Offices, restaurants, grocery instead of focusing on what is overwhelming and scary she can focus on the iPad.

  4. I have my son's communication app as the only one on the "task" bar at the bottom for easy access. Then no matter what page he is on, it's right there for easy access.

  5. A tip that I learned that helps a lot when you have a child with wandering fingers is to use the iPad in airplane mode.. this prevents them from accessing outside links

  6. My toddler loves the Learning Touch FirstWord a certified teacher, I am liking the Sight Words Pro one in particular.