Special Needs Students and Smartick
At Smartick, we are aware that no two children are alike and would hate to treat them all the same. Smartick’s cutting-edge AI allows us to adapt to each child’s learning needs and pace. This rings true for our students with special needs. The short daily sessions crafted for their individual strengths and needs, help them develop their math skills while creating a positive routine and building concentration. Fern and her son, Laurence, who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have discovered the benefits of Smartick. We were excited to chat with Fern to learn more about her insight and Laurence’s experience. She highlights the positive results and comments Laurence’s teachers have made after working on the program for the last few months.
Smartick for All Types of Students
How did you hear about Smartick?
I found out about Smartick from other special needs parents on Instagram sharing the success the approach had for their children who suffered similar challenges to Laurence when accessing learning materials. (@mylittlehomeschool)
Why did you decide that Smartick would be beneficial for Laurence?
Laurence already had a few apps for speech therapy. Smartick’s colorful characters and interactive nature allowed Laurence to engage with material more successfully than other methods of learning. We completed a free trial in which I was really impressed by the clear layout and comprehensive learning being offered across all mathematical areas, looking at logic, patterns, shape and space as well as understanding numerical value. When combined with fun and colorful activities, it convinced me this was the right step for Laurence.
What does Laurence like most about Smartick?
The program has a simple and clear layout which Laurence can easily navigate himself. Laurence really enjoys using the tutorials which he can repeat as often as he likes. He also likes shopping for accessories for his avatar with the ticks he has earned.
Parent Insight: Special Needs
What do you as a parent like most about Smartick?
I am really please with the variety of mathematics skills Laurence is working on when completing each of his sessions, and that the levels adjust depending on his performance in each area. In tasks he has found easier, the activities become challenging and varied more quickly. But in areas he finds more difficult the material is adjusted much more slowly. I receive an email after each session with an overview of what has been covered and Laurence performance on the tasks. I find these really informative in monitoring Laurence’s progress and his processing speed across the activities.
When we do have problems the Smartick team are very friendly and approachable and do all they can to support us to access the materials as easily as possible from adjusting personal settings and levels, providing links to wider resources as needed and helping me access color filters for the iPad to enable images to be seen more clearly.
Since using Smartick I have received lots of positive comments from his teachers on how Laurence has improved in his mathematics and how much more he is enjoying his math lessons at school.
How do you motivate Laurence to work on his session? Does he have a particular routine to work with Smartick?
We use Smartick every morning at breakfast time and Laurence is always keen to start, and never refuses. I sit with Laurence as he completes the activities. Laurence suffers from sight problems and significant language processing difficulties, so I initially needed to offer him support to understand the questions and give visual support. But as we have continued using Smartick he has become more independent, requires very little support from me. I just get to enjoy watching mostly now.
Do you limit Laurence’s screen time? If so, why let him work on Smartick?
Laurence does not have a fixed limit on his screen time; he struggles to stay focused on things and becomes bored of activities quickly, so very rarely becomes over fixated with the iPad. Smartick’s sessions are long enough to hold Laurence’s attention and enable him to complete a variety of completely different types of math activities within a few minutes, variety which I cannot give him in that time frame, working away from the app.
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