Marblesoft-Simtech is a software company that produces software for children with special needs. Most of the software can be switch activated or used with a keyboard, mouse, or laptop touchpad.
Switch Kids is a software package used to teach cause and effect with a goal. This software package includes three separate games each keeping the attention of all four of my children (ages 2-10). The games include Funny Sounds and Faces, Bubble Gum, and Build-A-Kid.
Funny Sounds and Faces produces a face with different expressions on the screen with each click/touch/switch use. My kids enjoyed watching the faces and giggling at them, but we also used this to teach how each expression correlates with the way a person is feeling.
For my son with high functioning autism, this was great because he often cannot make that connection. For my younger children, it was fun for them to guess where the face would come up next and which expression would be on the face.
Bubble Gum is a game where the person on the game is chewing gum and blowing bubbles. With each click of the mouse/switch, the bubble gets bigger until it fills the entire screen and pops all over the face. There are many options to use with this including different colors of gum and random early popping of the gum.
Since my kids, like most, love gum and messes, this game was endless fun for them. Even my 10 year old, who I thought would find the game silly, was laughing hysterically every time the gum popped. The options to change it up kept a surprise hidden and the kids that like surprises enjoyed that.
Build-A-Kid is a game that involves building the kid from the first circle of his/her head all the way down to the shoes on his/her feet. Each time the mouse/switch is activated, another part of the body is added to the person. It starts with the circle for the head, ears, eyes, and so on. Once the body is built, it begins adding the clothes and each of the kids has his/her own outfit and name.
My younger children seemed to be constantly surprised by the outfits and hairstyles that each kid appeared with. Again, this game kept their interest. They all loved giggling and naming the parts of the body and type of clothes that came with each click.
Exciting News from Marblesoft-Simtech
There has been a recent addition of an iPad/iPod app for SwitchKids. The app is available in a lite version and the full version. Both are available in the iTunes store if you search SwitchKids or Marblesoft. The lite version is $0.99 and the full version with more features is available for $19.99. I installed the lite version on my 10yo son’s iPod and have found him secretly playing and enjoying it. It works very well on the iPod, and is priced very reasonably, especially in relation to the cost of other special education apps.
Also, for students who have difficulty using the iPad, Marblesoft is now offering a bluetooth enabled switch device called the Blue2 Bluetooth Switch. This allows blue tooth connection between your Apple device and the switch controller giving the hands free option for switch controlled apps. The device offers the option of two switches and ports to plug in your own switches for more individualization.
Stay tuned, Marblesoft is planning the release of more apps in the iTunes store soon!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this software from Marblesoft-Simtech in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own based on observing my children as they used the software. Marblesoft-Simtech has also provided a partial sponsorship for my attendance at the 2:1 Conference in April. Thank you, Marblesoft-Simtech!