Free App Fridays: Mission Rescue Kloog
Social skills can be a challenge for kids who have autism (and other disabilities as well), which is something we've discussed in the past. This free app, developed by the Shine Centre for Autism in Ireland, intends to help with that.
The premise of the app is that an alien, named Kloog, has crash landed on the planet Earth. In order to fix his ship, he needs to get help from the local humans. The problem is that, for this space alien, social skills are an 'alien concept'. So he needs your help to figure out how to interact with humans appropriately.
If this sounds like the premise of a game-- well, I thought so, too, and I'll admit to being a little disappointed that the app is really more of a written guide to social skills with some illustrations. To be fair, practicing skills like eye contact and personal space would be pretty difficult to turn into an iPad game.
What this app actually provides is an opportunity to work with your child on developing and learning about social skills. The app breaks down social interactions into several specific skills-- eye contact, personal space, asking questions, interrupting, body language, sarcasm-- with suggestions for you to practice and discuss with the child you are helping. At the end of each section is a multiple choice quiz that goes over situations when you might use the social skill. Complete this, and you get a part that Kloog needs to repair his spaceship.
The art style for the app is quite charming, and I'm impressed by just how many social skills have been addressed. I can see how this would be an easy app to integrate into therapy sessions.
The creators have recently made a follow up app, 'Kloog 2' --I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but apparently it deals with some more advanced social skills such as online friendships and dealing with bullying, and has more animated segments. I might do a post about it later on. You can find out more about both apps on the website, here.