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BridgingApps Gives CirclesApp™ 5 Stars

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Evan S

July 01, 2016


BridgingApps just published their review of our app on their website and we at James Stanfield couldn’t be more proud. Thank you BridgingApps!   It’s an honor to hear such wonderful comments about an app we worked so hard to make. Visit the BridgingApps website and read their full review!

BridgingApps Review

Circles App: Social Boundaries & Relationships is an outstanding tool for teaching social boundaries to individuals with developmental delays. The app uses a visual format of color-coded, concentric “spheres of intimacy” that represent the degrees of physical closeness a person might experience. The app is user-friendly, allowing each child to create their own personal profile, and drag-and-drop the profiles of others into their circles. This allows the user to visually see where family, friends and strangers fall on their Circles chart, and the varying degrees of physical contact that are associated with each circle (who gets a hug, who gets high-fives, etc.).

Circles can be used with any age group, and has been trialed in early childhood special education classrooms as well as high-functioning ASD teen groups. It is recommended that the Circles curriculum be introduced as early as pre-K levels, but especially, with teens and disability groups that struggle with social cognition; understanding physical boundaries and appropriate expressions can prevent exploitation, and circumvent inappropriate touching of others. The Circles App can be used individually or in groups, and can be incorporated into public health programs, transition programs, and included as part of daily living skills on an IEP.

The above review was written by Amy Barry on June 20, 2016 in association with BridgingApps.com

Who is BridgingApps.com and why is their review so meaningful?

BridgingApps is THE source for educational apps. They have one of the most rigorous testing, review, and assessment practices in the business. Their mission is to sift through the endless abyss that is the Google/Amazon/iOS app stores to find the best of the best, so you don’t have to work that hard. Quoting BridgingApps again:

BridgingApps helps users choose apps for children and adults that are appropriate, useful and life-enhancing. With the overwhelming number of apps emerging on a daily basis, this seemingly simple task becomes challenging with children and adults who are developmentally or physically delayed and many parents and well-intentioned professionals are at a loss as to how to get started.

Speaking from the developer’s standpoint, one of the issues we have struggled with is categorizing our app properly. Although the iOS stores do a fantastic job at creating a hierarchy there is a lack of granularity that makes it difficult for companies like us to provide a service to children and adults with mild to severe special needs. Again this is where BridgingApps steps in:

BridgingApps is comprised of parents, therapists, teachers, doctors and assistive technology professionals who test and review these apps and wish to share their findings and experience to help others. With the special needs user in mind, we intend to provide supplementary information in conjunction with the developer’s app description.

For example, for most children with special needs, age categories provided by the developer may not be particularly helpful in selecting apps because of the scattered skill sets these children possess. Such a wide range of skills can be related to particular disabilities as well as to a whole host of variables, such as individual differences, environment, rate of development, etc.

Working alongside BridgingApps allows us to reach and help even more people.

Bridging Apps Review Process

Circles App has passed with flying colors earning 5 stars in each of their categories. This is particularly meaningful coming from BridgingApps whose discerning review process recognized the validity and effectiveness of our app. Their assessment process is incredibly in depth and includes three nationally accepted assessment tools.

When BridgingApps began, we found that most people in our group have or work with those who have four broad categories of disability: Autism, Global Developmental Delay, Cerebral Palsy and Down syndrome. We soon discovered that choosing apps by focusing on age or diagnosis was not the best way to search for a helpful app. Many people have multiple diagnoses that can further complicate this process. We also considered evaluating apps based on developmental levels, but this rating was too broad. However, what we did find useful was focusing on a particular skill that has little to do with chronological age. Skill levels are fairly clearly defined and can be identified in a particular app.

The assessment level is based upon, but is not limited to, three nationally accepted assessment tools specifically designed for therapists and parents to evaluate children with special needs. The level provided by BridgingApps is a range that includes our assessment of the lowest level skill a person should possess to use the app independently or with minimal hand-over-hand assistance.

The opinions expressed are that of BridgingApps.com. All quoted text above is property of BridgingApps.com

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Evan S