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The Rise of Technology in Special Education – and Birth of the Circles App®

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January 02, 2024


“If you love the Circles Curriculum, you’ll love the Circles App!” – Randi Alpern, Counselor

That’s right! There’s and app!

Technology in Special Education

The internet has taken the world by storm and it’s here to stay!
This isn’t old news though– we’ve been using the Internet for almost twenty years and all industries are cultivating an online presence, most noteworthy are our schools. Schools and K-12 curricula are evolving at an exceedingly rapid rate, which begs the question– how do we keep up?

Furthermore, how do we make sure we are using the right technology? The right apps? The right instruction? These are the questions educators and parents are asking. Making sure the classroom is up to date is one question, but making sure students are engaging in quality learning is another; hence, our creation of the Circles Social Skills Utility.

Announcing the Circles Social Skills Utility App!
Developed for iPad (Android version coming) based on our proven effective Circles paradigm.

Keep Your Kids Safe!

Circles – special education’s most popular video series- is now an app!
The James Stanfield Company launched the Circles Social Skills Utility app to help teach students to adjust to the social world. Knowing how to touch, how to talk, and how much you should trust someone, can keep you from embarrassing situations and, most of all, from exploitation.

The Circles Social Skills Utility is based on our best-selling, proven effective by Harvard, Circles paradigm. This innovative app helps children with intellectual disabilities and those on the spectrum identify appropriate social boundaries and suitable touch for each level to prevent abuse. The Circles App is an interactive tool that helps students differentiate the many different types of relationships that they have and their interaction with each person are determined by their level of closeness (or color!). The Circles App, while superior as a supplement to the video curriculum, it also is a great stand-alone tool.
Don’t just take our word for it, see why Touch Autism is ecstatic about the app, or why BridgingApps gave the Circles Social Skills Utility App a 5 star review.

Why an App for Circles?

Classrooms are changing, and special education is no exception. A study out of Vanderbilt University found students in special education classrooms to be more confident in class subject matter after using digital education games. Parents, educators and developers alike face the challenge of ensuring that new technology is supported in the special education community. Children in special education are great candidates for using technology in learning activities. For instance, children on the spectrum often use electronics at an earlier age and use electronics at a higher rate than typical individuals of the same age 3.

Many people with autism are highly interested and motivated by computers, and computer assisted learning can focus on numerous academic and support areas of need such as emotion recognition, social interaction and communication.

(Goodwin, 2008)2.

With findings like these, it is imperative to recognize the potential technology and apps could offer this diverse and multifaceted community. Especially relevant are tools like the Circles Social Skills Utility App. This app provides students with a safe, yet very realistic, environment that lets them learn skills that are associated with a certain amount of danger, like stranger safety 1. Using the entertaining and educational Circles Social Skills Utility App will ensure that their the students’ screentime is constructive. The James Stanfield Company continues to ensure that the special education community is equipped with the most current tools to excel in the community, in the workforce, and now with technology!

Learn More

For more information on the Circles Social Skills Utility visit https://www.circlesapp.com/.

Or download the app in the iTunes store here for limited time price of $24.99!

1. Goldsmith, Tina R., and Linda A. Leblanc. “Use of Technology in Interventions for Children with Autism.” Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Intervention, vol. 1, no. 2, 2004, pp. 166–178., doi:10.1037/h0100287.

2. Goodwin, Matthew S. “Enhancing and Accelerating the Pace of Autism Research and Treatment.” Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, vol. 23, no. 2, 2008, pp. 125–128., doi:10.1177/1088357608316678.

3. Macmullin, Jennifer A, et al. “Plugged in: Electronics Use in Youth and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Autism, vol. 20, no. 1, 2015, pp. 45–54., doi:10.1177/1362361314566047. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1362361314566047

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